By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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But as Karyn Temple, face painted white and lips crimson, danced her way out of a multi-sleeve coat, the observers began to applaud madly. Then, they applauded some more.
The coat, constructed by Paula Lalish of Nordland, was one of 32 pieces in last weekend's kaleidoscopic Wearable Art Show at the Port Townsend Elks Club.
Titled “At the Risk of Repeating Myself,” Lalish's coat was an apparently seamless garment with 19 sleeves.
Temple first slipped out of it, turning like a spool as an unidentified man in a black suit stretched the coat out beside her. Then, she whirled back in, one sleeve after another.
Best in Show
“Repeating Myself,” in its draped glory, won the Best in Show and People's Choice awards Saturday, netting Lalish cash prizes of $250 and $150 respectively.
Then it was sold to Nancy Karason of Seattle, who plans to display it in the window of her clothing store, OSKA, at 1322 Fifth Ave. in Seattle, this week.
The third annual Wearable Art Show, a benefit for the Jefferson County Fund for Women and Girls, has grown its attendance considerably. For the past two years, it was held at the Madrona MindBody Institute at Fort Worden State Park, but this spring, it moved to the Elks Club, taking the capacity from 300 to 740 spectators.
Ticket sales for the two performances, the matinee and the sold-out evening show, totaled a little more than $16,000, said organizer Debbi Steele.
About $1,400 came in from the 30 percent cut from purchases of apparel at the shows, plus $832 from sales of Working Girl Wines donated by Olympic Cellars.
When it came to materials, the wearable-art makers pulled out all the stops.
Lids and caps
Port Angeles designer Trisa Chomica, for example, won second prize for “Mademoiselle Couverture,” a ball gown made of some 500 plastic yogurt-container lids and bottle caps.
The floor-length dress, shimmering in silver paint and modeled by Kristen Chittick of Port Angeles, drew more waves of applause.
But the Wearable Art Show was more than dresses.
It was music, from hip-hop to classical, courtesy of DJ Caleb Peacock, and dancing by models across the age spectrum.
Elsa Rust, 3, of Chimacum wore “The Wonder Child,” Teri Nomura's appliqued ensemble, and won the show's honorable mention.
And Kate Schumann, a statuesque, silver-tressed model, showed off “Mood Indigo,” Marsha Wiener's African strip-woven jacket and the show's third-prize winner.
The Best Student Work prize went to Anna Moore, a Port Townsend High School junior, for her “Dayglow Black,” a minidress made of lumberyard tarp.
CiCi Rennie modeled it, gliding up and down the runway in sky-high heels and an equally elevated hairdo.
Other frocks: “Poker Face,” Annalise Rubida's dress made of 12 packs of Bicycle playing cards; “Faux Fir,” Aliina Lahti's outfit fringed with wood shavings; and “Yellow Line,” Judith Bird's wrapping of deer fence around model Kelly McNees.
The prizes, in addition to the cash for Best in Show and People's Choice, included gift certificates donated by OSKA clothing of Seattle and by local businesses such as Artisans on Taylor, LaBella Day Spa, Connie Segal Natural Skin Care, the Clothes Horse and Akamai Art & Glass Supply.
These gifts helped the Wearable Art Show turn into a great success, Steele said.
She's already talking about next year's event and urging art and fashion lovers to learn more about the Fund for Women and Girls.
The fund, which operates under the auspices of the Jefferson County Community Foundation, has made grants to the GIRLS Project at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, the Women in Transition Project at the Port Townsend Library and the Basic Needs for Homeless Women fund at Olympic Community Action Programs.
The Fund for Women and Girls will soon issue a request for proposals for its 2013 grant, to be awarded to a local organization fostering economic opportunities for women.
More information about the fund can be found at www.JCCFgives.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.