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Art as fashion on view at benefit luncheon

"Rehearsing their walk down the runway are the fashion models for the Wearable Art Show and Luncheon to be held Sept. 8 as a fund-raiser for Friends of Whidbey General Home Health and Hospice. From left are Anita Neumann, Jill McCloy, Larkin VanHorn and Janet Ferguson. This temporary staging area is inside Judith Martin's Island Fabrics store in Freeland.What is wearable art?Find out at a fund-raising fashion show and luncheon Saturday, Sept. 8, 11:30 a.m. at Useless Bay Country Club. The event is a benefit for Home Health Care and Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital. Tickets are $25; available at Island Fabrics in Freeland or Home Health Care at Whidbey General. For information or reservations call 331-4435 or 360-675-0679.On a recent morning in her Freeland store, Island Fabrics, Judith Martin gave an explanation of wearable art. It's a creative artistic expression of the self through the medium of hand stitched clothes rather than a painting for a wall or a sculpture for a garden, Martin said.Guests at the benefit Wearable Art Show and luncheon on Sept. 8 will be able to see just what Martin meant. The event, to raise funds for Home Health Care and Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital, will feature 17 models showing wearable art. Larkin VanHorn of Clinton is one of the fabric artists who will model her work in the show, wearing a collage of fabrics and extensive beadwork, including a matching necklace and medallion. I've used a variety of techniques in creating this outfit, starting with the dyeing of the fabric, which I do myself in my garage with natural dyes, she VanHorn said. I got into dyeing back in the 1980s after going to a quilt show and being tremendously impressed with the colors in the quilts. Jill McCloy will model her handsewn shirt-jacket with flowing lines, designed by Lois Ericson of Oregon. This is called a 'first class shirt,' McCloy said. It can go anywhere. McCloy, a Langley resident, does her sewing instruction anywhere as well, taking her skills and techniques across the country, though she lives on Whidbey. I like to teach sewing students how to get the most from their machine, to feel confident and happy with their creations, and want to do more, she said.Anita Neumann of Clinton will model a safari jacket of batik design in muted jewel colors with an asymmetrical closing across the front. Neumann said she was she is a student trying to learn to make something like the jacket. It is truly a palette of color and design, she said. Another model, store employee Janet Ferguson, showed up for work wearing an eye-catching wearable art outfit designed by another employee, Janet Bondelid. This is an adaptation of the world's easiest jacket, Ferguson said. It's made of rayon, all one piece, with seams only at the shoulders and sides.These and many more wearable art examples will be shown at the luncheon and style show on Sept. 8. Nineteen outfits will be modeled, Martin said, including both clothing and accessories.Guests at the event can also bid in a silent auction for quality collectibles, trinkets and treasures. The proceeds from the benefit style show and luncheon will help support the services of Home Health Care and Hospice of Whidbey General, which since 1982 has offered assistance to residents of Whidbey Island during time of serious illness. The services include skilled nursing, medical/social consultation, physical and speech therapy, bath and home aide and, when desired, spiritual care counseling, bereavement followup, and visiting volunteers.Funds raised will assist clients who are without insurance coverage or are otherwise unable to meet the expenses of these services. "

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