The art of fashion

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; any art collector knows that. But sometimes procuring beauty isn’t enough—if you’re going to surround yourself with masterpieces, why limit yourself to pieces affixed to walls and displayed on end tables? Many Asheville-area galleries offer artistic pieces equally at home in the exhibit space and in the wardrobe. Here, Xpress checks out the season’s trends in gallery-quality wearables.

All photos are on location at Forsythia Hall (28 Forstythe St., 280-4449 or, Asheville’s newly opened events venue. Converted from the former Garden of Prayer Cathedral of Love church (which is now located across the street), the locale boasts a great room with vaulted ceilings, a banquet hall with a balcony and views of downtown, and green construction throughout.

Photos by Maggie West (

Mustard gingham-check semi-fitted jacket and matching draped skirt, worn with a white paperbag peplum shirt, all by Babette from Bellagio. Model: Nina Shirkey.

High-waisted sage-green pencil skirt and gold scarf in peace silk, hand-dyed with vegetable-based dyes and block printed. Both pieces, BZ Design by Barbara Zaretsky. Model: Kim Turley.

Geometric-print knit top and “hanky hem skirt” set, layered with a shorter skirt in brown. All by Pattiy Torno. Model: Nina.

Long blue-silk tank dress dyed by Shibori technique, worn with a floor-length silk chiffon vest. Both pieces from Three Wishes Wearable Art by Michael Smith. Model: Kim.

Gold floral-printed satin kimono with fringe and lace trim by Geraldine Ludeman. Model: Nina.

Where to shop:

Bellagio (5 Biltmore Plaza, Asheville, 277-8100).

• Find Geraldine Ludeman’s work at Woolworth Walk (25 Haywood St., Asheville, 254-9234).

• For Michael Smith, visit Three Wishes Wearable Art at or call 253-0641.

• For Pattiy Torno, visit her Quilts, Clothing & Fun Fleece studio at the River Arts District’s Curve Studios, 6 Riverside Drive, Asheville. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and other days by appointment. Curve will also hold an open house on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3. 388-3526.

• Find Barbara Zaretsky’s worth at Cloth Fiber Workshop (51 Thompson St., Suite D, Asheville, 505-2958).


About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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