Boise’s Hidden Fashion Scene


    Art of Fashion Show: Incognito – The Third Annual Boise Art Museum Fashion Show

    Story by Rachel Holt, Photography by Klein Sun Gallery, NY & Bart Cepek Photography (runway shot)

    When you think of Boise, you might not immediately picture haute couture. But this year is the Boise Art Museum’s Third annual fashion show contest—Art of Fashion Show: Incognito. Each year a different artist featured at the museum is selected as the inspiration for the show, and designers can submit pieces revolving around the theme to compete in the show for prizes.

    “It’s great that we have a creative community. The contest has helped a lot of young designers know that they can do this. It gives some confidence to brand new and even seasoned designers and artists,” says Terra Feast, Curator of Education at the Boise Art Museum (BAM).

    BAM-Fashion-1-PhotoThis year, the fashion show’s inspiration is taken from its spring exhibition: Incognito, inspired by the work of Liu Bolin from China. Liu Bolin is best known for his series of performance photography “Hidden in the City,” a stunning exhibit currently displayed at the BAM. Pieces in this series are elaborate photographs that incorporate the artist blending into locations with intended significance or symbolism. Liu literally paints himself others into the background to create statements about individuals and their place in contemporary society.

    “It’s the exhibit we promote the most, and the spring exhibit ends shortly after the fashion show, so it gives people the best opportunity to see it. We try to select artists with themes that transition well. Liu Bolin ties in well and has worked with the fashion industry. Actually, all the artists we chose were tied to the fashion world in different ways,” says Feast.

    This year, designing teams will create pieces that are inspired or related to a place. In their entry, designers are asked to provide a photo of a location. This location does not have to be a monument, but the designed fashion must incorporate some sort of illusionistic effect and be inspired or related to the location they chose, much like the work of Liu Bolin. The fashion show complete with runway will take place on April 25th with the doors opening at 6:00 p.m., and the show starting at 6:30. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. In advance, tickets are $10 for museum members and $15 for nonmembers. At the door they are $15 and $20 respectively. The event will provide food and includes a raffle as well as the opportunity for attendees to vote for their favorite fashion.

    At the end of the night the winner is announced and awarded a cash prize. Feast says, “Just attending is inspiring. It is truly fun to watch. It’s even more fun to reward the winner and a give the artist a positive send off. We are trying to bring world class art to the Boise community—you don’t need to go to London or Paris to experience great art when you can do that right here in Boise.”



    For more information about designer registration, tickets for this year’s show, or BAM events check out their website at or on Facebook at