Photograph by Donna Lewis

Fine Fashion exhibition at Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel blurs boundaries between gallery and catwalk

Fine Fashion
Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel; Fri., June 7 – Fri., July 26; opening party and curator talk on Fri., June 7 (7 – 9 p.m.), parking validated at hotel’s front desk.

A new exhibition at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel is showcasing fashion-inspired art to an international audience.

Fine Fashion is the latest exhibition from the hotel’s curator-in-residence Alexis Marie Chute. The first show she ever curated at the Renaissance was the fourth annual InFocus Photography Exhibit, which took place in February 2018.

“The collaboration went so well and it’s really an amazing venue to show art in because there are so many people that walk by. Even when we have our opening parties, it’s crazy because there’ll be like 30 pilots that work from different airlines that walk through coming to the restaurant and just people from all around the world,” Chute says.

She started the InFocus Photography Exhibit in 2015 to showcase work from photographers from Edmonton and the surrounding area. The show has since grown so that it is open to all Canadians, and the exhibit took place at the Renaissance again this year.

“We talked about, leading up to that, that we would continue this and … create this title for myself as a curator-in-residence, and then have a new show of different kinds of art every two months,” Chute says.

Why Make Up Here? // Ana Sneeringer

Following InFocus in February and March, there was a contemporary landscape exhibition that featured Canadian and international artists in April and June, and now for June and July a show inspired by the art of fashion.

Fine Fashion includes photography and what Chute describes as “provocative fashion illustrations.”

“They all have women of different ethnicities, and different styles of fashion, and her art is bold and the colours are so poppy and vibrant—so it’s really cool,” Chute says.

Milennial Moment. // Aidan Guerra

She will also be showcasing some of her own work during the exhibition. While she was completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, she created a number of conceptual dresses, which will be on display.

“I’ve got a dress that I made out of baby clothes, a dress made of shower curtains … One I call the Poe dress—it’s like an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired dress—so it’s got just different kinds of fabrics overlapping and a belt made of door hinges and a sash made of nails,” Chute says.

She is also a published writer and her publications include a YA fantasy series called The 8th Island Trilogy. One of the pieces she’ll have on display is a costume she designed for the series.

There will also be headpieces created by another Edmonton artist.

“Just these crazy, big things that you’d see like on a fashion runway,” Chute explains.

Headpiece by Heather Fryer.

She explains that the idea behind the exhibition is to fuse fashion and art, and to blur the boundary between the commercial aspects of both.

“So these fashion-inspired artworks really become art objects and we can look at them and how we think about clothing, and how we think about consumer clothing and fashion, and what we choose to wear,” Chute says. “It just takes it into a different headspace, and it’s quite cool and fun.”

Even before Fine Fashion has launched, Chute is looking ahead to the Renaissance’s next exhibition, which will showcase sculptures in August and September. The final submission deadline for that show was May 13, and Chute has already launched the next call for submissions. She is looking for different styles of portraiture in any medium. The early bird deadline is fast approaching on June 10, but the regular deadline is June 24 and the extended deadline is July 8.

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