Jen Cake (pictured Above) is absolutely adorable. The space she creates in her zone of the CNA Textiles Program’s final exhibition rooms at Anna Templeton is a soft and welcoming refuge of naturally dyed, floating and flowing clothing and bohemian interior design.
“Light, airy, peaceful, comfortable” are the key words she gives me for the vibe she was striving for.
Don’t start thinking ‘beige and boring’ however. A coral cape, a floor length green sheath and some seriously “Star Trek in the 70s” gowns are among her fashion creations. An early 60s mod chair scored from Kijiji and reupholstered in a greyish purple holds cool cushions, surrounded by drawings of horses from a series she did earlier at Clovelly Stables. Nearby are grey overalls Anne of Green gables might wear to her first rave.
Cake credits natural dye master and ATC instructor Susan Furneaux for taking the time to help her focus on natural dyes rather than conventional chemical ones. “I love it, and I have so much to learn,” she says as she speaks excitedly of working in this field in the future.
9 artists and designers are highlighted in the exhibition, which opens this Saturday and runs till June 4th. Bruno Vinhas is also among them. The road that took him from his original home of Brazil, through Ireland and New Zealand among other spots and finally here was a long and winding one, but he feels it was fated and he plans to stay.
Some of his work speaks of his culture and voyage,such as 2 appropriately syncretistic Candomble inspired pieces. A stunning decrepit lace gown hanging from the ceiling, its tatters dyed with coffee and tea, is called “Lost in Translation” and is one of the showstoppers for me.
It’s about the feeling of slightly losing his first language, Portuguese, as he spends more time in other homes, and most of the text and images imposed on the dress are based on that language and culture.
The fashion show portion of these graduation showcases will be held on Thursday, June 1st at the LSPU Hall, and there you will see another element of Vinhas’ work. Gender fluid and fetish inspired, he drew from a BSDM aesthetic as well as frustrations with the societal need to gender clothing when creating this line. It also expresses frustration with the objectifcation of women within the BSDM community.
Mainly pleather and lace based with lots of chain embellishment, the clothes range from corsets and cut-out shirts to a mind blowing ‘cage skirt’ you have to see to believe. They are for everyone to wear, and no one to be objectified in.
Tucker Ellis is “most comfortable when embodying someone else,” so it is no surprise to see otherworldly creatures and cosplay gear in the Bishop Falls natives corner of the exhibition. More cosplay and costume from Ellis can be seen in the fashion show, and a future in the wardrobe world of theater and film seems likely for this Textiles soon-to-be graduate.
That’s only 3 of the 9 and there’s that much amazingness. I noticed some pastel cuteness from another student who was coming and going as I spoke to Cake, and I can only imagine what else we’ll see on the catwalk on Thursday night. One thing’s for sure, I can’t wait to see that cage skirt in action. Especially since I found out who’s modeling it.
The show is June 1st at 7 at the LSPU Hall; Gallery Opening of the exhibition is at Anna Templeton Centre, May 27th 2-4 pm.