From Flannel to Fashion

“Style in Vermont is a dicey topic,” said Wendy Farrell, director of the Strut! Fashion Show. “How great that we’re finally challenging that we’re the flannel-wearing, yoga pants state.”

The Art Hop’s annual Strut! Fashion show on Saturday, Sept. 6 featured 17 local Vermont designers, from trained tailors to high school dreamers. All shared the same vision of elevating vibes of style in the crunchy-granola capital.

Lisa Lillibridge, self-taught artist turned sustainable designer, showed her third collection in this year’s Strut! show. Previously exhibiting her sculptures and paintings, Lillibridge channeled her love for constructing into layering and assembling recycled fashions.

“There is kind of an aesthetic that is this farm to table, and it seems like using stuff that might have been discarded really seems to play into Vermont,” Lillibridge said.

Lillibridge’s 2014 Strut! designs featured a modern bohemian theme, which she said was pieced together for an untailored look with her go-to material, scraps of repurposed leather. Jackets are often left on her studio steps and can be made into three or more bags plus jewelry, she said.

For Anjanette Lemak, designer and creator of Quiver Corset Co., designs take on a more fanciful allure. Favoring natural materials, she crafts her corsets intricately from various textiles ranging from soft silk dupioni, a type of silk woven together with two different colors, to tapestry and fur trims.

Previously working in knitwear, Lemak looked to Pinterest for a fresh sense of inspiration and landed on corsetry, where her new design path was forged. Her 2014 Strut! collection modeled Game of Thrones-esque fantasy-fierce vibes, a contrast from last year’s whimsical Midsummer Night’s Dream theme.

As a once struggling designer herself, Farrell said it is pleasant to see that the Strut! show gives birth to more designers and their personal expression. “That was really my goal as director, to say ‘what are your dreams and how can I help you get there,’” she said.

By Lauren Carter and Juliana Summers