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On the Catwalk: Art, Architecture and Fashion

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by James Brennan

The look. The buzz. The trends. Fashion weeks, glitzy celebrations in cosmopolitan cities, are wrapped in exclusivity and prestige. Yet any one of them would yearn to have what Fashion Week Rochester provided in its newest runway show: creations by 22 critically-acclaimed local artists, many of whom have work prominently displayed in some of the world’s most glamorous cities.
    Designed to be affordable and accessible, Fashion Week Rochester is a six-venue celebration featuring four runway shows held in gorgeous, historic spaces. For 2014, a formal High Tea, High Fashion in the Sibley Building featured models with dogs. The edgy and glamorous Fashion Underground put tech-savvy elements and emerging styles in a 70,000-square-foot renovated tunnel. Fashion by the Books brought an intergenerational audience to the Rundel Memorial Library Building. But the spotlight was on the newest runway show, The Gallery of Fashion, which married high art and fashion in the former Merkel Donohue Building: a thrilling, heritage manufacturing space currently being converted to stylish mixed-use retail and residential apartments.
    “We’re using the fascination with fashion to put new energy on our region’s incredible artistic community and legacy,” says Elaine Spaull, Director of the Center for Youth in Rochester, the recipient charity of Fashion Week Rochester’s proceeds.
    The lingerie and evening wear show collided a sexy vibe with the building’s muscular, urban chic while the artwork drew as much attention and admiration as the catwalk. Sculptures by internationally-famed Albert Paley, ceramics by Michael Taylor, and Wendell Castle furniture were among many jewels. A backdrop of large windows along the South Avenue wall brought the interior to life while the artwork made it glorious.


Cover Image - Artist: Joseph Ventura

Sculpture - Artist: Albert Paley

Pottery - Artist: Stephen Merritt

Artist: Frances Paley

Paintings - Artist: Robert Ernst Marx


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