Donuts and Designs: Previewing 'Indulge,' BAM's 2019 Art of Fashion Show 

"Their designs will be over-the-top and indulgent!"

On Saturday, April 27, well-heeled Boiseans will line up at the door to Boise Art Museum for its annual "Art of Fashion" show. In preparation, artists and designers have been trying their hands at creating head-turning looks using unconventional garment-draping techniques. Last year, the theme was "Material," inspired by the museum's featured exhibition Consider the Source, and it challenged designers to work with clay, wood, glass and more instead of fabric. This year, the theme is a little less tangible: "Indulge." It's based off of artist Jae Yong Kim's Donut Ever Forget Me exhibition, which comprises 483 glazed ceramic donuts. Inspired by pop art, the exhibition blends craft and fine art.

"The goal [of the show] is to connect ideas and concepts in visual art to high fashion and design," said Melanie Fales, executive director of BAM.

This year, designers weren't restricted to any specific materials. Instead, BAM provided reference images of work by pop artists like Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The challenge for this year's 16 design teams will be to create pieces that evoke Kim's work by using a repeated pattern, form, color or other design elements that make the fashion appear avant-garde. The garments need to be wearable and able to withstand walking, turning and all other forms of movement. They also needed to be made with permanent attachments––no glue, tape or Velcro is allowed.

"People will see that each designer or design team has approached the theme in their own unique ways for an exciting and diverse fashion show," said Fales. "Their designs will be over-the-top and indulgent!"

The show will have ready-to-wear looks spaced throughout the show that are styled with garments from local retailers and inspired by the theme. Places like Serendipity Boutique, Repeat Boutique and Piece Unique Clothing Co. have participated in the past. There will be three awards this year: Best Construction, sponsored and selected by sewBoise; People's Choice; and Best of Show. The winner of the People's Choice award will be decided through votes cast by audience members and BAM will award Best of Show to the design that best responds to this year's theme.

"I am fortunate enough to have seen the images that accompanied the entries, and I can't wait to have the audience experience them as they walk down the runway," said Fales.

Guests can expect to be amazed. Kim's exhibition has already inspired local businesses like Guru Donuts to create works after his designs, so it will be exciting to see how the designers build on that popularity.

"I hope people will take away a sense of awe at the talents and abilities of the designers and their creative ideas, [and] a feeling of inspiration by seeing the way the artists linked their designs to the artwork at BAM," said Fales.

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