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Wildey Theatre celebrates local style with ‘The Art of Fashion’ – The Edwardsville Intelligencer

Fashion models pose in front of the Wildey Theatre during “The Art of Fashion” during a previous show. The fashion show returns to the Wildey at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Models pose on the stage of the Wildey Theatre during “The Art of Fashion” during a previous show.
A fashion model poses outside the Wildey Theatre during “The Art of Fashion” during a previous show. The fashion show returns to the Wildey at 7 p.m. Saturday.
One of the design competition entries for “The Art of Fashion” at the Wildey Theatre from a previous show was made from recycled Intelligencer newspapers.
EDWARDSVILLE — If you’re looking for some fashion tips or if you just enjoy a fashion show, the Wildey Theatre is the place to be this Saturday night.
The Wildey will host the eighth annual “The Art of Fashion” at 7 p.m. after last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event will showcase the fashions of 11 Metro East retailers, entrepreneurs and curators. There will also be a design competition.
“The Art of Fashion” is presented by the Friends of the Wildey, which is the theatre’s fundraising arm.
“This is one of the fundraisers that we do each year and to date, we’ve raised nearly $30,000,” Friends of the Wildey President Rich Walker said. “All of the money goes back into the Wildey Theatre for special projects that the city wants to do for the theatre or special programming that (Wildey manager) Al Canal wants to do. We’re here to help fill in the gaps.
“This is a fashion show that showcases local designers and retailers as well as about 60 local models. The models cover every age range and just about every race and gender. It’s a really good cross-representation of the community.”
This year’s design competition is “Botanical Fashions from Nature,” with a $200 prize for first place and $100 for second place.
“Each year for the last few years we’ve named a different theme and asked local designers to come up with a wearable outfit based on the theme,” Walker said. “This year’s theme is of a botanical and organic nature using plant material you would find in nature. It could be alive, it could be dead, it could be mushrooms, it could be leaves or bark.
“I can’t wait to see what people will come up with. We have high school students enter it and we have professional designers with their own retail shops. In 2019, the theme was to reimagine a wedding dress and the winning designer recreated the wedding dress as an outfit for a three-foot-tall doll.”
Edwardsville Alderwoman Elizabeth Grant is coordinating the design competition for the fashion show. She is also a member of the Friends of the Wildey board of directors.
“Edwardsville has a great fashion scene based on the local businesses and also the number of people who have become models and designers,” Grant said. “It’s a great night to celebrate all of that.
“We have 11 designers in this year’s show. We have some anchors of the show, like Glik’s and What to Wear, but we have some new stores in town as well.”
The event starts with the design competition and the judging will be done immediately.
“The contest really plays into the creativity of our area,” Grant said. “We have a student from Edwardsville High School in the competition and we invite all of the local colleges, including SIUE and Lewis and Clark.
“The first year we did the contest, we had six or seven competitors and the last time two years ago we only had two competitors, but they were both great designs and the quality of the work was so interesting.”
The event starts with the design competition and the judging will be done immediately.
“The contest really plays into the creativity of our area,” Grant said. “We have a student from Edwardsville High School in the competition and we invite all of the local colleges, including SIUE and Lewis and Clark.
“The first year we did the contest, we had six or seven competitors and the last time two years ago we only had two competitors, but they were both great designs and the quality of the work was so interesting.”
Throughout the evening, Local 618 will have a pop-up boutique in the lobby. In addition, Rudy’s Flower Truck will be parked in front of the theatre.
“The pop-up boutique will allow the people who are attending to do some shopping for their late summer or early fall fashions,” Walker said. “Rudy’s Flower Truck will not only be selling flowers, but we’re also going to make sure that everyone who comes to the event will get a flower as well.”
The event will also feature live music before and during the fashion show.
Tickets are $25 for general seating and $20 for balcony seating (excluding the first row). VIP seating is $50 and includes a gift bag and a 6 p.m. reception in the Wildey event room. The catered event is chiefly supported by Cleveland-Heath and Sacred Grounds.
Buckley & Buckley Law, P.C. is the official sponsor for the event.
For more information about the fashion show or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.wildeytheatre.com/ or call (618) 307-1750.
Scott Marion is a feature reporter for the Intelligencer. A longtime sportswriter, he has worked for the Intelligencer since December 2013. He is a graduate of Brentwood High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. 

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