Thinking Outside The Frame

Janice Carter-Levitch, Guy Tedesco, Charity Ghali, Elizabeth Dodd Lococo and Kris Petitt.

Janice Carter-Levitch, Guy Tedesco, Charity Ghali, Elizabeth Dodd Lococo and Kris Petitt.

If you’re looking for a new fashion show to attend this season, one with a little twist, then look no further than KMAC Couture Art on the Runway. With the emphasis solely on art rather than the wardrobe, it features original, wearable, conceptual fashion designs from artists, costumers, designers and milliners in a runway-style show.

I had a chance to sit down with Charity Ghali to find out what we can expect and who the creative team is behind the show. Guy Tedesco, Janice Carter-Levitch, Kris Petitt and Elizabeth Dodd Lococo are the force driving the event.

LORI KOMMOR: We are in the height of our fashion show season in Louisville, but KMAC Couture Art on the Runway is all about the art. Since this is a brand new event, can you give us insight on what to expect?
CHARITY GHALI: I think one of the most exciting aspects of KMAC Couture is the mystery behind what will be seen. We are guarding our pieces so that no one sees them until the show. We are going as far as keeping some in our homes so that even the museum staff will be surprised.

All I can say is we have these incredible artists and designers who were told that the runway was their canvas and they could interpret it at will. Every piece selected is special and incomparable to the others. Art is subjective. As far as expectations go, I think it will be a wondrous journey, different for each attendee.

KOMMOR: Can you tell us about the artists and designers who have pieces in the show?
GHALI: We received over 60 submissions and it was a difficult choice deciding who would walk, as they were all so deserving. We received an interesting variety of submissions. Some submissions were from designers that were fashion-oriented, all the way to sculptors that are more used to two-ton bronzes than a walking piece. These differences (are) what has made the show so rich and fulfilling for those of us involved in the planning.

The arts community in Kentucky is so strong and it transcends generations and so do our artist/designers. We have a multitude of ages and professional backgrounds, and it really seems to encompass an
eclectic bunch.

KOMMOR: Traditionally, there is a red carpet in which guests walk to enter the event. Why was the color orange chosen for the KMAC Couture event? Also, is it true you are asking all guests to wear white?
GHALI: It is true. We are even painting the whole space white so that as the guests file in, if they choose to wear white, they will feel a sense of belonging to the canvas. Our goal is that in a sea of white canvas it will be easier for the artist’s pieces to be the sole focus. Different than a typical runway show where most voyeurs want to be seen, at KMAC Couture we are wanting all eyes on the art.

As for the orange carpet, it’s warm, elegant vibrance seems such a perfect signature color for a space as refreshing as KMAC’s, and a red carpet just wouldn’t do.

KOMMOR: I’ve heard capacity is somewhat limited, because the event is being held at the museum. Can you tell us where to purchase tickets and how many are available?
GHALI: We like to think it will be a coveted ticket. We originally had 200 spaces that could be bought but the number is much smaller now as they have started selling. The momentum is moving so we are forecasting a sell-out.

It is such an intimate space and its energy is perfect for showcasing the artists. Tickets are on sale at the KMAC website,, under “Events.”

KOMMOR: Pending the success of this year’s event, do you anticipate more in the future?
GHALI: Fingers crossed. I think we are all anticipating that this will be become a bit of an annual Louisville tradition. Not only have we adored all our involvement with getting this event to take flight, but the response from the community has built tremendous momentum.

Wouldn’t it be fun to close down Main Street and let the art walk there? Each one of us is hoping that this year will be successful as our minds are bursting with ideas of what we can do if we have a bit more time for preparation. Dare to dream.