Yotes suit up for science-inspired fashion show

For the fifth straight year, members of The College of Idaho community are participating in the Boise Art Museum’s Art of Fashion Show, with a variety of Yotes leaving their paw prints all over the runway.

The popular show has long had the support of C of I students, alumni and faculty, from its original organization to the enthusiastic participation of design teams. This year, alumna and BAM Curator of Education Terra Feast ’02 said there is more C of I representation than ever.

“This is more than we’ve ever had before,” Feast said. “I think there’s something about this year that has made it really accessible for C of I’s creative community. There has always been some involvement, but this year in particular is getting more people looking for the challenge.”

The Art of Fashion Show is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at BAM in downtown Boise. Musuem members can purchase tickets in advance for $10, while non-members can order them for $15. Prices increase by $5 on the day of the event, with proceeds from all ticket sales going to benefit BAM’s education programs.

Feast, one of the chief organizers of the fashion show since its inception in 2012, said each year has its own unique theme, often drawing inspiration from exhibits showcased at BAM. This year’s theme, “Your Genes in Jeans,” is inspired by the art of BAM featured artist Geraldine Ondrizek, whose current exhibit Chromosome Painting II draws inspiration from genetic research and chromosome mapping, using unique color sequences and textiles to illustrate specifically inherited conditions across ethnic identities in what she refers to as “our coats of many colors.”

This year’s designers will create outfits using primarily denim. And like Ondrizek, they will take inspiration from genetics, confronting traits like personal identity, heredity and DNA.

“There’s a lot of thought about identity and what really makes us who we are, and those discussions are happening every day,” Feast said. “What used to be set in stone isn’t necessarily what your identity must be. I think in today’s climate, it’s the most appropriate kind of time to address who we are.”

C of I alumnus and Hayman Hall Director Justin Waldron ’04 is participating in the show for the first time. With the help of his student model, freshman Biology major Liam Sienko, Waldron will present a design honoring his Central European ancestry – an update to the traditional lederhosen most often seen during Oktoberfest celebrations.

“By using denim, I’m able to create something industrial, rugged and updated while nodding to the tradition,” Waldron said. “With my design, I want to take lederhosen from Oktoberfest to the music festival, where fashion is expressive and functional.”

C of I theatre Professor Mike Hartwell and his family also are participating in the show, along with several alumni designers and event organizers.

“I think C of I community members are always searching for ways to build broader connections and deeper understanding,” Waldron said. “I see this show as an intersection where the arts, science and history come together. It’s more than a fashion show; it’s richer than that.”

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit