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Arts and Entertainment Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 4 years ago

Factory Girl: A love affair with fashion and art

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by: Zara Barrie

Growing up, I always considered fine art my long-term lover and fashion my sultry mistress. Through my young mascara-adorned eyes, I saw fine art as the “marrying” kind of love, for it was sophisticated and deep (two qualities I deem very necessary for a long-term, committed relationship). Fashion, however, was exciting and of-the-moment — sexy, but fleeting. She'll love you as fast as she leaves you.

I was stuck in this painfully narrow way of thinking until one pivotal moment at age 19 that changed everything. I was folding clothes for $8 per hour as a shop girl at West Hollywood’s fashion mecca, Fred Segal, when it hit me like a ton of hot hit bricks: Fashion is art. I no longer had to choose between the comforts of marriage and the passion of my red-hot affair. Fashion and art could exist as one fulfilling supreme entity — if I let them.

Flash forward to nine years after my epiphany, and I’m happily working in both the art and fashion worlds (some might call me a “bi-careerist,” but I dismiss any and all labels, except the ones that exist on my collection of vintage haute couture) when I get asked to co-chair Iconcept 2015 with my partner in leather bomber jacket, Eduardo Anaya.

iconcept 3

Now, for those of you unfortunate souls who neglected to attend, let me briefly school you: Iconcept is a fashion show benefiting Art Center Sarasota (fierce!), in which some of Sarasota’s most innovative artists create fashion masterpieces from unconventional materials (think plastic wrap, Styrofoam and recycled sushi packaging).

The event was created by the ever fashionable artistic genius that is Lisa Berger (who also happens to be the executive director of the Art Center Sarasota and a total #girlboss).

Needless to say, it was the ultimate honor to serve as co-chair. Not only did the fashion show feature the most avant-garde moving works of art worn by some of the most exotically beautiful models in town, but there was a plethora of mouth-watering cuisine (another form of art) from the sweetly sophisticated Fete Catering, and the fabulously funny duo of Joey Panek and Christine Alexander served as hosts for the night. Don’t tempt me with a good time!

The icing on the fashion cake was that all the money raised from the event directly benefited Art Center Sarasota’s youth education program. The arts are so essential for the growth and development of young minds, for nothing can expand the universe of a young person like creative expression.

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