Milwaukee’s Fashion Revolution
‘Galactic’ showcases the future in fabric
A revolution is
coming—and the only platform needed is a runway. The fourth annual Fashion
Revolution takes it to the catwalk this weekend in a celebration of regional
This year’s event will
expose the remarkable creations of 12 Midwest
fashion designers and continue its tradition of showcasing innovative,
cutting-edge designs. Fashion Revolution’s theme for 2010, “Galactic,” challenges
designers to translate their visions of the future into fabric. According to
Fashion Revolution mastermind Sheena Luckett-Dodd, the events that rocked
society last year (read: a tanking stock market and America’s first African-American
president) played a huge factor in choosing this year’s theme.
“[There is] still a lot
of uncertainty concerning our future,” she explains. “With that in mind, I
wanted the designers to think out of the box: Create the uncertainty, create
the unknown and showcase futuristic fashion for many of us who felt uncertain
about our own society.”
The designers will
display their progressive lines at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s
Windhover Hall. Each year, designers and models are chosen through open calls.
Many of this year’s participants are returning from last year’s show, which
carried a theme of “Fashion Inspired by Cultural Influences.” Among them is “Milwaukee’s No. 1
Hooker,” Tangela Brister, with her famous crochet creations. Since Brister
knits and crochets each piece, the design process can be quite time-consuming.
“A crochet dress usually
takes me about five days to complete,” Brister says. “I end up working until
the day of [the show].”
By incorporating crochet
into her futuristic line, the Designs by Sazzy creator hopes to shock the
audience with her one-of-a-kind pieces. “My motivation to be a part of this
year's production was to challenge myself to push the limits further than I did
last year,” Brister explains. “I don't think spectators will expect these kinds
of creations from me since I am known to do mostly crochet swimsuits and
One fresh face to look
for this year is teenage designer Chelsea Stotts, who has been designing since
the fifth grade. Still in high school, Stotts knows that all eyes will be wide
when her line hits the runway. “I do believe I have a lot to prove because
being a teen, people probably wonder how I will interpret the theme,” Stotts
But Stotts is no
stranger to the methods of the catwalk. As the daughter of one of Milwaukee's best-known modeling coaches, she has been
participating in shows for the past year and is a big believer in the future of
“I feel that Milwaukee's fashion scene is much more innovative than Chicago’s,” Stotts says.
“If we gave each other more support, there'd be no limits to our success.”
Another designer new to
Fashion Revolution is Stacy Rogers. The Chicago
native’s bold designs and edgy style have earned her quite the reputation,
particularly in the Chicago, Milwaukee
line, SLR Couture, promises to be full of showstopping pieces with powerful
Returning to the
“Fashion Revolution” catwalk for a third year will be Anna Hovet. Hovet, who is
based in the Chicago area, has seen lots of success
in the Milwaukee
market thanks to area fashionistas who follow her progression despite the
distance. Fresh from the Chicago Fashion Incubator program at Macy's, she will
be displaying her “Fall 2010” collection this weekend.
Since its 2007 debut,
Fashion Revolution has been stimulating the Milwaukee fashion scene and giving local
fashion professionals much-needed exposure. Luckett-Dodd is optimistic when it
comes to the potential of our hometown indie fashion market. She hopes the
Fashion Revolution will be “uplifting and inspiring [to] other creatives to not
give up and to create a more stable scene here.”
One way that
Luckett-Dodd continues to encourage the creative community is by donating a
portion of ticket sales to the Fashion Revolution Scholarship Fund.
Luckett-Dodd established the fund in 2009 in hopes of providing both creative
and financial support to local students who desire to pursue paths in the
fashion and art professions.
Luckett-Dodd also opened
a brick-and-mortar extension of Fashion Revolution this past fall with Boutique
Revolution and Gallery (5209 W.
North Ave.), which houses original art and fashion
designs as well as inspirational workshops and monthly events.
“The community is slowly
coming around as we begin more and more to get the word out about how this
isn't just a place to shop, but a place that fosters creative freedom and
humanity,” Luckett-Dodd says. “Let's get together and create!”
Fashion Revolution will take place Saturday, May 1. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. ReMix Dance Company returns this year to open the show. Get more information and tickets at www.thefashionrevolution.com.