Archive for May, 2011

"Model Assemblages:" Renovar Fall 2011

Happy Alma
Renovar designer Alma Wieser

This past Saturday, Alma Wieser – better known as the woman behind Vintage Heaven and “mother” of Heaven Gallery – presented the Fall 2011 collection for her reconstructed vintage line, Renovar.

Alma was inspired by the great 20th century American artist Louise Nevelson, one of the progenitors of installation art and helped popularize the use of recycled materials in fine art. Just like Nevelson, Alma sourced vintage clothing to create designs greater than their original form. She succeeded with flying colors – or shall I saw neutrals? The lack of hue was remarkable in its starkness, but the restriction to only black and white was yet another tribute to Nevelson; the artist was well-known for shying away from color in her work.

Detail shots

Alma used a variety of reclaimed materials including electrical cords, children’s blocks, bicycle seat, toy tools, and other intriguing shapes. Strapped to the lapels of coats or positioned atop teased-out hair, these forms added a bit of humor and mystery in the best possible way. Where were these items before Alma found them? And taken only for the shape of each piece – beyond their original uses as a cell phone charger or part of a vehicle – they were certainly fascinating elements in an entirely enchanting collection.

Renovar is by far the best kept secret in Chicago’s growing, yet often over-saturated fashion scene. Alma’s purity of mission, depth of soul, and remarkable design skills make this show one never to miss.

Official Site: Heaven Gallery

Official Site: Louise Nevelson Foundation

Clothing Donations for Joplin Tornado Survivors @ Kokorokoko

Tomorrow at my Kokorokoko party I will be collecting clothing donations for the survivors of the Joplin tornado. As you’ve probably already seen on the news, the affected areas are completely devastated. This has been a really difficult week for me since I grew up 45 minutes from Joplin and have visited countless times. Hell, you even have to drive through Joplin to get from my hometown to Chicago.
I’ve arranged to send clothing donations to a friend whose sister lives in a suburb of Joplin, and who has been helping the Red Cross. It’s the lightest thing I can mail – obviously food and other supplies are very heavy and cost prohibitive to send.
What is great about donating like this is that your clothing will be going to a real person in the community, not some faceless organization or dropbox on the side of the road (although it’s good to donate there too!). She will get the clothing to where it needs to go. This is the first time in my life I have found myself in the a position to directly help with a natural disaster since I have personal connections to the disaster area. I realized that my party with Kokorokoko would be the perfect platform for me to channel donations to Joplin.
Midwest Storms
Photo credit: AP/Mike Gullett, Source Here

Please, go into your closet and find one or two gently used pieces of clothing or shoes that you can donate to the survivors. The more utilitarian the better. Clothing that is appropriate to the circumstances, especially “sportier” clothing like gym shoes, sweat pants, and tees. Please make sure the clothing is clean and washed too. You really will be making a difference.

You can drop off your donations at Kokorokoko during the party which is Thursday between 5 pm and 9 pm. Even if you have other plans, please consider swinging by just to drop off your donations.

Where: Kokorokoko, 1112 North Ashland

When: Tomorrow (Thursday, May 26), 5pm – 9pm

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