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Audience goes gaga for Anna Templeton show; exhibition to follow

It was standing room only, and barely that, with bodies packed to the door at the "Running With Scissors" fashion show at Dusk on George Street Wednesday night in St. John's. The taped-off area of the floor for the show's runway claimed some of the room, as it looped around the club's bar. The circled runway was effective though, as models passed within arm's length of just about all of the estimated 100 to 150 people in the room.

The models donned tailored jackets, hand-dyed skirts and dresses, dresses, dresses.

In addition to being mainly original designs, many of the materials were "reused," "recycled" and "reclaimed," noted running commentator Krissy Holmes ("Out of the Fog").

Model Sarah Browne poses on a raised platform along her runway walk in a dress designed by Dale (a.k.a. Carolyn Dale). Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick

It was standing room only, and barely that, with bodies packed to the door at the "Running With Scissors" fashion show at Dusk on George Street Wednesday night in St. John's. The taped-off area of the floor for the show's runway claimed some of the room, as it looped around the club's bar. The circled runway was effective though, as models passed within arm's length of just about all of the estimated 100 to 150 people in the room.

The models donned tailored jackets, hand-dyed skirts and dresses, dresses, dresses.

In addition to being mainly original designs, many of the materials were "reused," "recycled" and "reclaimed," noted running commentator Krissy Holmes ("Out of the Fog").

All of the pieces received a response from the crowd - ranging from polite applause to loud whistles and the occasional "woot."

The clothing featured was designed and produced by the impending graduates of the Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art and Design's program. The program uses the first year to explore textiles, art and craft work, as well as topics including art history and entrepreneurship. In the second year, students take on specialty work in anything from "apparel construction, embroidery and quilt, knit, print and dye and/or weave with a focus toward developing technical skills," according to information from the study centre.

The 2010 graduating class includes Anna Coen, Dale (a.k.a. Carolyn Dale), Cathia Finkel, Erin Ryan, Heather Tremblett, Jill Breen, Kaitlin Ludlow, Maggie Pearson, Mari-Lynn Taylor and Natasha Downey.

"We revised our program a couple of years ago. One of the things that we did was we added a whole bunch of new courses and one of the courses was Special Events. So they had to go for the first time and totally organize the show themselves ... also the exhibition," said an instructor with the program, Katie Parnham.

Found standing in the crowd mid-show was graduate Kaitlin Ludlow.

"We didn't know how many people were coming. We did not expect this," Ludlow said, shortly after a model in a red dress passed her location and shouts of "Whoo! Kait!" could be heard around the room. Ludlow created the red dress, as well as three other featured outfits.

"I actually really loved the red dress that just went by. That's my favourite," she said. "Have you ever seen 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'? Actually it's from that. We had to choose a dress, find a photo of it and recreate it. So it's basically a re-creation of that (dress from the movie)."

Ludlow was asked why she entered the Anna Templeton program.

"I've always been a creative person. As a kid, I sewed Barbie doll clothes with hand needle and thread. All through, I made Halloween costumes and took sewing courses and I just loved it. And MUN just wasn't for me - well not yet anyway," she said.

"I still have something to learn, definitely. I'm not sure if I want this to be my complete career, but I definitely want to use some aspect of the creative," Ludlow said.

"I'll always sew. I'll always do these kinds of things, whether it's a hobby or for an actual career,"

Ludlow said her creative brain was given a workout in her courses at the Anna Templeton Centre. In terms of her clothing creations, she said, the pieces would generally begin with the presentation of a loose concept by one of her instructors.

In one class, "he actually had a big book of Valentino gowns and he picked one for each of us and we each had to stylize it and change it so that it's not a copy," she said.

From the clothing on the runway, to the one-of-a-kind hand-beaded dresses and colourful shirts in uncommon materials seen in the audience just outside the runway lighting, one word describes the show: vibrant.

Lights and sound for the show were handled by Brad Hollett, with club music from DJ Physical Patrick providing the show soundtrack.

"First of all, I have to say, the work was fabulous," executive director of the Anna Templeton Centre Beverly Barbour said, citing "the creativity, the ideas and most of all the execution" of the designs.

"The show was co-ordinated by Skye Williams and Ricky Brophy, with lots of help from faculty members Stephanie Stoker, Barry Buckle and Katie Parnham. First-year Textile students, and many other volunteers, also helped to make the night a success working behind the scenes. We were also fortunate to have volunteer hair stylists (Deborah Blackmore and Nicole Fiander from Watercolour salon as well as Julie Linehan, Chelsea Pike and Leslie Young) and volunteer make-up artists."

The show continues to grow year-to-year, she said. This is the first year the presentation of graduate work has been split into a fashion show one night and a separate, two-week exhibition for other fashions, wall art and an array of mixed media and textile works.

With the fashion show complete, focus has now turned to that exhibition, opening on Saturday at the Anna Templeton Centre. It will run until June 13 and will be able to be viewed for free, daily, from noon to 4 p.m.

Some of the items from both the fashion show and exhibition are for sale, with proceeds going to the students who created the works.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Anna Templeton Centre (278 Duckworth St., Second Floor Gallery) and all are welcome to attend.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Anna Templeton Centre

Geographic location: George Street, St. John's

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