Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Sandi Bassett, Artist, EWMA X Atira, Vancouver Fashion Week and Eco Fashion and How They Go Together

EWMA X Atira has been at Vancouver Fashion Week since 2015 and last October, it was the fabulous hats and sparkly glasses that really got my eye. This time, on Sunday, April 10th,  I was lucky enough not only to see more spectacular hats but also some very creatively upcycled looks, by Artist, Sandi Bassett. Sandi Bassett. Dianna Drahanchuk, a good Fashion Friend, sent me Sandi's contact info and said I should meet her. Today, I met her for a chat about how she came to Vancouver, discovered EWMA and began to teach there and create her own Art: Painting, Jewelry, Pottery, and Designing clothing and accessories for the show at Vancouver Fashion Week. Sandi is one of a group of Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA) who brought their vision and skills to make a very dynamic runway statement. I interviewed Sandi because she found some of her materials on the $5 rack at My Sister's Closet, thrift boutique at Seymour and Helmcken, where I volunteered, and was part of their many fashion events and fundraisers, with proceeds going to ending violence and supporting battered women. Sandi finds useful 'treasures' wherever she goes and spotted a brand new pair of spiked heels for the show, in a free bin and found a Singer Sewing Machine, another free donation, too. She adores Dressew for accessories like the brass rings she used for corset fasteners. She accessorized hats, and embellished and painted them. She took a white shirt and made it into a skirt. She made pants into a shirt. She painted the fabric and changed everything up. New looks from old and always surprising and yes, better, much better.
We started off at the Eden Cafe and over brunch we talked about how her degrees in Art and Education ( Alberta) led to her teaching Art at the Maskwacis Reserve School there. She has travelled and taught Art in Mexico, Cambodia and India, and continues to do this wherever she goes. She says, "When I see and opportunity, I jump in." Sandi loves to work with her hands and has used her creative skills to remodel her house, (she had her own reno company) sew clothes, travel on a dime and find resources that support her own Artistic vision as well as to support others in expressing theirs.

After a very brief time in Vancouver, Sandi was interested in volunteering to teach Art and found her way to EWMA, a program of Atira Free of Violence, Women's Art Society. More at Ewma Store. At 800 East Hastings, women will find a resource centre/studio with Art supplies and classes, as well as a store where the Art can be sold. One of Sandi's next projects will be for an East Side Art Event at Strathcona Park,  this summer, for which she will be dressing mannequins, donated by JQ Clothing, a long time women's clothing store at 2120 Commercial. More at www.jqclothing.com. She will also be designing for the next EWMA X Atira show at Vancouver Fashion Week, this Fall. She and other Designer/Artists, for example, Kiln Ceramic Jewelry,  will  be working with Farlee Mowat, Coordinator of the Fashion Shows. Farlee Mowat of Lethal Designs.

Sandi Basset is an Artist who finds treasure around her, makes it her own version, builds community with her practice and then brings it to Vancouver Fashion Week. Sandi has included a couple of photos of her designs in a special photo street shoot. The Make-Up Artist for this is Joanna Keller of Joanna Keller Beautique. Statement Jewelry is by Kiln Ceramic Jewelry. Great photography by Deejai Riangkrul (Deejai Riangkrul). Other photos, unless tagged are mine.

Model Mel_Yanga. Hat and glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Model Julia_sterling_ Hat and glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Model: Kate_2112_wang   
Outfit by Sandi_Bassett (pants to blouse and shirt to skirt)
Outfit by Sandi_Bassett  Jewelry by Kiln Ceramic Jewelry

Designer/Artist Sandi_Bassett  

Glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Jewelry by Sandi_Bassett

Sandi_Bassett and her painting

Designer/Artist Sandi_Bassett and her eco up cycled design for VFW 

Shirt becomes skirt by Sandi_Bassett

Pants becomes sleeves in this top by Sandi_Bassett

Painted the jacket collar black and it became a dress collar for the outfit by Sandi_Bassett

Dressew rings for corset closures. 

Sandi_Bassett and her 'found' shoes that walked the runway Vancouver Fashion Week

A mannequin donated by JQ Clothing www.jqclothing.com

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