Go behind the scenes for fashion defying designs at Naples Art Scene to be Seen
Models are perfecting their runway walks mere hours before curtain call, just as they would for a typical fashion show, but these models have a unique task to pose in designs described as “wearable art,” moving seamlessly in delicate paper origami gowns, porcelain-cast bodices, and original watercolor paintings applied to silk satin.
Designers are putting final touches on their one-of-a-kind creations.
The “Scene to Be Seen” Runway Art Show was launched as a way to showcase the talents of local artists and designers in an extraordinary way, according to Naples Art executive director and chief curator Frank Verpoorten.
“It's really best described as a creative event that we launched about five years ago, and it's all about wearable art, but almost in a utopian way," said Verpoorten. "Art that defies logic, that almost is not very practical to wear. Right? It is art presented in a 3D form.”
This year, thirteen artists are presenting 38 imaginative and distinctive looks that range in concepts, mediums, and intricacy. These designs are seemingly more sculpture than fashion.
One features a model wearing a silver chainmail and crystal facial covering, her neon green hair slicked back. She is outfitted in a white bodysuit, atop the bodice white cloud-shaped pendants are chained together with silver O-rings, and at the hips, fluffy white clouds of cotton billow in each direction. Cascading underneath the clouds hang decorative chains and crystals that simulate rainfall.
Husband and wife Rasit and Ilkay Turk are returning for their second year as artist designers in the “Scene to be Seen” fashion show. Originally from Turkey, the couple moved to Southwest Florida in 2004. In 2018, they launched a luxury silk line featuring high-end accessories called Turk and Turk. Rasit says their design concepts come from everyday life.
“We don’t follow any step, any rule. Whatever comes into our life, we go for it," said Rasit.
“Something, if we see, making us excited, we go create the ideas, start painting, or start making the jewelry pieces from anything experimental material," said Ilkay.
For this show, the couple is using materials like pennies to create necklaces, hundreds of gilded Turk & Turk logos to form camisoles, and silk dresses with their original sketches printed on them. One of their pieces is being auctioned off tonight to raise funds for Naples Art’s education programs. It’s a silk gown featuring a silhouette of the Naples skyline.
“When I saw the colors and the buildings, I didn’t see the buildings, I just saw a dress," said Rasit. "And I just took my iPad, now there’s a lot of painting tools, you don't need paper and watercolor anymore. And then what we did, we took the computer and we sent it in for digital printing on silk."
Ilkay says that one necklace alone took more than a week to construct for this show.
18-year-old fashion designer and artist Alanna Jewel Jaron says she decided to submit designs in this year’s “Scene to be Seen” because there aren’t many opportunities to show off her thrifty and upcycled creations. She describes her runway looks and inspiration:
“All of them are sustainably made using denim and t-shirts and some other things as well," said Jaron.
"But I'm very inspired by punk fashion. But I really like, you know, the contrast between girly and feminine and punk as well. You can see there's some short skirts, but some dramatic shoulders. So, kind of both going on. I have a lot of fun prints that really don't make sense, like cats on fidget spinners and whatnot. But, you know, chains and black, and just rocker, you know, empowerment. I really like all of that stuff.”
Jaron says all of her materials are sourced from thrift stores and on their way to landfills.
“I think it's awesome to take that stuff out of landfills and make art out of it," said Jaron. "Since it's here anyway, you know, we don't need to use things that are new and produced all the time. You know, it can be recycled, sustainable.”
As the production crew gathers models and designers for the start of the show, music luring attendees into the ballroom begins to shake the walls of the backstage area.
Waiting for the start of the show is Naples Art Executive director Frank Verpoorten.
“It takes a lot of courage for the artists and designers to, I think, really put themselves out there," said Verpoorten. "And I want to encourage people to be in the moment and to be happy and enjoy and take it all in tonight.”
Naples Art is currently seeking designer concepts to be considered for its 6th Annual “Scene to Be Seen” Runway Art Show on January 14th next year. The submission deadline is July 1. Artists can apply online.
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