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Escape Frumpy Fashion At Artscape Festival

By Joi Louviere

Along with watercolors, musical performances and the possible funnel cake, Artscape attendees will have access to a dozen designers to help them find their fall fashion look.

From sewing, screening and even crocheting, these artists have a variety of clothing and accessories to share with the 350,000 plus Artscape crowd.

HGE design's crochet
Photo Credit: Nikki Harris

"I never make the same thing twice," said 31 year-old Nikki Harris. Harris' design career started five years back when she purchased "Crocheting for Dummies" and taught herself how to crochet. The creation of hats and scarves led to bigger pieces like swimsuits and dresses and HGE Designs was created.

If described musically, Harris categorizes her work as techno, rock, pop and R&B because she offers something for everyone. Making her second appearance at Artscape, Harris hopes to show the possibilities of crocheting through her colorful custom pieces.

Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste Regnard

Jean- Baptiste Regnard had to resort to custom pieces after he couldn't find anything he liked in stores. He wanted to make his own t-shirts and opened his silk screening business, Squidfire, seven years ago with his friend Kevin Sherry.

Squidfire takes Regnard and Sherry's artwork, done only by hand, to t-shirts, sweaters and even messenger bags. Their Thames Street location and website display their "uncomplicated and fun" clothing and attendees can see it for themselves at this year's Artscape.

Sharp Shirter
Photo Credit: Dan Lachman

Shopping was getting complicated for 24 year-old Dan Lachman who also had trouble finding shirts that he liked. What started as a hobby became a business for him in 2005 with the launch of his brand Sharp Shirter.

His designs describe the relationship between animals and humans and display fantastical scenes like a panda slapping a man and even a diver jabbing a shark in the throat. His comical cottons can be purchased at the Sharp Shirter website, be bought for resale at any clothing store or purchased as Lachman makes his fourth Artscape appearance.

Artscape runs from Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17, by the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center on 140 West Mt. Royal Avenue. Admission is free to the public.

Joi is a recent college graduate and has written for various newspapers and news wire services. She is a writer by day and a scrapbooking reality T.V. enthusiast by night.

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