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KMAC Couture: Art Walks the Runway

A first-hand account of the year’s most imaginative experience

By Mariah Kline

Photos by Tim Valentino

Louisville plays host to some of the best fundraisers you’ll find in any city, but none can compare to KMAC Museum’s wearable art runway show, KMAC Couture.

I experienced this elaborate event for the first time in 2018. Dressed all in white, I arrived at the large tent on Main Street not knowing what to expect. I’d heard about the magnificent fashion and the huge crowd of creatives the event draws, but I was not prepared for the amount of fun I was about to have.

The pre-show cocktail hour was packed with people, but standing above them all were artists and models showcasing looks from previous KMAC Couture shows, giving a preview of what we were about to see. I stood in awe. After an hour of mingling, I found my way to my seat in the second row. With champagne in hand, I watched as dozens of people walked the runway in some of the most intricately designed outfits I’ve ever seen.

It’s easy to see why some artists spend several months crafting these costumes, which can be made of everything from burlap to balloons. Since guests are instructed to wear shades of white, the colors of the wearable art truly pop and every look comes alive in the most incredible way.

Curating the background music to the spectacle was Jamey See Tai, one half of the always entertaining Glittertitz DJZ duo.

The highlight of the night for me was watching my good friend Andrea Hansen walk the runway in an Elizabethan-style gown of her own design. This was her first year participating, and she absolutely nailed it. Around me, I could hear the “oohs” and “aahs” of my fellow audience members as she graced the catwalk in sky-high hair that accented her elaborate gown. Andrea is taking part in KMAC Couture again this year, and I cannot wait to see what mind-blowing look she comes up with.

While art walking the runway is the main event, the fun goes on at the after-party held inside KMAC Museum. Here, we all got to meet and mingle with the artists and models and see several of the designs up close. The KMAC Shop stayed open, and hors d’oeuvres were passed while the drinks continued flowing.

Near the end of the night, I had a blast dancing in the second-floor gallery of the museum. DJ-ing was the talented Hayden Easterling, who will be taking the lead at the 2019 runway show.

I have no doubt this year’s experience (and the Fashion Week leading up to it – see page 78) will captivate first-timers and seasoned KMAC Couture-attenders alike. V

KMAC Couture: Art Walks the Runway is April 20 at 715 W. Main St. beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets and more information available at The Voice of Louisville is a proud sponsor of KMAC Couture.

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