February 27 – March 8

The Skirt Gallery is located in the Westbury Theatre that houses our MainStage play, The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir. Be sure to see these beautiful designs before the show or at intermission!

Five designers compete to create the official skirt of SkirtsAfire 2020! Skirts are judged on creativity and use of materials. Skirts must be constructed only of found materials, and must be wearable. Take a closer look at these stunning designs in our Skirt Gallery and learn more about each designer’s inspiration and concept!

Our Celebrity Judges for the competition are 2020 Honorary Skirt Lesley MacDonald, Janice Irwin, Tara McCarthy, and Kimberly Ouellette from Alberta Mamas

Alberta Girl – Kim Neeser based her design on the blue skies and wheat fields of Alberta that she grew up playing in. Kim’s inspiration comes from her passion for Mother Earth and her love for textiles. Kim’s skirt represents the possibility of what new things we can create using things we already have. In efforts to reduce textile waste that hurts our Mother Earth and bring awareness to slow fashion and intentional living, Kim has created her skirt out of old drapery pleats and doilies. Historically, these pieces would have been hand sewn in efforts to preserve furniture and last a generation or two not massed produced and disposed of seasonally like today’s standards.

Let the Sun Shine In – Wendy Ward’s skirt design is inspired by the history of the classic and timeless pencil skirt.  The first pencil skirt was created by Christian Dior of France in the 1940’s to ration material, the curvy shape was embraced by women who were tired of the looser fitting wartime clothing.

Patterned Past – Joanne Ngo’s 1940s inspired skirt is created using upcycled sewing patterns, highlighting how clothing was often handmade in the past. She hopes that her piece will spark dialogue about the impact of fast fashion on the sustainability of our planet as well as on our local and global economies.

Pleated Curtain – Emma Kluttig’s skirt begins as a chic, long night skirt which then becomes a casual day skirt when hooked in the back. Emma’s inspiration for the skirt came from her experiences in acting and writing. She noticed within every good theatre production, movie, or book, each story has a surprise or twist. Even if it’s slight, there’s always something the viewers would never expect and Emma truly wished to present this with her skirt. The formal section of the skirt acts as a curtain and lifts to reveal the casual skirt which has several different book pages, each one with their own stories and twists. Emma hopes her skirt surprises everyone just like amazing stories do.

What’s your number? – Christa Chapman’s design is made from receipts that she has been collecting for the last 10 years. The receipts are a form of documented evidence that portray memories and past acts of her life as every receipt is symbolic of a moment in time such as a meal, groceries, new clothing or sharing time with family and friends. The numbers on the receipts represent her identity in society. The colour red represents the blood shed, mistreatment, demoralization and inequalities that women and minorities needed to face in the past, and still need to face in today’s socially gendered and categorized world.