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April 18, 2013

Tom McPherson Photography

T-shirts by Alfred Wood are among the apparel included in the WMPG Fashion Show at Asylum.

Off Beat: WMPG's funky fashion show

If you've ever listened to WMPG, with its jumble of programming that might include zydeco and Cambodian music one day and Hank Williams and The Sex Pistols the next, then you'll know what to expect at the radio station's annual fashion show.

For about nine years, WMPG (90.9 FM and 104.1 FM) has created signature fundraising events cast in the eclectic station's own image. A community station on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Portland celebrating its 40th year, WMPG is powered by volunteers, and plays just about anything.

The fashion show, likewise, is powered by volunteers, and will show just about anything.

At this year's show, scheduled for Saturday at Asylum in Portland, people are likely to see models wearing "upcycled" clothing. What is "upcycled"? Well, it's clothing that is recycled but altered in an innovative way as part of the process.

So at the WMPG Fashion Show, you're likely to see suit jackets where the sleeves have been taken off and replaced with lace or flannel. And the pants from that same suit may be made into a skirt.

The show will include local designers' screen-printed T-shirts, a metallic skirt, even some formal wear. A little of everything, just like the station.

And just like the station, there's no particular order to things. People won't see all the designs from one designer at one time. Instead, they will see a different designer's work every minute, with every model who comes down the runway.

The models will be moving down the runway to techno music culled from the station's stash, plus some videos as well.

And there's even an opening act -- The Hoop Vixzens, a group of dancers with hoops, fans and other props.

"So it's a traditional fashion show with some untraditional elements," said Cindy Flanders, a longtime WMPG volunteer and organizer of the fashion show.

A theme of the show is "wearable art," which includes art on T-shirts and clothing pieces "deconstructed" and re-made as something else, said Flander.

About a dozen designers will be represented, and each will have three to 10 pieces in the show. That means there will be about 50 different "model walks," and the show will probably last about 40 minutes.

The fashion show has grown every year since starting nine years ago. It used to be held at Space Gallery on Congress Street, but outgrew that space and now draws big crowds to Asylum, a nightclub.

Being a community radio station, WMPG needs to raise money to stay on the air. So the more people who come out to see this eclectic mish-mash of fashion, the more likely it is WMPG can keep airing its eclectic mish-mash of music and information.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com



Courtesy photo

The Hoop Vixzens will perform as part of the opening act at Saturday's show.

Courtesy photo

Ivy Ferrelli models one of her own designs, which can bee seen at WMPG's show.



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