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The fiery forces of RACK: Experimental Fashion MICA style
April 8, 2011 |

This Spring, MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) is holding two fashion shows to celebrate the work and creativity of its students in the Fiber major. The first show, RACK, which takes place this Saturday (April 9th) at St. John’s Church on 26th and St. Paul, will showcase the creations of students enrolled in a year-long class devoted to experimental fashion. Throughout the year, students experimented with fashion and the art of making under the guidance and help of their MICA teachers and each other. The show is entirely comprised of and run by the students themselves, involving around 150 people: designers, performers, musicians, and models.

Last week I spoke with some of the students, heard about their roles in the show, and their take on fashion.

KatherineKatherine Weintraub


Age: 20

Junior, Fiber Major, Experimental Fashion concentration

My line is called “Love Letter to a Somatoform.” It’s essentially about the idea of people falling in love with their own ailments and coming to personify them, whether it be deformities or diseases, both mental and physical. It’s also about the medical institution and the role it plays with the sick and the vulnerable – pretty much the weird relationship we have with our doctors: how we depend on them and how they have control over us. The collection is 13 garments: two doctor figure heads and 11 patients.

My father is a surgeon so I grew up around hospitals. I’ve always been interested in the body, and I’ve gotten sick more than once while at MICA – strep throat, bronchitis, etc. My work essentially sorts through all the things I’ve been dealing with, making sense of it through fashion.

RachelRachel Christensen


Age: 20

Junior, Fiber Major, Experimental Fashion concentration

I’m doing more nontraditional fashion work this year. Instead of doing a runway show, I’m having a performative installation up on a stage, which will be permanent throughout the event. Three times throughout the evening it’s activated. There will be live, stationary models wearing dresses that I made, referencing the process of creation and the craft. Then I made uniforms for little workers that come out and flit around on stage, doing little tasks and “working” on the models.

I’ve never really been interested in fashion as far as the fashion world goes. I’ve been more interested in the possibility of making, of sculpture and the body in the art. I worked in my dad’s science lab a lot when I was a kid and had a job there in highschool, doing experiments and being an assistant. I think the technicality of those experiences shows through in my art. I’m  interested in the process that surrounds making.

I hope that people come and take a look at my work and spend some time with it. I include a lot of hidden information in there.

SarahSarah Ivancic


Age: 22

Senior, Fiber Major, Experimental Fashion concentration

I come from a background in burlesque. I helped found the burlesque organization at MICA. My aesthetic is in that world: glitter and sparkle. So, for this project, I made a line of lady dinosaurs, called “Monstrosities.” Each piece has a stereotypical type that goes along with their dinosaur character. For instance there is the long necked dinosaur with the long tail. Her character is the prom queen and she wears a fern tiara and has a cinched waste. Everything is long. There are also a couple prehistoric creatures that aren’t dinosaurs. For instance the wooly mammoth. She wears tusk-glasses because she’s the book nerd, the shy one.

We’re a tight knit community of makers, us fiber majors. We all have a really intense relationship to process and making, so being in a community of people who think like you do helps you develop. I figured out that I love making costumes. I’m actually costuming A Street Car Named Desire for MICA’s company right now.



Age: 20

Sophomore, Sculpture Major

I’m modeling for Kyle, my girlfriend’s roommate. A lot of the models are MICA students – friends of friends. I wasn’t forced into it or anything. I just found out the other day that he wanted me in the show. The only time I’ve come close to modeling was when I was young. My family went to the grocery store and this team of advertisement people stopped me and my dad and filmed us. That’s the extent of my modeling, but I’m looking forward to this show.

A rehearsal for a student’s fashion line in the MICA Station Building:

RACK: An Experimental Fashion Event

St. John’s Church

2640 Saint Paul Street

6pm and 9pm



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