Elisa Jimenez at HATCH

Thoughts from Elisa Jimenez‘s HATCHAsheville lecture, “Art//Fashion Fashion//Art,” held today at the Asheville Area Arts Council’s Front Gallery.

First, Jimenez is ridiculously beautiful. During her brief (though memorable) turn on Season 4 of Project Runway, she projected an artfully disheveled bohemian grace. Thick bangs, slashed t-shirts, yoga poses. In person, she’s still wearing a slashed tee (and an unhemmed pencil skirt and knee-high boots), but she also possessed a certain polish. She mentions metaphysics, witchery, Comme des Garçons and Cher as if there was no reason to separate these disparate thoughts. And, as Jimenez unfurls her fluid creative process, it becomes easy to see how the interdisciplinary artist—who fashions life-sized marionettes and art installations as well as showing collections at New York Fashion week; who performs as a jester in striped tights at her own runway show—kind of makes sense.

Some quotes from Jimenez:

“Had I been arrogant, aggressive and a fashionista, I would have made more money. [But] am I the only solo parent in Manhattan who can pick up her daughter at 3 p.m. every day? Yes.”

“I accidentally hit upon a model where I make a dress for you and you feel empowered in it and you go out and do something wonderful. It’s beyond magic.”

“You all saw that performance art piece I did called Project Runway.”

“I will be forever known as the girl who spits on clothes. That’s not so bad.”

“If I’m doing what I’m doing right, it’s clothes but it’s also second skins.”

“Try to live a conscious life in everything you make.”

“Avant-garde is not a category. It’s constantly changing. Come up with your own labels: You’re the storyteller.”

“Never be so into what you’re doing that you forget to be human. That’s just not cool.”

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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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