According to the Oxford Dictionary, being awkward means being deliberately unreasonable, abnormal and causing embarrassment or inconvenience. It is socially acceptable to associate individuality and oddity to pejorative significance. Our society prevents us from exposing our authentic self with all its peculiar and eccentric facets. However, should not it be the purpose of life to distinct ourselves from our peers and embrace our uniqueness?
In April 2013, an eccentric crowd was lucky enough to attend ‘OPULENCE’, an offbeat fashion show in Australia. This happening organized by Awkward/Amazing, a collective of Melbourne artists was the group’s 2nd annual wearable art show. It was all about celebrating creativity through an awkward and innovative way of depicting one’s unique personality.
During this night, designers from all over Melbourne, as well as international ones were given the chance to showcase their outstanding and unusual designs. The distinctive outfits were worthy of this feast of freedom and creativity and came with mind-blowing accessories. Indeed, nipple pasties, glitter, feather cape, alien headdress and trolling cart were just some of the elements visible at this energetic and high-spirited night. Some of the underground designers featured during the show were Kristen Sanderson, Luna Aquatica, Fizzy Fingers and Sarah Seahorse.
During this not-for-profit event, spontaneous behavior and radical self-expression were opportune. From eating cereals to experimenting acrobatic figures, everything was allowed on this runway as long as it was done with astonishing confidence. Moreover, the audience members were all invited to revamp costumes related to the night’s abundance theme. Nudity was present across the catwalk and confirmed that embarrassment and judgments were left at home. We can absolutely say that the crowd surpassed the garments and became the real artwork of the evening.
At the end of the show, members from the audience were able to parade their own designs down the runway. Trophies were even presented to those who had created the most fascinating garments in terms of flair, color and creativity. This event definitely brought admiration and recognition to some of the lesser-known names in the underground art scene.
Awkward/Amazing have been creating mesmerizing and flamboyant events since 2011. Through this collective, emerging fashion designers, performers, dancers, musicians, photographers unite to create a variety of colourful and radical happenings, photo shoots, art installations and performances. Art collectives are groups of artists working together under their own supervision to reach shared objectives. According to their Facebook page, the purpose of this art collective specialized in random acts of amazing awkwardness is to cause “great surprise or wonder by radically embracing ones own jerky, ungraceful, clunky and embarrassing humanity”. The collaboration between these artists was established to facilitate creative expression.
Ultimately, art collectives are definitely a valuable option to consider when you are a talented artist struggling to get your work noticed. Getting your work out of the classroom or the studio can be a real challenge and that is why art students have started grouping together to share publicly their ideas and artworks. This is an interesting and efficient way of getting spotted by galleries and newspapers. How far would you go to get your creations on the big scene?