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Bodies of Art Goes Big with 10th Annual Fashion Show

Posted April 22, 2014 in Events

The KCAD student fashion alliance known as Bodies of Art (BOA) spent countless hours preparing for its 10th annual spring fashion show, but BOA president Jennie Reid only needed a moment to recap the evening:


On March 21, “Sardonyx: Hybrids of the Future” dazzled a crowd of over 300 people with a bold display of daring and anamorphic fashion at St. Cecelia Music Center. Working alongside members of Grand Valley State University’s student fashion club, BOA members pushed themselves to think way outside of the box, producing a otherworldly collection of over 40 unique designs.

student designs from the Bodies of Art fashion showStudents were encouraged to think not just outside of the box, but outside of this world, as evidenced by these jarringly unique designs (click to enlarge)

“The preliminary sketches I saw were so beautiful that I had no doubt that all the finished garments were going to come out the same,” said Reid. “During the show, you could see the heads whipping back and forth to see everything. It was very high energy throughout the evening.”

student design from the Bodies of Art fashion showThe normally reserved interior of St. Cecilia's Music Center was transformed into an otherworldly realm when the models took to the stage (click to enlarge)

Led by Reid, vice president Accel Monroe Paramour, and presidential assistant Kaylee Dall, BOA worked tirelessly to meld the individual pieces into a cohesive collection. Student designers had to adhere to a strict color palate, and the club conducted several group critiques during the initial design stages to keep everyone on the same page. Despite these basic confines, each designer was nonetheless able to embody the show’s unconventional theme in their own way.

student design from the Bodies of Art fashion showMany of the student designs evoked animalistic traits, such as the use of feathers in this design (click to enlarge)

While showcasing the convergence of art and fashion continues to be the focus of BOA’s annual show, organizers have also been working to increase community engagement with the event. Thanks to a partnership with the Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community, a portion of this year’s ticket sales, as well as all of the proceeds from a silent auction of local artwork held before the show, went directly to sarcoma cancer research–a cause that is close to Reid’s heart. The show opened with a special dedication to her mother, a two-time sarcoma cancer survivor.  

“I hadn’t seen my family since Christmas, so being able to present my mom with flowers and honor her in front of everyone was the highlight of my night,” she said.

Bodies of Art president Jennie Reid and her motherBodies of Art president Jennie Reid (far left) presenting flowers to her mother, a two-time sarcome cancer survivor (click to enlarge)

GVSU Fashion Club president Sherri Anderson pursued another kind of outreach, securing a partnership with CAT Footwear, based in Rockford, Michigan. The company was looking for a creative way to publicize the launch of its Earthmovers line of casual shoes, so organizers agreed to dress a few of the models in the shoes in exchange for a pair that they could auction off as an additional fundraiser.

student design from the Bodies of Art fashion showModels were accented by purple stage lighting, which helped reinforce the show's connection to Van Andel Institute's Purple Community (click to enlarge)

Reid is confident that both partnerships will continue in the future, and sees cultivating even more community involvement as the key to increasing exposure and impact. “Sardonyx: Hybrids of the Future” may have been the most successful BOA fashion show yet, but Reid and her fellow fashionistas would rather improve upon their accomplishments than bask in them.

Bodies of Art members and modelsBodies of Art members pose with the models, showcasing the continuity of their unique designs (click to enlarge)

“By the end of this semester, we’ll have our board elections and our idea for the theme of our next show,” said Reid. “Then we start the cycle all over again.”

Bodies of Art meets every Wednesday in room 212 of the Woodbridge N. Ferris building on KCAD's campus from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact BOA President Jennie Reid at [email protected].


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