Fashion Tribe

Project Runway: Ivy tries hand at graffiti

November 8th, 2012

ivyLifetime photos
Ivy Higa works on her graffiti ensemble in the "Project Runway All-Stars" workroom.

"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 3: "Up Your Aerosol" recap

Just like last week's "Project Runway All-Stars" challenge, this week's proved to be both challenging and fun.

The designers were taken to a graffiti-covered warehouse, termed "aerosol art" here, and just as you'd expect, the challenge was to take spray paint to silk or cotton fabric, and create a work of wearable art.

Hawaii-raised designer Ivy Higa said she looked forward to the challenge that called for "thinking outside the box."

Considering her clean compositions, this was an opportunity for her to get messy and dirty, which is hard to do. That's why I get so mad when the non-artistic look at art and proclaim, "That's so easy anyone could do that."

I think not. Children are capable of great freedom in their work, but most adults have been trained/scared to stay within lines rather than embrace a childlike lack of restraint. I would think it's also hard to paint fabric while simultaneously planning how the art will fall or how it will be placed on a finished garment.

In following her push for girl power, Ivy thought of superheroes and comic books, covering her fabric in words associated with female empowerment.

Considering the art to wear aspect, her finished suit ensemble cleverly drew on the spirit of pop art by Roy Lichtenstein, but the words she chose, like "tenacity" were too long. It would have been more legible and graphic if she'd stuck to her first thought, focusing on such simple comic-book fight words as "Pow" and "Bam." Judge Isaac Mizrahi said as much when he said he was excited by seeing the word "city," but less so to read the entire four syllables.


ivybackThe cropped back was a nice touch on Ivy's jacket.

After all the critiques, Emilio Sosa was named the winner for a dramatic and severe flaming orange jacket and pencil skirt ensemble that judges praised, not only for its strong silhouette, but for its sense of graffiti authenticity. I think he was the only one who actually grew up with graffiti, and in his early remarks, he said the last thing he wanted to do was try to copy graffiti artists. He went with color over graphics.

Anthony Ryan Auld came in second, and Ivy's still doing well in the top three. And Suede went home for a costumey creation only worthy of a Party City.

Toward furthering the cause of women, Ivy has been a longtime supporter of the Nomi Network, with a mission of creating economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of sex trafficking by providing training, product development and marketing support.

Anyone can help support the cause by mentioning #teamIvy on Twitter anytime and often from now through the series finale. If she gets the most tweets, she'll win $10,000 as fan fave, donating a portion of the win to Nomi Network, which she also supports through sales of her clothing line.

Learn more about the tweet competition here:

sosaEmilio's winning design.

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