The Crucible’s Hot Couture event took West Oakland by storm last weekend, serving up pieces by up-and-coming local designers with a hefty dose of fire. For those who have yet to visit the West Oakland space, The Crucible is a non-profit arts education facility that trains both children and adults in the industrial arts. I participated in Hot Couture last year, where I walked the runway wearing a corset and metal cage. If the 2013 show was a roaring bonfire, 2014 was an unstoppable inferno.
Featured designers included Miss Velvet Cream, Annamarta, Heather Wakefield, Medium Reality, and several others. From giant, fashion-forward birds to Victorian-inspired corset-dresses, Hot Couture turned a classic runway show into an all-encompassing dramatic experience.
Some pieces were designed to be worn; others, to excite and inspire. Medium Reality showcased LED-lit partywear, while Samuel Waller & Sophia Constance Ellis’s fantasy-inspired pieces would fit right in an an episode of Game of Thrones. The attention to detail and strong craftsmanship elevated the costumes into serious art, and the sudden presence of a twenty-foot-tall dragon finished the presentation with a roar.
From fashion to fire to molten metal, Hot Couture brings fashion back to its daring, artistic, truly creative roots. It’s easy to start playing it safe when it comes to your wardrobe (see my uniform post from last week!), but nights like this inspire me to try something new. I might not walk down Fillmore Street wearing a giant bird head, but I’m definitely inspired to turn up the heat.
Photography by James Winstead.