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Drauma: Alternative Fashion Week Kicks Off

Audrey Bonfig Audrey Bonfig Drauma: Alternative Fashion Week Kicks OffDesigns (l to r) by Ronnette Porch, Horacio Nieto and Esther Hall. All photos by t. a. mueller photography.
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Alternative Fashion Week kicked off with a bang Saturday evening, presenting its opening runway show at Drauma. The Bluestone was alive with light and sound as people in edgy ensembles and outrageous outfits made their way into the venue to see the best of the Columbus alternative fashion scene. The evening began with a collection by Sandua, MstrPhoenix, and Devious-Crs, which featured a series of intricate rope-woven ensembles. The two-pieced ensembles had a swimwear vibe to them, and were a nod to the hot summer months yet to come.

After the opening collection, other amazing designers presented their works to the cheering crowds. One of which was Very Bad Wolf, whose gothic-inspired collection presented a series of looks that were part warrior-queen and part dark-elegance. Crystal Larson, once of the designers behind Very Bad Wolf, who was channeling Daenerys Targaryen with her platinum blonde hair and wolf pelt, stated that she had a specific vision from the very beginning, “I knew I wanted to do pelts, I wanted to do blacks, and I wanted to do metals, just make it very smoky and dark.” But one thing that concerned Larson was that her somber, all-black show would be at odds with the more theatrical designers who were also showing, but it was that subtleness and quietness that really made Larson’s show stand out, and allowed the focus to be entirely on the garments. But creativity and ingenuity aside, Larson said she also had a personal reason for wanting to do the show: her dear friend Alixe Reese. Larson explained that Reese had been severely injured in a car accident several years earlier, and that some of the proceeds from her collection went to her and her family. It was a beautiful message that highlighted an even more beautiful collection.

After the elegant subtleties from Very Bad Wolf, Trulie Scrumptious presented a show that was a true treat for the eye; part fashion show, part theatrical spectacle.  The show opened with two praying mantis like creatures, clad in black fuku-style ensembles and bright purple hair. After “crawling” down the runway, they made their way back to the top, where they struck a series of poses as the garments were displayed. The collection definitely had a Japanese anime feel to it, with bright colors, out-of-this-world hairdos, and over the top performances. At one point, near the end of the show, two models engaged in a mock sword fight with a huge pair of scissors.

Body painting was another form of art that was heavily featured at the show, and one of the designers who showed off her impressive painting skills was Kelly Carpenter from Fantastical Faces Body Art and Face Art. Carpenter, whose background is in horror and special effects make-up, said the inspiration for her collection came from pop art, primarily pop art artist Roy Lichtenstein. Her body paint was primarily made up of bold, primary colors, and stark lines, really giving the impression that the models had walked straight out of a pop art cartoon. While the painting was extraordinary, Carpenter stated that it was actually the planning that took the longest, “You have to draw everything out and place it, to make sure that the lines aren’t going to fall on inappropriate places.” Carpenter explained. The two body paints combined took about ten hours to complete, with the first model taking six hours and the second model taking four and a half.

All in all the evening was a success, and showed that the fashion world needs to make room, because alternative fashion is coming in to break all the doors down.

All photos by t. a. mueller photography.

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