Hot Couture

Fashion illustration? You mean drawings of models with cheekbones that double as letter openers and enormous '80s shoulder pads? Thalia Stratton -- whose collectors include former Mayor Art Agnos -- injects a few of those, just to prove she can do it. Her darker work sketched behind the scenes in the dressing room proves that she can do even more. She is one of eight women exhibiting in "Fashionably Drawn: A Femme Cartel Art Show," curated by Emily “Femily” Howe and Christina Bohn. The show is billed as “a playful, edgy, cheeky show about powerful femmes, feminists, and females living large and rocking their own unique styles, personalities, and visions,” and pushes fashion way past traditional boundaries. The women in Renee “Lady Reni” Castro’s works, for example, sport a variation on the ribcage corset she debuted in 2010 in her painting La Llorona or a full bison hide headdress, neither exactly prêt-à-porter. While Castro’s tatted models flaunt fabulously un-petite booties and sensual bellies, Eliza Frye’s heroines are slender, bordering on waifish, but that’s where their resemblance to the untouchable denizens of the catwalk ends. Eyes smudged and knuckles bloodied, they mirror '20s starlets after one hell of a wild night. Frye writes, “I approach my work the same way I approach my love letters.” Lucky is the recipient.
July 20-Aug. 6, 2012

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