FORTY FORT — Art exists in many forms, and many of those forms were on display at the 900 Rutter Ave complex Thursday night.
ANNAMALY Art Collective & Collaborative Gallery hosted “A Spring Awakening Fashion Show” and it’s safe to say that the event awoke patrons and proprietors alike to a sense of community, while celebrating togetherness as we drift along to warmer days.
The event, as described by artist-in-residence, Anna Malsky, was “a little alternative,” in the sense of a traditional fashion show.
“It’s going to be more of a fashion experience,” she said before providing a vision for the evening. “So, our models are going to be walking through the hallway, walk through these little pods that we made to have people be comfortable, sipping wine, having a snack and having the fashion almost be part of the lifestyle.”
And so it went, as models sporting wear from neighboring men’s boutique The Haberdashery, Showroom56, Shooze Boutique, and Matterns in Kingston, and buka in Shavertown, took their turns down the hallway and into ANNAMALY to mingle amongst the crowd, holding signs with the name of their brands on them.
Eric Kuhn of The Haberdashery spoke about the importance of these collaborative endeavors. “With COVID, all businesses kind of took a big hit so we should all band together,” he said. “And then specifically in this building, everyone in this building is a small privately-owned business. So, we’re kind of like a close-knit family. We all do everything we can to help each other out.”
And that helpfulness was certainly on display as all the moving parts came together. Models sporting top-shelf styles from the aforementioned boutiques and shops made their rounds several times, down the hallway and into the packed gallery to mingle amongst those in attendance as musician Anne Stramara, who performs under the name Anne Elyse, provided the backdrop with her ukulele and incredible voice.
“Fashion is art,” Kuhn quipped, and in a setting with so many other forms of art on display, it was an evening for creators and enthusiasts alike, as well as anyone else who might be in attendance. “Accessible” is a word that comes to mind.
Kuhn added that he hopes to see more of the same, and that his models were having a blast. “So, we’re all kind of bringing new people in. Everyone’s in on it.”
Speaking of everyone being in on it, a highlight of the evening was a piece Malsky designed with leftover foliage she got from Matterns.
The piece, which she put together in two days, asked folks to “pin what brings you peace.” Malsky said of the idea, “I wanted to create a piece that kind of signified Mother Earth, like a warming aspect. And we’re inviting people to pin, “What brings you peace?” She added that folks could write their peace on one of the extra provided leaves and pin it to the display, becoming a part of it themselves.
“I feel like we need a little bit more focus on positive energy and peace in our world today, as well as every day,” she said.
And if the smiles on the faces of models and patrons alike were any evidence, as friendly chatter filled what air wasn’t occupied by Anne Elyse’s croons, positivity and community reigned supreme on Thursday night.
Upcoming at ANNAMALY is ‘Arts in Motion 2022,’ an eight-week workshop for ages 5 and up. It will feature professional instruction in art, dance, theatre and music as well as extras such as martial arts, outdoor activities and yoga. For those interested, you can inquire via email at [email protected] or [email protected]