Fashion show encompasses theme of forbidden love with depictions of couples


All the footage for this piece was shot and edited by Danika Worthington

A woman painted like a snake parts the red curtains and walks into {9} the Gallery clutching an apple.

She holds the apple out to the audience in an enticing manner, then goes back to the front and pulls Eve inside. Eve follows the apple before returning to grab Adam. The three walk to the end of the makeshift runway and pose for photographers who snap wildly, and they then walk back through the curtains outside as the onlookers clap.

“Forbidden: a Romantic Adventure Exploring Love Through Fashion” had begun.

The fashion show, held Saturday, was the brainchild of Ty Jones, an assistant at {9} the Gallery. It featured the work of 15 local designers who showed 20 fictional and nonfictional couples capturing the theme of forbidden love.

“It’s about the kind of love that has desperation, desire and secrets,” Jones said. “It’s not the typical kind of love.”

Two lines of 13 chairs faced each other, with models walking in between. More people lined the walls of the gallery.

The performance was equally as important as the designs. Models took on their character’s persona: Sir Lancelot stood in a knightly manner as Guinevere ducked her head, and Jessica Rabbit threw her hips while Roger Rabbit jumped behind.

Some of the models took the performance into a more complex direction.

Maria and Tony from “West Side Story” danced together. “Pulp Fiction”‘s Mia and Vincent (performed by Jones), re-enacted the famous twist scene.

Jones said the designers had their own interpretation of forbidden love. Even the definition of a “couple” was taken loosely. For instance, the Virgin Mary walked alone with God as her partner. Elizabeth Bathory, who inspired the Queen in the Snow White story, walked with a mirror.

“I didn’t want to have full control so I left the creative reins to the designers,” Jones said.

One of the most notable performances was that of Sid and Nancy. Sid Vicious was the bassist in the Sex Pistols and Nancy Spungen was his girlfriend, who was found stabbed in their hotel room.

The two models walked out in all black. Down the runway, they got in an argument, and Nancy pushed Sid. He pulled a knife, they struggled and eventually Nancy was stabbed. She then dropped to her knees in front of Sid in a sexually suggestive manner, much to the audience’s delight.

Well, almost everyone’s delight.

The woman sitting next to a child leaned down and whispered to the young girl, “You don’t have to watch this.”

Tonia Land, owner of Trampalina Fashion Boutique, said she enjoyed the show. She said she shows the work of many of the designers in her store.

“It’s so wonderful because you known them and see them looking so fabulous in the designs from all the local designers,” Land said.

Laura Dragon, owner of {9} the Gallery, said she recognized a lot of the audience members Saturday, some of them who are also local designers.

Dragon said this was the third fashion show the gallery has done.

“Art takes on different forms and the creative process is what I represent here,” Dragon said. “This fashion show is about almost more performance art as well as the fashion.”

Although Jones has put on other exhibits, he said “Forbidden” was his first fashion show. He said that for him, art encompasses many mediums, including fashion, dance, music and theater.

Local musician Trevor Clay started the show with two original pieces and an Adele cover. He also performed a cover of Lana Del Rey during intermission. All songs related to the central theme of love.

Jones said the show was great for both the designers who got exposure and the community.

“I’m tired of TV,” Jones said. “I’m tired of all that. If we don’t support artistic expression, everyone is just going to be at home watching TV.”

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