Wearable Art Transforming

December 14, 2015
by Mary Hertert
  • Wearable Art Fashion Concept Unique Custom Fiber Art by Color Creek Fiber Art

The Wearable Art Fashion Concept

Wearable Art Transforming seems to be my motto. All of my garments sport several lives from wearable to wall and back again. This time I want to transform my wearable art with purpose. I just got accepted as a designer to the Carbondale, Colorado Arts and Humanities extraordinary show for the 2nd year. This is not the first time I have tackled the wearable art fashion concept. However, last year was my first year and everything that went up on the runway was from either my runway clothing already made or collected from my art to wear retail garments. All that means is that it didn't really go with the theme "Underground" although the show coordinator, Laura Stover was gifted in giving them an edgy quality.

This year I want to create specifically to the show theme Transformation. This is important to me especially now as I move my shop away from single pieces of clothing to an actual clothing line. What I have now are wearable art garments that have walked the runway several times and are ready to retire. Add to the mix garments that were made for the retail market that won't ever be sold.

The tag line of the Carbondale show is "Green is the New Black" – so only eco-friendly fabrics, up-cycled, recycled hand designed and made garments are accepted. My idea is to take all my wearable art garments that walked the show runway last year, pull them apart and put them back together as something different. Sometimes we just have to muster the courage to take something apart completely transforming it into its next life.

My Runway Garments

My wearable art runway garments are made to have multiple "lives". Tango on Ice has seen 4 lives – 2 coats, a wall hanging and a tango dress. Tongas National Forest started life as the mossy base of Audrey2- the carnivorous plant in Little Shop of Horrors and changed into a coat with a massive hood. Wasp Bride will be most challenging. She has had several tweaks in her lifespan but never moving away from her original purpose. It is time for her to transcend into something else entirely.

What is going to be really interesting is transforming some of my more wearable art garments into runway garments. A thought I have is to take some of the pants and turn them into shirts. That will be interesting… Wasp Bride is heading towards a jacket made from the skirt with the wings as lapels and the jacket as a mini skirt. Not sure if I can pull it off that way – but what the heck. That's what the fun is all about.

Put together, take apart, rebuild. Over and over as long as the fabric lasts. I've dyed everything I've used and expect that I will change that part of it as well. What was red might well go to purple or brown depending on my mood. What will truly be interesting is what I end up doing with the nylon mesh that was holding the Wasp Bride skirt together. Nylon can be dyed so perhaps it will go from the inside of the skirt to the outside of the jacket or something else entirely. I never know until I set about it. Anyway here on the table is the pile of fabric that once walked as wearable art garments on the runway.  


The Wasp Bride along with Tango on Ice now remnants of their earlier lives

Here are snapshots of the other garments that have been taken apart.

2010 The Wasp Bride - Anchorage, AK 2014 Recycled Madness Fashion Show - Midsummer Night's Dream - Grand Junct 2014 Tongas National Forest Velvet-wool            


Mary Hertert has owned and operated Color Creek Fiber Art since 1997 in Anchorage, Alaska before moving it to Grand Junction. She is an all-around outdoors gal hiking, boating, or just plain looking at everything from rocks to trees to water. Mary has traveled the world and lived in some pretty exotic places before coming back to the U.S.