By Sophia Hayden
Feb. 4 marked Batavia High School’s 14th annual Rock the Runway show, a wearable art show in which student designers must create pieces that align with a particular theme. The catch is designers cannot use any actual clothing, resulting in exponentially creative uses of everything from bubble wrap to butter containers. This year’s theme was Bliss, and the show’s level of production was striking. Upon walking through Batavia Fine Arts Center’s main entrance, audience members were greeted by an atmospherically lit blue hallway with clouds hanging from the ceiling.
After sitting down with a variety of designers, the common consensus was that the 2022 theme was highly interpretable, contributing to a diverse array of designs. Lead Creative Director Tanner Fleury made Rock the Runway history this year by winning four awards: first place in fashion, first place in accessories, and two people’s choice awards for both their dress and accessory. Fleury described bliss as water.
“I think water is a free-flowing thing,” Fleury said. “… The dress was inspired by that, I wanted your eye to move throughout the piece and for it to look like water and ripples.”
Additionally, their accessory Circles of Imagination was constructed from clothespins, string, and metal hoops.
“It’s all about fun: carnival, and clouds,” Fleury said.
Second place in fashion was awarded to Creative Director Katie Casey for her piece Sunset’s Secret Smile. Casey used a combination of stained glass, construction mesh, and glass beads to create a sunset scene that she says was inspired by a trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
“Every sunset is different and it never ceases to be an example of primordial beauty,” she said in her artist statement. “The colors change every few minutes and always leave people guessing what color will come next. While fleeting, the sunset reminds those who look that beauty and peace can be found in simple moments. After all, a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.”
Taking third place was senior Lucy Lisberg. Her dress, L’amour, was created from pillow stuffing, cellophane, and bubble wrap. Lisberg describes bliss as love saying it is “the most natural form of bliss one can have… love is simply the closest thing we have to magic.”
Additionally, sophomore Grace Huggins received the Total Package award. Her piece, Ignorance is Bliss?, explores the dangers of being in a bubble of ignorance. Her design was created with clear plastic vinyl, metal strips, and yarn. Her model walked down the runway enclosed in a clear bubble being pierced by daggers.
“We all live in a bubble of blissful ignorance until responsibilities, and problems…shatter that bubble… the more knowledge we have, the better prepared we are for life outside the bubble…and maybe, life outside the bubble allows us to be more blissful,” Huggins said.
Finally, Creative Director Intern Addie Moonshower was awarded the Creative Director Award for her piece Silver Lining. Moonshower’s piece describes the attainability of bliss saying “Fear, sadness and adversity are necessary to truly understand and appreciate pure bliss. Constant sunshine may cause one to find bliss in the rain.”
If you missed this year’s looks, make sure to stop by the Fine Arts Center next year for the 2023 show!