Top drawer

Try this on

jADE and
photo by Bearz

When local designer jADE and photographer Bearz combine their talents, the end result is some pretty cutting-edge images. While jADE’s carefully crafted ensembles could easily be the life of any costume party (she specializes in Rainbow Bright-wear, for example), the designer isn’t about to call herself a costumer. “I think fashion should have an element of the theatrical, or the fantastic,” she explains. “To me, if you are going to dress up, it should also represent some important aspect of you, so a lot of my work has to do with our fantasy life or our ‘alter’ egos.” She takes some inspiration from Japanese cosplay and street fashions (popularized by Shoichi Aoki’s photos and magazine Fruits).

A new set of alter egos popping up in jADE’s work are the animals (monkeys, bears, cats and monsters) represented by her furry hats. “My animal hats deal with the whole concept of “furry fandom,” that is to say the hybridization of humans with other animals,” she notes. “A great many people feel so close to a certain kind of animal that they also feel they embody it or some of its characteristics.”

photo by Bearz

Beyond animal totums, the faux-fur hats also offer winter warmth — without relegating the wearer to boring toboggans. The hats, available through www.zapfashion.com, can be custom made. So, looking for a unique gift? Here’s one way to give a hat that no one else will be wearing.

“They are super warm, snugly and you feel like a cozy furry animal when you wear one (a major plus in my book!),” enthuses jADE, who is also working on a line of furry mittens, arm warmers and scarves.

Learn more at jADE’s Web site. For more images by Bearz, go to www.bearzimages.com.

Loose threads

• In conjunction with special performances of Looking for Frida (Thursday, Nov. 16, through Saturday, Nov. 18), Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre is also holding a Frida Kahlo costume contest. Those who come to the 8 p.m. performances at the BeBe Theatre in costume get in for $10 (regular admission is $15). For more information, call 254-2621.

• Get a jump on the holiday shopping at a special trunk show held Saturday, Nov. 18, at Asheville School’s Paulsen Lodge. Designer Anne Mettee displays a line of distinctive, handmade clothing for women and children, artist Moni Hill sells small paintings and Tina Glen offers her line of Fairie Made Soaps. The event runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 252-7554 for info.

[For more Asheville fashion, visit www.topdrawerstreetstyle.blogspot.com.]

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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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