Personal Adornment Day 2008: Reflection Revisited


After attending the fourth annual Personal Adornment Day and Makeup Extravaganza Thursday April 10th, I came away from the show feeling very surprised to have seen so many different types of wearable art. I had never attended the Personal Adornment show before and did not know what to expect when I climbed the stairs to the Haas Gallery of Art. There was a catwalk outlined running the length of the gallery surrounded by fold out chairs on both sides. When I arrived at the show around 5pm, the gallery space was crowed and quickly filling up with students, faculty, and the families of the artists and models.

Luckily, I found a seat, which happened to be right across from where the podium stood so I had no trouble hearing the show at all. Personal Adornment featured students from the Mixed Media/Fabric Design, 3D Design, and Theater classes. Professor Meredith Grimsley opened the show at 5:30 explaining how Personal Adornment day was first started four years ago and how far it has come since then. Professor Jason Godecke took over the job as MC reading each of the artists’ statements before their wearable art was shown on the catwalk.

Overall my favorite artist was Shauna Thomas. I could imagine walking into a mall and seeing all of her dresses hanging in one of the stores there. I thought he pieces were the most wearable for everyday life. Shauna’s dresses were meant to show her admiration for the woods and the respect for nature that she developed while growing up. I also really liked Courtney Sandore’s piece which featured a lampshade as a skirt and Christmas lights as part of the shirt. Courtney’s inspiration came from the way that light bulbs work and shine their fluorescence.

My favorite piece in terms of a costume was Nadeen Roberts take on the cocktail as both a drink and a dress. Even her makeup seemed theatrical and her walk illuminated her artwork. In her artist’s statement, she said she has become with enthralled with wearable art especially in the form of wearable soft sculptures that mimic everyday shapes that give off a feminine vibe. Danielle Urbanowicz’s take on umbrellas was both amusing and an inspiring exaggerated display on taking an everyday object and turning it into the unexpected.

The scariest performance by far was Rachel Fenner’s work modeled by Katelyn Mallon. The work itself was based on identity and self. It was very dark and even the music seemed to creep out the audience. The model did her job to scare everyone too, as she slowly cascaded down the runway glaring out into the audience. Another scary performance was that of Gary Wetzel’s which he intended to use to put death uncomfortably close to the audience. His version of the grim reaper, which was modeled by Mary Griffin, was probably one of the scariest performances I have ever seen.

This reaper-like character walked extremely slowly down the catwalk and would occasionally lean down towards a member of the audience. It seemed as though the model was actually aiming to frighten those who made it visibly clear that they were e uncomfortable. In general, the show was very entertaining and it was nice to see what different artists can do with objects to make them into clothing.

Julianne Funk