The 17th Annual
VAA Wearable Art and Runway Fashion Show
"Unlocked!" - February 18, 2023

The 17th annual Valley Arts Alliance Wearable Art and Runway Fashion Show was performed at the Palmer Depot, with both a 3pm Matinee and a 7pm Evening performance.

Both the 3pm Matinee and the 7pm Evening Performanc were opened by Liella Singh.

Hillary Saffran and Becky McLaughlin served as Masters of Ceremony. Both performances were sold out!


Hillary Saffran opened the show, showing off her moves!

Marai, The God Slayer

Designed, Created, and Modeled by Sierra Wake.

This is Sierra’s 13th year doing Wearable Art. Made with denim, brocade, foam, and sculpture clay, Sierra made Marai a god hunter.

This original character is based on skull crawlers (King Kong movie), Hive wings (Wings of Fire books), the Owl Man (an Irish mythological creature), and a little bit of Smegel (Lord of the Rings).

Marai takes stand on the stage, mocking the Death God she has slayed..


Designed, Created, and Modeled by Jay Clark.

This piece represents self-sacrifice.  The blooming roses and red color of the base garment are meant to resemble blood, and the rib cage overgrown with vines and flowers represent how self-sacrificial tendencies can overtake a person  until they empty themselves of life in order to save those around them-often to no avail. The crown of flowers is meant to imitate a crown of thorns, and connect the theme of self-sacrifice to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Tin Man Meets MVR

Designed and Created by Fritz Hoffman, Tim Zalinger, and Carmen Summerfieldd.
Modeled by Scott Johnson.

MVR stands for Matsu Valley Rebuild. Get your recycled building materials there. Check their website for more info.

Where else would the Tin Man meet Matsu Rebuild? The Yellow Brick Road!


Zip It

Designed and Created by Sandra McMillian.
Modeled by Acadia Graham.

Creativity can begin anywhere. Sandra saw zippers and decided that would be a costume. The zippers can go up and down, worn in a dress or a hat, be made into flowers, spats (boot covers) and adore jewelry. Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Flower Power, Peace, Love

Designed and Created by Elsie LeDoux.
Modeled by Lindsey Cloudy

This piece is dedicated to Elsie’s sister Lily.

Lily was an incredible artist, who has passed away in December. Lily sent Elsie a vintage suitcase filled with thousands and thousands of flowers to help her with both her current entries. Lily loved art and was an incredible, loving sister.

Devil-Biss Pirates

Designed and Created by Aiden, Wiley, Cody, and Kade DeVilbiss, and Darron Vink;
Modeled by Elaine Rountree, Krista and Darron Vink, and Kade DeVilbiss.

The Devil-Biss Pirates (Get it?) picked their favorite song for the assault on the Palmer Depot. Grand Pirate White Pearl, accompanied by Lizzie Pearl, lead the charge. These feisty grandson pirates hail from the Lazy Mountain. Where is the whiskey?

Golden Afternoon

Designed and Created by Linda Lockhart;
Modeled by Willow York.

A lovely interlude in a glowing garden. Photos of flowers in The Lockhart and Erskine Garden grace this princess dress as Willow floats through a Golden Afternoon.

Unlocked Hair-Loom Dress

Designed and Created by Tamora Harding-Childs and Claire Childs;
Modeled by Claire Childs.

Locks of hair carry symbolic value and were utilized throughout history in sentimental rituals and treasured in family heirlooms.

Believed to possess primal power, good luck, and even repurposed for in-vogue fashion: Here is a dress of locks and tresse!

Not Your Princess Collection

Designed and Created by Juliah Barnett and Emali Cordell;
Modeled by Taylor Short, Madeline Smith, Ana Wilde, Alondra Daily, Juliah Barnett, and Michelle Parker.

REDEMPTION is a new sustainable loungewear line made from luxury linens from local hotels and produced in Wasilla, AK. REDEMPTION provides fashion industry-related job training to clients of MY House Matsu and raises awareness about the human trafficking pandemic in Alaska.

REDEMPTION empowers those who make and wear the loungewear to be fighters in their own lives. Designers Juliah Barnett and Emali Cordell bring different styles and design backgrounds to this wearable art collection made from retired luxury sheets, satin, and jewelry chain. - sending a message that we are not your princess!

The Scrapper, The Athlete, The Knockout, The Main Event, The Princess, and The Champion.

Loungewear will be available for purchase after the show!

The Cold Never Bothered Me, Anyway

Designed, Created, and Modeled by Kate Lawton.

We all know that Alaskans are trailblazers, and what better examples are there than those who settled in the community of Palmer in its early days. For this piece, Kate models a 1950s formal dress that belonged to her grandmother, Pat Lawton, who moved to Palmer in December of 1947. Although she may have been a bit too late to be a colonist, Pat still was a foundation of the community, known and loved by many, and living to the ripe old age of 103 (and three quarters) here in Palmer.  This confection of taffeta, tulle, beads, and rhinestones reflects Pat’s classy style.

In this number, Kate sets out to forge her own trail, wearing her grandma’s dress, and with a few accessories and embellishments of her own. Will she “unlock” herself from a straight-laced nature and find the key to her own path? You be the judge!

It's All White

Designed, Created, and Modeled by Colleen Wake

Colleen bought 3 cases of paper doilies over 6 years ago, intending to use them someday for Wearable Art. She had no real plan for this outfit; it just sort of happened.

Using over 100 glue sticks, foam, and 300+ doilies...  She thinks it came out “all white”.

The Green Goddess and Her Flower Girls

Designed and Created by Elsie LeDoux;
Modeled by Sarah Medley, Dagny Henkel, and Hazel Nicholson

This piece is also dedicated to Elsie’s sister Lily.

More flowers from Lily’s vintage suitcase helped Elsie with this entry. Lily loved art and was an incredible, loving sister.

Frizzy Bones

Designed, Created, and Modeled by Josie Condie

Pink fuzzy dice character with a die head paired with pink leopard high heels, black and pink striped stockings, black corset, pink chain and a pair of fuzzy dice. It represents the power of a roll of the dice to unlock moves and abilities in gaming!"

Maximalist Fashionistas, Butterflies are Free

Designed and created by Judy Vars and Becky Holsinger;
Modeled by Maria and Charlie Ming, and Myla Mauzy

We’re obsessed with Maximalist Fashion trend, these three upcycled maximalist fashions are made completely from discarded textiles reimagined in a new way.

The Average person throws away 81.lbs of Clothes Every Year. In America alone, an estimated 11.3 million tons of textile waste – equivalent to 85% of all textiles – end up in landfills on a yearly basis.

With these facts in mind Valley Community for Recycling Solutions will be hosting a special art exhibit featuring upcycled textiles at the Wasilla Museum this August 5th - Our Second Skin – The Clothes We Wore.

Last of My Line

Designed, Created, and Modeled by Linda Lockhart

Hundreds of family photos make the fabric of a past that will soon be forgotten. Once a large family, this photo gallery, my memories and myself are all that remain. Don’t be sad! It’s all been fun!

Confidence Queen

Designed and Created by Ashana Flippo and Morgan Rath;
Modeled by Morgan Rath

Embodying Feminine strength, beauty and passion. Sometimes just getting my nails done unlocks a strong capable women inside me. A friend of mine loves to wear tiara's to special occasions. My husband will wear a director's hat as a sign that he is feeling succesful. What makes you feel confident and ready to take on the world?


Designed, Created, and Modeled by Su Kay

The crown of gaiety!

Fixes a Black shroud of plush fleece adorned with accordion packing sheets shattered by unlocked pure light!

A vision of fluid reflection.

Exposing chasms and labyrinths representing life --- gathered moments in time.

Draping vintage silver lame used last as a Christmas skirt under the tree, boasts an overlay of upcycled empty pre-roll canisters.  Exposing the telestial imposter of time…….


Conquer Death by Giving Life

Designed and Created by Ashana Flippo;
Modeled by Jennifer Platzek

If you discover that you’re taking more from the world than you are giving back to it, you will likely have more suffering in your life. Using creativity and giving something positive to the world is how you find your way out of depression, make new friends, and can even help save you from crippling illnesses or chronic pain. Creating and sharing art, love, and positivity with others is essential to transforming your one life on this planet, into your best life. Living will always have its dark times, but you have to know hell to appreciate heaven.


Designed, Created, and Modeled by Sandra McMillian

Sandra wanted to make something with Iridescence materials for some time . Finding materials was not easy. This piece was inspired by Sandra’s love of butterflies. She used 3 costumes worth of parts, which were sprayed with aerosol adhesive, a life tree sprayed with chrome bumper paint, Christmas beaded garland, a fishing net repurposed and miniature butterflies coated in iridescent confetti. The headpiece was made from a modified bird cage. Enjoy. 

Unlocking of the Inner Child

Designed, Created, and Modeled by Mack Farrenkopf

For the past 15 years, Make-A-Scene magazine has been providing coloring pages to local children, which were returned to the magazine to receive a prize.

Mack, from The People’s Paper, has made this creation from these returned coloring pages.










-Photos by Eric Summerfield