On a mission to make Albuquerque more artful, Crystal Sims organized the first Craft Punk Fashion Show in 2007 and a second in 2009. The third befalls Burque this week on spooooky Friday the 13th (cue foreboding organ music). Craft Punk functions as a gallery where Albuquerque designers can exhibit and sell their wares in an environment that merges fashion with live music. The event also raises money for OFFCenter Community Arts Project, with every designer and performer donating their time and talent to the cause.
Sims, who co-owns Evolution Body Piercing, organizes the show with the help of the brilliant business minds and nimble fingers of Teresa Romero (owner of The Designer’s Lounge) and belt-buckle-maker Nikki Zabicki.
By way of the web, I inquired with Sims about the show.
What are your personal arty/crafty pursuits?
I like to design and make clothing myself, and at the time of the first Craft Punk I also played in a local rock band. Not only did I organize the first show, but I performed with my band and had models wearing my designs in the fashion show.
What was the inspiration for Craft Punk?
I modeled in and designed clothing for the Rock Paper Scissors fashion shows that Genica Lee used to organize for the Mark Pardo Salons. I was very inspired by the way she incorporated music, fashion and hair into one performance, and I wanted to continue that path but, rather than involving local stores, use all local designers for the fashion portion of the show.
What made you want to promote others' creativity?
I find my life to be much more peaceful and fulfilling when I'm doing something creative, and I see my friends having the same experience. I think everyone deserves that kind of happiness.
How do you select designers?
The first show was comprised entirely of designs by myself and my friends. For the next two shows I posted a call for designers on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and asked designers to submit pictures of their work. I've never turned away anyone who's wanted to be involved.
Any designer you're particularly excited about?
I'm excited about all of them. We have such a diverse group this year. Teresa Romero of The Designer's Lounge is doing a leather collection trimmed with silk and bows, Jeffrey Gonzales' line Ammunition is all latex clothing (I'm a huge fan and actually modeled for Jeffrey some 10 years ago), B.E.L. by Brianna Lehman is a favorite of mine every year, and I'm especially excited to see the collections from this year's new artists: Maggie Ross, Jessica Rimmer and Sarah Madden.
What else would you like to see happen locally to further individual creativity?
More art shows, more fashion shows, more rock shows ...