Combining the fashions of Lillian Bates of By Design and the hair styles by Conya Cowan’s Fringe Salon with the beauty of body art, Heads & Threads live model art show is coming to the Jacoby Arts Center Nov. 14.
Bates and Cowan will present 15 models who will wear Bates’ original, personalized designs, and sport hairstyles by Cowan and her team at Fringe Salon. The event will benefit Jacoby Arts Center.
Every couple of years, the two just can’t resist assembling a fashion show based on a central theme. This year’s focus strays a little from traditional art forms, but has become more and more popular in recent years – tattooing or body art.
“This will not be a traditional runway show,” Bates said, “but rather will feature model ‘venues’ in a cocktail party atmosphere.”
The idea of featuring tattooed models was sparked by the public controversy over a tattoo shop moving to Broadway, Bates said.
She put out a call for models with at least one tattoo, and gathered 15 models who will wear two garments each, all custom made by Bates.
“All the models are tattooed; some in a minor way; others in a major way,” Bates said. “I designed the garments to showcase the individual’s most prominent tattoos.
For instance, one model who has body art all the way down her back will model a backless gown. Some have art on their chests, and will wear low-cut tops. Another, like Amanda Herren, of Alton, who has about 17 tattoos, will wear a sleeveless dress that showcases her arm tattooing. She also has a large tattoo on her head.
“And we are using ‘real’ people of any shape or body type,” Bates said.
Though Herren had not modeled prior to meeting Bates, she now has two runway shows under her belt, and is excited about Heads & Threads.
“One aspect I really like is that the event showcases women of all sizes,” Herren said. “And Lillian makes dresses that look gorgeous on everyone.”
The styles revolve around a “pin-up” theme, with retro looks from the 1940s and 1950s, and a line of lingerie, including a peignoir set. Looks will also include layers of furs, wraps and capes.
“The models will have very stylized hair with lots of color,” Cowan said. “Some styles will be retro; some edgy to match the outfits.”
Cowan said hair colors are moving to darker, richer hues, which is very “hot” right now.