Itâ€™s probably rare that when someone uses the phrase â€œpacked in like sardinesâ€ that it is actually a true description of Friday nightâ€™s Functional Fashion Rock Show that people literally crammed against one another. There wasnâ€™t any room to open the door. The people outside in line grew anxious.
Mike Jolly and Alex Tapia, the main creative minds behind this fusion of music, performance, fashion and art held in a tiny space in downtown Tacoma. The two started work on the project more than three months back when the weather was warm and we were still waiting for summer to hit. Jolly and Tapia have worked on other projects in the past and were in the band Sincerely Elvis until Alex moved to Bellingham for school. Sincerely Elvis disbanded and drummer Jolly enjoyed a stint with Please Give Blood until two of their band members migrated to Seattle and Please Give Blood was no more.
This is the first project the multi-talented artists collaborated on since Sincerely Elvisâ€™ demise. Jolly focused more on designing the clothes for the models while guitarist Tapia laid down the music. Revisions, practices, changes and much progress later, they presented the Functional Fashion Rock Show.
The production was, from start to finish and from angles, dreamed up to be a multi-faceted visually stimulating phenomenon.
â€œWe did everythingâ€¦from writing all of the music, all of the lyrics, designing all of the clothes and looks, the stage, and then we got the models to sing the songs,â€ explains Jolly.
The models were a veritable whoâ€™s who in the Tacoma area art/music scene. Shaking their hips, gripping the mic, and letting the vocals flow with serious rawness would have Mick Jagger (an original stage stalker) grinning and envious of the youthful exuberance. To say these lovelies where showing off their many talents is a severe understatement. I enjoyed these models rather than the typical stiff faced stoic models that prance up and down a runway wearing clothes real people probably arenâ€™t buying.
Jolly and Tapiaâ€™s designs are unusual, yes, but still practical and of course, functional. Take the blue and white hoodie Alex designed for model Daniel Blue â€" itâ€™s functional, eye-catching and made for the real world
Yes, you still have to be a bit on the daring side of fashion for these looks, but not by much. Stephanie Johnsonâ€™s head to toe ensemble by Mike Jolly melded bright blue with black in designs that had onlookers riveted. The skirt was hot, hot, hot. Meoooww!
Of note, Jolly also designed Mariaâ€™s distressed and reconstructed black, white and cream long sleeve shirt, Byron Bettsâ€™s brown, cream and black zip vest with exaggerated collar as well as crafting his own look.
Poster art for the Functional Fashion Rock Show was created by
Christopher Jensen of PHOTOG Kristopher Jensen of Photogy Design. â€" Jennifer Johnson
The Weekly Volcano would like to thank Lisa Fruchiante for contributing to this Pride of Tacoma event.