Sep 062006
 
Authors: SHAUGHNESSY CONLEY The Rocky Mountain Collegian

In a world that continually idealizes women and the concept of beauty, Aimee Helen Koch disrobes the fallacy of societal perfection through the camera’s lens.

Koch’s black and white photographs, on display at the Lincoln Center, show a series of outfits with the human figures replaced by blank space in an attempt to make a statement on the concept of beauty.

They offer the powerful idea that in a society ruled by pop culture and fashion, the clothes wear the people – not the other way around.

“Clothing implies a human wearer. Encountering dress divorced from the body is strangely alienating,” said Koch, who makes her home in Virginia.

Koch’s photography is on display as part of the Lincoln Center’s Artwear Fashion Week, which kicks off Friday and covers a series of workshops and seminars throughout the week. Though the events of the week focus on the fashion designs of a few admittedly talented individuals, the true centerpiece is the exquisite photographic social commentary by Koch’s gifted eye.

The theme of the week is fashion, but Koch is decidedly opposed to the industry’s fabricated notion of beauty.

“The fashion show is supposed to be about the clothes, but it is not – it is about the girls,” Koch said. “That is why you don’t find an ugly girl on the runway.”

While the Lincoln Center exhibit titles the series as “Dressings,” the title on Koch’s own Web site actually refers to the series as “Undressed,” which is clearly a more definitive characterization of Koch’s ideology.

“I felt it more appropriately reflects a woman’s discomfort and exposure by removing the person,” Koch said.

Complimenting Koch’s exhibit, the week will also be highlighted by the work of various Artwear fashion artists and their unique style insights. The fashion show and the exhibit will feature work by Grace A. Meacham, Karren K. Brito, Iwona Rypsec-Kosovic and Joyce Fogle, and every item will be for sale throughout the week. Nearly half of the proceeds from these items will be used to help fund the Lincoln Center’s visual arts program.

The pieces appearing in this week’s fashion events span a variety of unique styles, from Fogle’s classic silk jackets to the more modern, extravagant look of Meacham and Brito.

Though the fashion of the upcoming week should be at the very least a decent event, the real must-see at the Lincoln Center right now is Koch’s magnificent photography, on display in the Walkway Gallery until Sept. 16. Admission into the gallery is free and the photos will be available for viewing between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays as well as between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The exhibit will be closed on Sundays.

Information about other events occurring during Fashion Week is available on the Lincoln Center website, http://fcgov.com/lctix/, or by calling 221-6730.

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