We learned about Ellen Brook and her work with the exhibit, “Uncommon Threads” at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. In addition to Ellen, I. B. Bayo another designer from Artistry in Fashion, contributed to the show.  From the museum’s website,

Uncommon Threads: September 4th- December 6th, 2015

2nd floor Solari Gallery

How can you wear candy wrappers? Or transform bones into bras?

Explore the eclectic and creative style of Santa Cruz. Combining poetic materials in creative ways, local designers defy the runways. These one-of-a-kind pieces adorn the body and change our relationship to everyday materials. See how the past 10 years of fashionART Santa Cruz stand apart from traditional contemporary fashion markets and trends.

Each piece in this exhibition is a unique item.  All items are hand made.  This styles on display are more playful with materials and designs then what you can expect on conventional runways.  Some items venture into realms of political critique, satire and the absurd.  Other items explore new ways to interact with the body.

The region’s designers go against this grain and reject “fast-fashion.” Instead of industrially produced garments, our coastal artists focus on handmade items.  They incorporate unlikely materials such a bones, condoms, candy wrappers, steel wool, forks, silk, electronics and scraps of industrial fabric.  Upcycling (reusing discarded materials) becomes a common theme. Use the ready-made to reimagine our relationship to the objects around us.

In addition, three of these artists, I.B. Bayo, Rachel Riot and Miguel Ange have taken on the challenge of researching the textile archives of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and selecting classic pieces as inspiration for new commissions, to be displayed alongside each other.

Some images from the exhibit were shared with us by Kathy Conroy.