Fashion ARTillery, First Wearable Art show, at Palm Beach's Armory Arts



Handmade jewelry and clothing on display

It was an art and fashion "Happening", and much of  Palm Beach crowded in.

Under a painted quote from the Honorary Chair Iris Apfel saying "More is More, Less is a Bore", the mob of patrons sipped and awaited the fashion show, part of the West Palm Beach Armory's 25th anniversary celebration.

NevertheLESS, the entire show was arty, elegant, funky and ecologically correct, featuring designers and artists' outré creations, as a model in a party dress made of paper plates opened the runway show. The dress was one of our favorites, as it offered an interesting option for serving guests efficiently at the party.


in the Armory's anterooms, displaying jewelry made of recyclable material (think duct tape bracelets, dresses made of Astroturf, and an Emmy winner Rae Smith's stuff,)  high-end vendors of ceramics, sculpture and jewelry from the Maryanne Webber Gallery, Jane Levy’s geometric bronze one-of-a -kind jewelry and Linda Golden’s hand-dyed and crafted felt scarves, were on display.

The young painter Serge Strosberg's exhibit in the second room caused lots of oohs and aaahs and wows from the show's attendees, as his portrayals of fashionable mannequins with souls shining through arrested the eye. His "Muse" was a favorite.

The  special opening night bar was for patrons only  in the auditorium, and Palm Beach luminaries and arts patrons attended and talked. The general public crowded in after all the seats were taken, and there was an electricity of anticipation.


And to the booming music, it began.

Giving new meaning to the term "attired",  one model strode down the runway in a dress and hat made of dissected tinner tubes, which may well be Spring's new trend. All models wore extravagant Imaginative gowns using recycled materials. Newport Seen particularly liked the Victoria Danvers’ wedding dress made entirely of panty hose.


Baylie & Marvin Rosenberg

Featuring styles by Dayron González, Omar Rodriguez Lavandero, the models wore works by Jessica Armstrong’s (a fabric- and powder-coated copper necklace and Jackie Tufford’s (a "Dinner Is Served" gown), modeled by artist Summer Collins and comprisingf plastic take-out containers, silverware, tablecloths and fabric.

Artists Veronika Koushal and Juliana Saez’s seashore evening dress, a plea for beaches, consisting of polypropylene fishing nets and sea stars, included a recyclable plastic bottles, pails and shovels. Other pieces included Barbara Winkel’s dresses with wearable dryer sheet pockets and feather epaulettes and Rebecca Hadley’s "Throw a Penny, Make a Wish," a hand-painted distressed muslin dress with image transfers and pennies.


The imaginative dresses were interspered with more wearable designs from Bonnie Roseman’s BLT Boutique, Palm Beach.

The show itself barely outpaced the garb of its attendees, with all the élan of a costume party. Outrageous coats and ties on the men, shoes reaching to heaven on the women, hats, wild hairdos, outrageous ensembles and smiles were the order of the evening.

Artist Serge Strosberg donated a limited-edition mixed-media signed print, "Sleeping Idol I", depicting a high fashion model reclining among fan-like floral patterns ? part of his Agalmatophilia (Love of the Statue) series, for the silent auction. The print was purchased by collectors Marvin and Baylie Rosenberg of Palm Beach.


Serge Strosberg's painting

“In New York, I’ve become intrigued by fashion,” he said. “I play with the notion of fashion as religion and infuse my mannequins with a life of their own."

The designs were judged, and winners were chosen:: First prize was awarded to Tufford’s "Dinner Is Served", second  to Hadley’s "Throw a Penny, Make A Wish", and third place was won by an untitled wedding dress made from coffee filters, designed and modeled by Shanley Mitchell.

The Armory Art Center’s mission is to provide high-quality visual art school and art gallery services that stimulate personal self-discovery and generate knowledge and awareness of art as part of life. Stephen Raab, President, and happy attendee, is himself a stone sculptor.


Delicious amuse bouches were served before and after the show.


                                                                           -- Linda Phillips



Editor's note: Serge Strosberg will have a one-man show at Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, New York, opening April 13 through June 3. For information, go to


For information on the Armory Art Center’s shows, classes and programs, please visit:



Friend & Mr. Strosberg

Jim Swope & David Veselsky

Photo of Rae Smith

Linda Rossbach and  Carole Ruhlman

The runway:  anticipation

The Strosberg family

Muriel  and artist Serge Strosberg

Bliane, Serge & Muriel Strosberg

The buffet

Jackie Tufford & Jason Fennell

A vision from the sea, with nets

Stylish styrofoam

Inner tube dress and hat

A gown fashioned of coffee filters

The grand finale

The excellent moderator of the show

Photos by Newport Seen    All images copyrighted












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