STRUT ‘n’ Hop on Pine St.

More than 20 local designers displayed their fashion at STRUT, the Art Hop’s fashion show presented by SEABA and Seven Days, on Sept. 10. For both showings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., Pine Street was alive and the STRUT tent was full. Flowers held in reinvented Seven Days magazine holders lined the runway. With the tent aglow in professional lighting, STRUT seemed like a low-key New York City fashion show. “Our daughter is a model for Olivia Hern,” UVM alum Ron Buchard said. “I’ve never been before … but … I think it’s amazing that this city provides an event for artists to exhibit their talent.” Though Bailey Buchard is only in her first year of high school, she was not the youngest to walk. Opening designer Gyllian Rae Svensson’s punk drop waist dresses, paired with knee high buckled boots, were worn by three middle-school-aged girls. With vamped up Pippi Longstocking braids and shimmering makeup, they incited cheers from fellow classmates. Young women were also a strong force behind the designs; both Hern and Lucy Leith are high school sophomores. A blushing Leith walked behind her collection to the loudest applause that evening. Her black and white stripe inspired collection showcased an effortless floor-length dress to an edgier top with an attached hounds-tooth hood. Such creativity in design and mature sewing skills were models of inspiration for both the young and old in the crowd. “Oh my gosh, it’s unbelievable,” Buchard said. “So many friends are here to support them.” Stacey Steinetz, another UVM alum, had trouble getting her daughter to attend the Art Hop. “But when I said it was a fashion show,” said Steinetz. “She perked right up.” DJs Bonjour-Hi! provided music for each designer’s collection, enhancing the stylistic differences of each garment. Bjork’s voice hung over the speakers as Wylie Sofia Garcia’s heavily quilted pieces moved down the runway. Like the Icelandic singer’s own style, Garcia’s fashion was airy avant-garde, especially in her 2009 piece “Mothra.” Opposite of Garcia’s ethereal designs, were those of more literal interpretation. Tom Baginski’s Who the Hell is Tom Baginski?! collection adorned several girls in dresses of Twizzlers, marshmallows and pretzels. What followed was an uplifting resurgence of laughter from the crowd. Two gowns made entirely of colorful condoms provided whimsical social commentary, while Amy Lafayette from Planned Parenthood NNE accessories of plastic protection produced a more serious dialogue; female reproductive health and rights education. Stacey Carter’s Andy Scout collection went beyond her immediate designs. Her T-shirt dresses with bold prints of human fingers will be auctioned off for Hurricane Irene efforts in Vermont. “Burlington has this huge fashion scene that I don’t think many people know about,” model Elysia Nelson said after the show. The local scope of the Art Hop marks the accessibility of art to the public and with STRUT, the entrepreneurial fashion within Burlington. By bringing a designer’s collection to life with the help of neighbors, family and friends, STRUT highlights the fascinating ways in which we visually represent ourselves.