Fashion Without Fabric

UW-Stout’s amazing showcase of outlandish outfits returns

Trevor Kupfer, photos by Sarah Word |


There's a handful of area events that are annual institutions. Things like Decadent Cabaret, OAFA, the ski jump, Taste of Eau Claire, International Fall Fest, and Rocky Horror. Well last year I broke down and finally made the trek to Stout for Fashion Without Fabric. To say I was blown away would be an understatement, and now it's atop my list of must-see annual events. For those of you unfamiliar with FWF, essentially it's a massive assignment for Stout art students in which they work many sleepless weekends in small groups on a fashionable homemade costume following a theme. Previous themes included superheroes, phobias, and isms – this year is "Transitions". For you fashionistas out there, a word of caution. This is not a "fashion" event. The best way to describe it is "an art student's idea of a fashion event." And as such most everything is taken to the extreme, from catwalk showmanship to the materials used. But by far the most intriguing part is the creative energy that pulses through the sellout crowd as they take in each piece. The conception behind it, the name and "story," the coy sense of humor, and the sheer passion that went into it place the creators' flare for the artform at center stage. Like a singer pouring sweat as they scream into the mic, or an actor losing themself in a character's moment of rage, except this involves a crapload of delicate materials inevitably held together by duct tape.

Fashion Without Fabric • April 9 • Johnson Fieldhouse, UW-Stout campus • 8pm • $10 general, $6 students, $7.50 staff • 232-1122 •