Fictive Runway, 1997

Fictive Runway, An art and fashion event

A line of fashion made from a wide variety of everyday materials and products. Everything from plastic table cloths, to bed spreads, to children’s jump ropes, gets incorporated into actual wearable clothing. Presented at The Tunnel, 27th Street and 12th Avenue, New York City, Thursday, September 18, 1997. Sponsored in part by the Downtown Arts Festival.

 GROUP 1. Six (6) outfits, Plastic Table Cloths/Car Upholstery
GROUP 2. Ten (10) outfits, Curtain/ Mattress Fabric & Digital Prints
GROUP 3. Three (3) outfits, Little girls dresses worn on the front of the body with latex backs
GROUP 4. Three (3) outfits, Jump Rope Dresses
GROUP 5. Three (3) outfits, Rug Stop & Digital Prints
GROUP 6. Five (5) outfits, Bed Spreads from Chinatown

Project Description:

In an earlier age the majority of people on the planet lacked financial resources to buy clothing worn by the upper classes, yet they had traditional clothes made of natural materials, and with the use of generations-old craft techniques and the devotion of time toward the making, they had clothing of great beauty. 

With the coming of the industrial age of mass production and global cultural homogenization, many of these traditional techniques got washed away in the flood of inexpensive Euro-american material culture items. As a result most of the poor around the world wear and use cheap synthetic fabrics and products. Things made of natural materials through craft processes are hugely expensive, and only the rich can afford them. 

Often the artificial products look like the worst of Western culture, but sometimes these synthetic objects mimic the beauty of the original natural craft products they came to replace. Plastic tablecloths printed or cut with a lace design, machine quilted acetate bed spreads, plastic jump ropes with a cork screw pattern to imitate braiding, all are examples of such products. 

Recreated in these new materials they have been read by most arbiters of taste as either undesirable abominations or as interesting kitch objects, but to the people who use them they are not kitch, but rather the most beautiful objects they can afford. Further, despite the apparent loss of local culture, indigenous communities are the ones from which the original material culture arose and so the new cheap synthetic materials sold in these markets eventually begin to absorb and reflect earlier cultural aesthetics which might seemingly have been lost. Cheap everyday synthetic products containing some jewel or trace of little recognized aesthetic value form the basis for this fashion/art project.

The event is in the form of a fashion show with six groups of clothing each based on a different set of everyday synthetic products used as raw material from which to make the clothing. These include plastic table cloths, car upholsteryfabric, curtain and mattress fabric, Little girl’s dresses from 14th st., children’s jump ropes, rug stop (the material put under rugs to keep them from sliding) and quilted acetate bed spreads from Chinatown. Accompanying the show is video art reflecting the aesthetic. The idea is to explore the grace inherent in these materials through the medium of fashion, and to put forward a new set of notions about beauty and elegance by juxtaposing the origins of the materials with the carefully crafted qualities in clothing’s finished form.

It may be made from a plastic table cloth but we hope you’ll wish you could wear it. – Paul Clay ‘97


Conceived and Produced By Paul Clay
Clothing Designed By Paul Clay and Adriana Arenas
Lise Kovar – Draper and Pattern maker
Diego Valencia – Additional Pattern maker
Thomas Miller – Executive Coordinator
Jeannie Yi – Key Coordinator
Reiko Catakura – Illustrator/Coordinator
Naomi Sebu – Additional Coordinator
Frances Sorensen – Make up Concept
David Hicky – Hair Concept
David Newman – Choreography
Rick Murray – Technical Associate
Mike Shlafer & Scott Laully – Set design and technical help
Jamie Leo – Invitation and Program Design
Stephanie Diamond – Assistant to Paul Clay
Lisa Salvador – Assistant to Lise Kovar

Soyeon Kim
Charlott Corday
Jennifer Clemente

Make Up Team:
Frances Sorensen
Patricia Johnson
Danielle McDonald
Liza Zaretsky of Make Up For Ever
Kim Wahmann of Make Up For Ever
Alberto Machuca of Make Up For Ever
Angelrafael Gonzale of Make Up For Ever
Shannon Frank of Make Up For Ever
Make Up provided by Make Up For Ever

Hair Team:
David Hicky for Red Salon
Brad Langtry for Red Salon
Gregory Melendrez assistant at Red Salon
Shannon Williams

Christy Edwards
Veronica Vasicka

Danielle Levit

Kerrin Hoeffler
Patrizia Hoeffler
Katherine Sidor
Eric Pritchard
Linda Serrone
Ron Serrone
Nana baek
Naomi Sebu
Erica Pritchard

Kate Hromada
Karin Models:
Stephanie Richards
Rebecca Brock
Cortney Miller
Audrey Quock
Company Management:
Jamison Ernest
Aaron Cantor
Adrine Hurd
Megan Mitchell
Mariana Suarez
Miguel Bohmer
David Newman
Rick Murray
Arron Cantor
Keith Krystofolsky
Jennifer Clemente

Special Thanks:
Louie and Ashton at Ford Models
Mora at IMG
Nicole, Christian, and Sara, at Karin
Danielle at Make Up For Ever
Brad & John at Red Salon
Jennifer Clemente
The Downtown Arts Festival:
Simon Watson
Craig Hensela
Ron Lasko
Xplosions Productions:
The Tunnel:
New Age Productions:

Make Up provided by Make Up For Ever