Good New-Fashioned Fun: Students Wow the Community with Their Wearable Art

Good New-Fashioned Fun: Students Wow the Community with Their Wearable Art

If you’ve never attended the Wearable Arts Runway Show, mark your calendars for Dec. 2 and 3, 2022. You will be amazed by the talent, creativity, and courage of St. Anne’s-Belfield students and the never-ending commitment of their performing and fine arts teachers. 

Originating over 14 years ago as a culminating project in Randy Bill’s art construction class, the Wearable Arts Runway Show has evolved into a months-long co-curricular endeavor supported by multiple teachers and dozens of parent volunteers and attended by hundreds of spectators. 

Students work independently on their wearable art under the guidance of St. Anne’s-Belfield Artist in Residence Annie Temmink. Rising seniors lead the project and mentor younger students. Participants submit design plans and materials lists before starting on their garment. So that the program generates the least waste possible, students must use sustainable, recyclable materials that can be repurposed.  After the design and materials have been approved, the students spend four to six months creating their wearable art depending on the detail of the garment. This past March, the students were thrilled to showcase their artistic talents by walking the runway in front of their family, friends, and Saints community. The in-person performance welcomed more than 500 attendees!

2021-22 Wearable Arts Runway Show participant Kate R. '23 displays wings made from La Croix boxes

You might be thinking, “This reminds me of that show on Bravo.” You’re not wrong. The designers on “Project Runway” and the St. Anne’s students must all use unusual materials in seemingly impossible ways to create the newest, most original designs they can conjure. Now in its nineteenth season, “Project Runway” has received nearly 100 nominations for many different awards and has spawned spinoffs like “Under the Gunn,” “Project Accessory,” and “Project Runway: Junior.”

After the 2021-22 Wearable Arts Runway Show, students from St. Anne’s were able to interview Nan Strait, showrunner for “Project Runway,” about her exciting work and rich experience.

“Be true to yourself because you’ll always be proud of what you’ve produced. The most successful contestants are the ones who tell their story, their truth, through their clothing designs, and do so unapologetically.” – Nan Strait, Project Runway showrunner

Bravo's "Project Runway" Showrunner Nan-Strait met with students via Zoom

Bravo's "Project Runway" Showrunner Nan Strait met with students via Zoom in Spring 2022

As the showrunner, Ms. Strait casts the show, creates challenges for the designers, writes scripts, manages the budget, and wrangles all 200+ folks on the set over the course of an entire season. More than that, though, she ensures that the stories of all 16 designers are told in a way that brings humanity and authenticity to the two-dimensional platform that is a flatscreen. As Ms. Strait explains, the show is a perfect blend of art, talent, and competition. While contestants experience “a competitive pressure cooker under serious time constraints where everyone is passionate and wants to win,” they also produce wildly ingenious, creative, and beautiful works of fashion art. To the student designers of St. Anne’s, Ms. Strait shared some advice that she feels will guarantee success: “Be true to yourself because you’ll always be proud of what you’ve produced.” The most successful contestants, Ms. Strait says, are the ones who tell their story, their truth, through their clothing designs, and do so unapologetically.

Arts Boosters is excited to host the 2022-2023 Wearable Arts Runway Show on Dec. 2 and 3. The event will be held at the Lee-DuVal Dining Hall on the Greenway Rise campus at St. Anne's-Belfield School. And the theme this year is ....  "Dreams and Nightmares." Learn more here.

 


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