“Fashion Meets Photography” at Cleveland Photo Fest’s Closing Gala Tonight

Cleveland Photo Fest comes full circle with wearable creations

Described as “a runway extravaganza of wearable artistry constructed with, from or inspired by local and international photographers and their photographs,” tonight's free “Fashion Meets Photography" event at Bostwick Design Art Initiative (2729 Prospect Ave.) runs 6 to 10 p.m. and serves as the closing for Cleveland Photo Fest.

Hosted by Verdana Lni, Jackie Bertolette, and Haute Ohio Fashions, it will include a red-carpet to strut on, live music by The Prom Queens, and a live auction of the garment collection immediately following the showcase.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their photo-inspired threads.

“To my knowledge, this is the first fashion show ever presented in Cleveland using photo art,” said  Bertolette. "The photos used in the collection are photos from the 1 million photo exhibits, floral, dog pictures and my collection of doors from around the world. I am curating, designing and constructing all the ‘garments’ with the assistance of my atelier team Jacci Hammer, Michael, Harms and Anastasia Pantsios. There are 11 looks: nine women, one male and of course, a canine. The clothing is constructed from armature’s muslin and photographic images on paper.”

Cleveland Photo Fest wanted to amass 1 million photographs, a lofty goal of which they fell short — they gathered around 200,000. Still an impressive number.

Anyone around the world was invited to submit.

With the hundreds of thousands of images CPF did collect, they worked with local print company NEOPRO Imaging to print thumb-size images, which were then printed on 11 four-by-eight panels, each containing more than 17,000 images.

They then ran into the issue of how to ecologically disperse the images after the exhibition. After some of these panels were sold or donated to collections across the country, CPF decided to contact Bertolette to repurpose the photos into fashion.

Bertolette designed ten colorful, custom outfits. Jackie’s creations will be worn by models for the evening before being auctioned off at the close of the event.

“The fashion show is a Fusion of Photography and Fashion, which covers decades of photographic work in the fashion industry over Jackie’s career as an editorial fashion, photographer, international fashion designer, editor of a fashion publication, and executive producer of Ohio fashion week,” said Ascherman.