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Photo by Diane Cox
Lillian Bates, owner of Lillian By Design, fits model Michelle Stassi of Wood River in one of her designs in preparation for the Heads and Threads fundraiser.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Conya Cowan, owner of Fringe Salon, stands next to Bates and Stassi. The Heads and Threads fundraiser will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Jacoby Arts Center.
ALTON — Ladies, do you have a cocktail dress in your closet and you’ve been looking for the right excuse to put it on? Dress to impress for the third annual Heads and Threads fashion show and cocktail party at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Jacoby Arts Center.
“We are celebrating art, so this is more of an art show and a cocktail party than it is a fashion show,” Lillian Bates of Lillian By Design said. “This is the third time we’ve had this show at the Jacoby Arts Center and every year there is a different theme.”
Featuring 15 models who have elaborate tattoos, Bates accentuates their body art with a “pin-up girl” vibe. Each model will showcase two clothing designs that celebrate their body art, not cover it up.
“The reason we chose to base all of the designs to feature tattooed body art was because of the controversy over a tattoo parlor trying to open on Henry and Broadway,” Bates said. “The stigma of tattoos is not what it was even 20 years ago — it’s truly an art. Our models have already made their body a canvas, so I thought it would be really exciting to feature that art with my clothing designs.”
Hair stylist Conya Cowan, owner of Fringe Studio in Alton, is performing works of art of her own through the hair styles the models will showcase.
“This is a fashion show like none other,” Cowan said. “The models are actual works of art from their hair to their shoes. There is no runway; our models will be positioned in their own embellished area of the Jacoby Arts Center.”
Wood River resident and “pin-up girl” Michelle Stassi has worked with Bates on several projects and says she is a perfect fit for the fundraiser.
“My friend Crystal put me in contact with Lillian through Facebook and I felt this was just a fabulous opportunity,” Stassi said. “With all the talking and arguing over the tattoo parlor in Alton, it reminds me of how much I look at my tattoo work as art. Some people pay tons of money to put art on their wall, some people do elaborate painting on their vehicles to express themselves. You hear people say, ‘Hey, you can’t take it with you when you go,’ ... well guess what ... I will take this art with me when I go. This is my artwork, this is my investment and it’s in myself. I lost count after 30 tattoos.”
Tattoo artists who have their work on display will be on hand to answer questions, distribute information and talk body art with participants. Guests can purchase the designs the models are wearing that were designed for this event or take photos of their favorite hair style for stylists at Fringe to recreate.
The event will feature live bossa nova and jazz music, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Lillian By Design at 136 Front St., Fringe Hair Salon at 124 Front St. or the Jacoby Arts Center at 627 E. Broadway. Tickets also are available at www.jacobyartscenter.org.
Proceeds go to the nonprofit Jacoby Arts Center to nurture and promote the practice and appreciation of the arts through education, exhibits, cultural programs and community outreach initiatives. For information, call (618) 462-5222.
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