Photography by GREG AUTRY
Each Year, in Beautiful Laguna Beach, the Festival of Arts promotes its Runway Fashion Show and Competition. Unique in the world of fashion, the competition is limited to the participating artist who show at the Festival of Arts. And there is an Eco-Friendly twist. All of the costumes must be made of reFuse and recycled materials. There are celebrity judges and this year the event was sponsored by Arbonne International. The folks come out in high fashion , and casual beach attire. They munch on goodies, bring picnic lunches, and share bottles of wine. The Festival of Arts itself, is one of the oldest and most coveted juried fine art shows in the United States. This year, seven Artist went the extra mile, and became fashion designers. The artist / designers were Adam Neeley (Jewelry), Brittany Ryan (Sculpture & Painting), Richard Evans (Wood), Jon Seeman (Sculpture), Brad Elsberry (Painting), Michelle Lance (Encaustic Painting), Elizabeth McGhee (Painting). Elizabeth who modeled her own creation, won the prize money with a beautiful rendition of a Marie Antoinette Gown and Wig, made of recycles plastic bags, and rope twine. It was beautiful, but I felt like it had been done before. My Fav of the Night, and winner of the Crowds "Ohhh's and Aww's", was Brad Elsberry's magnificent and utterly creative original dress. Made of dry latex house paint. Not painted on something, but he literally dried the paint, and made a fabric of it. Brad Elesberry should be a fashion designer I think :) His creations, every year at the Festival of Arts, WOWS both the Judges and crowds alike.
This year's Judges were Arbonne CEO Kay Napier, Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru and Lisa M. Berman in a stunning red dress of Zippers, and known as the "Go To Style Diva". This year's Host was Christos Garkinos from Bravo's "Dukes of Melrose".
Cojo as Judge for the Runway Fashion Show at the Festival of Arts.
I will tell you that the Judges got it wrong. The top prize of $ 1,000.00 is judged and awarded on the basis of the most creative concept and, with a non-cash prize for "Peoples Choice". While Ms McGhee's dress was beautiful and well done it was nevertheless to similar to one done in fact a couple years earlier by Brad Elesberry.
This year's creation by Brad Elesberry, the Aqua Dress and White Cape by Brad Elesberry BLEW AWAY everyone. Brad's Model and Muse, Erika Baldwin, come out 'cloaked in the snowy white coat of winter. As she sheds the wrap, she is left with `a gown conceived to represent the rushing and falling water we see in Brad's paintings'. All the "fabric" in the dress is actual water-based house paint. It is not painted fabric. And there is nothing between Erika's luminous skin and the cloak of aqua coloured paint.
My friend, artist Robin Hall, shows at The Festival. Robin says Sales at The Festival are definitely up, and that many artists' are enjoying very good years. And That's A Good Thing :)
The Winner at the Runway Fashion Show, at the Festival of Arts - Artist (and her own model) Elizabeth McGhee is a Painter. Her Marie Antoinette dress is made of packing materials, paper, beads, plastic bags, and foam sheets. The wig is twine and old yarn. It was done very well as a revised take on a tried and true theme.
Artist Jon Seeman is a Sculpture, and thus his Steampunk creation pays homage to the retro style using metal objects, gears, hinges and chains. To mention just a few. Model Shannon Seeman (Jon's niece) thinks her concoction has gone to the dogs. The dog's name is "Gearbox". At the Runway Fashion Show at the Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, CA.. Aug 31, 2013.
Richard Evans, Doors and Windown maker and Artist in Wood, at Runway Fashion Show at the Festival of Arts. This was very funny and got great response from the judges and crowd.
See more of the original and wonderful creations by all the artist and models at The Festival of Arts. And don't forget, Buy Original Art. Support your local artist.