HIP Pops-Up in Houston

Designs by HIP Founder, Toni Whitaker. Image courtesy Toni Whitaker.

Designs by HIP Founder, Toni Whitaker. Image courtesy Toni Whitaker.

As part of the programs facilitated and supported through WOAH’s mobile Houston art space, West Oaks Art House, we are pleased to announce the upcoming opening of the HIP Pop-Up.

Making it’s grand debut on the biggest national shopping day of the year –– yes, that would be Black Friday–– the HIP Pop-Up sets-up-shop at West Oaks Mall thru December 31st. The opening of the HIP Pop-Up marks the landing of Houston’s first concept store exclusively dedicated to showcasing emerging designers under the innovative program of the Houston Incubator Project (HIP). A not-for-profit initiative headed by veteran designer and choice dresser to Houston’s most fashionable A-list, Toni Whitaker, the mission of the HIP is to grow and sustain the business of participating designers by developing the skills needed to thrive and survive in a competitive retail environment.

Animating a 500 sq ft. storefront space with participant’s collections, the HIP Pop-Up helps selected designers build and expand their brand’s exposure. By housing retail space at West Oaks Mall with locally designed and produced clothing and accessories, the HIP Pop-Up aims to generate attention to Houston’s leading fashion-entrepreneurs while simultaneously enabling them to test the ready-to-wear market. Offering business mentoring, networking opportunities, and the use of retail space at no-cost to participating designers, the HIP Pop-Up provides a unique, professional platform encouraging up-and-coming talent to reach their full potential, while exposing them to the real-life challenges of garnering a target-audience within an established retail landscape. Additionally, under Whitaker’s stellar curation, the HIP Pop-Up introduces new customers to the first incarnation of the incubator project, which is set to reach full program fruition come Spring 2014.

promopic

For more on the HIP visit www.houstonfashionincubatorproject.org

In addition to the HIP Pop-Up, West Oaks Art House provides a second location for the nonprofit arts organization Katy Visual & Performing Arts Center (KVPAC West Oaks).  Offering a Fun Friday Workshop on Black Friday, KVPAC West Oaks invites parents to drop-off kids to partake in fun arts and crafts activities while they enjoy shopping Black Friday bargains.

Fun Friday Workshop_slide

For more on the holiday programs offered at KVPAC West Oaks visit www.kvpac.org

Click here to download WOAH’s Press Release.

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Tunnel Vision

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Tunnel Vision // 10.12.13, a set on Flickr.

As part of the Cypress Village Tunnel Art WalkVCR and WOAH teamed up with Antigua Coffee House to present TUNNEL VISION, a one-night audiovisual event set within and inspired by the underground. Set-up along the overground periphery and below within a former pedestrian passageway in Cypress Park, TUNNEL VISION aimed to be a temporary portal inducing expanded states of perception. Pooling tastes for audiovisual elements typically limited to LA’s ‘undergrounds,’ TUNNEL VISION united hyphenated-genre-eluding music, interactive light optics, and the in-between, to deliver a hypnotic experience of sight and sound, space and perception.

Click here to view the full set on Flickr.  If you have TUNNEL VISION photos, we would love to share them! Please send to hello.tunnelvision@gmail.com

Tunnel Vision | Artist Call

Teaming up with one of our partners from July’s Double Vision, WOAH joins VCR (Vintage Contemporary Reconstructed) Founder, Nereida Villarreal, to deliver Tunnel Vision, a one-night audiovisual event set in the underground.  Along the overground periphery and below within a former pedestrian passageway in Cypress Park, Tunnel Vision aims to be a temporary portal inducing expanded states of perception.  Just as tunnels serve as convenient conduits for transit and telecommunication, we seek to create a space for communion and transcendence.  Pooling tastes for sounds typically limited to LA’s ‘undergrounds,’ Tunnel Vision bridges our loves for hyphenated-genre-eluding music, light optics, the in-between, and is a continued exploration in our shared vision of building audiovisual environments in off-the-grid, out-of-the-box locations.

Mark your calendar for 6PM – 11PM on Saturday, October 12th, as we block-the-street adjacent to Antigua Coffee House to channel astral planes, rally LED’s, lasers, and bass to create a hypnotic experience of sight and sound, magic and transcendence.  Brace your ears for optical soundscapes complete with the acoustic paradigms of Joshua Anzano and Leslie Dugger live.  In the mean time, we invite an open-call for audio[and]visual submissions thru Monday, September 23rd. Cross-classification, evocation of altered states, and testing capacities is recommended.  Submissions in all stimulating audio[or]visual work welcomed. See details below and please feel free to contact us with questions, spatial parameters, helping hands, or to request info:

hello.tunnelvision@gmail.com

hello(dot)tunnelvision(at)gmail(dot)com

Deadline: Monday, September 23rd

Note for Entries:  Fellow artists, please note, we encourage sending submissions before the deadline so we can assess location details with you.

Tunnel Vision - Artist Call - web

a Tale of II Pop-Ups | the Library + the Party

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting two alternative fashion spaces: The Library: Fashion Athenaeum and Pop tART Gallery‘s latest venture, Dope Shit.  The taste makers and pattern painters behind these different spaces share a common gift–the ability to filter the past to reintegrate the present.  Meet style shamans of Los Angeles, Shaye McKenney, the inspirational woman behind The Library, and Sebastian Hull, founder of second-hand boutique, Dope Shit.  To me, Shaye and Sebastian divine the hidden beauty of fashion.  They share the magic of style by appropriating dated or discarded fashions and channel their glamour through creating communal retail experiences dependent on collaborative participation.

The Library's mission is to provide an "alternative to capitalism" and "ideas of ownership," shifting focus "from personal possession and placing it instead on community sharing."

The Library’s mission is to provide an “alternative to capitalism” and “ideas of ownership,” shifting focus “from personal possession and placing it instead on community sharing.”  A pop-up initiative housed in donated spaces, The Library’s LA branch occupied the site of a former library off of Fairfax Ave. in West Hollywood. Photo: Sharsten.

Opening LA’s first edition of The Library last year, Shaye is an Oakland transplant whose global travels emanate her all-encompassing personal style and infiltrate the eclectic atmosphere that make the library so charming and inviting.  Housed in an actual former library in West Hollywood, The Library is a floating archive of vintage treasures.  Like a private book library, The Library provides a selection of inventory–with access to thousands of coveted collectibles–in exchange for membership.  Divided into three tiers–Bronze, Silver, and Gold Lamé– each determines the amount of merchandise to be checked out at one time.  The least expensive option is just $25 per month and awards a $180 credit, while the premium tier of $150 per month provides a $2,500 allowance.  Shaye also offers the ability to avoid trading monetary currency all together, awarding credit equal to the value of traded goods.

The Library transcends an exclusivity to only showcasing wearable items--vintage books and vinyls are also available for check-out.

The Library transcends an exclusivity to only showcasing wearable items–vintage books and vinyls are also available for check-out. Photo: Sharsten.

The Library is innovation in the industry of fashion, the phenomenon of pop-ups, and evidence of a cultural movement valuing collaborative consumption over individual ownership.  Not to mention this is an all-around genius idea in a place like LA brimming with stylists, photographers, and die-hard fashion aficionados who surely would welcome access to an amazing (and nearly unlimited) closet at the cost of “owning” an item only temporarily.  A native Angeleno myself, I can’t count the infinite number of times I’ve had to listen to a stylist friend burst into tears over the tireless task of unloading beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces to places offering a meager percentage on sales out of a desperate need to diversify options for an upcoming shoot or cash-in on their own personal wardrobes.  The Library offers an alternative to those wasted, Wasteland tears.

A mobile pop-up space since it’s initial LA inception–as well as those Shaye has helped to open in Sweden, Mexico, and San Francisco–the West Hollywood incarnation is unfortunately a vintage memory (for now at least).  Closing it’s doors last Sunday–but not without a super sale slashing 20-50% off selective merchandise–The Library is set for a temporary hiatus in Oakland with the hopes of securing a new LA location in the interim. What I did not know until reading this touching LA Weekly article profiling Shaye and the labor of love The Library has been–is the need for creative partners to help keep this space afloat and running.  A young ethereal beauty, Shaye masks an 18-year old battle with stage three lyme disease under a stoic welcoming presence, soft-spoken warmth, and refined taste for designer threads.  Ultimately, she would like to “plant the seed” she has worked tirelessly to nurture and currently seeks collaborators interested in sustaining The Library‘s LA branch in the future.  I have already pledged to help keep this place around–and one of those ways is by forging connections among a new generation of creatives dedicated to sharing style with the masses.

Sebastian started Dope Shit as a pop-up in 2012 after he had "amassed so much dope clothing [he] had to start selling it...There was no room left!"

Sebastian on display in the window at Dope Shit’s new home at Pop tART Gallery.  Photo: Sharsten.

Meet 20-year-old Sebastian Hull, self-professed “thrift addict,” native of Fargo, North Dakota, and founder of second-hand boutique Dope Shit.  Inaugurating its first semi-permanent location in Koreatown Saturday evening, Dope Shit is a repository of discarded and resurrected dope duds.  Enthralled by the “thrill of the hunt,” Sebastian has an eye “hopelessly addicted to patterns” and an uncanny ability to anticipate what his diversified clientele may be after.  Setting-up at various off-the-grid locations since early 2012, Dope Shit was initially realized as a pop-up shop appearing at flea markets and late-night dance parties all over underground and overground LA.

Scouring LA and beyond, Sebastian hand-selects the original, unique, one-of a kind pieces dangling the Dope Shit racks.  Amassing "so much dope clothing," he says he was left with no choice but to "start selling it...There was no room left!"

Scouring LA and beyond, Sebastian hand-selects the original, unique, one-of a kind pieces dangling the Dope Shit racks. Amassing “so much dope clothing,” he says he was left with no choice but to “start selling it…There was no room left!” Photo: Dope Shit.

Like Shaye, Sebastian has created a platform for sharing fashion in a communal and fun way.  If Shaye has created a fashion library, Sebastian has created a fashion party.  Dope Shit‘s current flagship is set within (and currently encompasses all) of Pop tART Gallery.  Gallery owner and founder is none other than the face of LA’s infamous Club Rhonda, the multifaceted and talented creative persona, Phyllis Navidad.  Once matte, white gallery walls are now a glossy black, paralleled by metallic silver floors throughout.  Sebastian’s sea of second-hand silhouettes are accentuated by unique accessories: oversized crystal necklaces, extravagant headpieces, and personal touches from a creative posse of designers and friends.  At the opening on Saturday, guests danced to live-dj sets and shopped while sipping cocktails from the open bar.

Both The Library and Dope Shit are pop-up spaces where personal style is found as a result of carefully curated and redirected shared resources.  These unique temporary venues pose evidence of a new cultural movement–one valuing collaboration and a sense of communal infrastructure.  There will always be a niche and market for overpriced, specialized, or run-of-the-mill designer boutiques, but these style makers spread a love of fashion beyond the superfluous guises of their counterparts.  Instead, they offer what any shopper in the post-internet age desperately needs: a feeling of authenticity and community in an age of consumer monotony and limitless selection.  Like the best intermediaries or messengers, the makers of these spaces present solutions to problems permeating the fashion industry and afflicting the greater world economy in favor of a new system favoring borrowing over buying and attainability over inhibition.

It's not too late to save The Library!
Contact The Library // 
Website: library-fashion.com // 
Email: contact.athenaeum@gmail.com // 
Like on Facebook // Follow on Instagram


Shop Dope Shit at Pop tART Gallery // 
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11AM-7PM; Saturday 1PM-7PM //
3023 W 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90010 //
Email: dopeshitklothing@gmail.com //
Like on Facebook // Follow on Instagram // Follow on Twitter

WOAH at Los Angeles Road Concerts – Mulholland Dérive

We Open Art Houses artists, Mookyung Sohn, Nu Speed, and Sharsten Plenge contributed in a project atop Mullholand Drive, overlooking  Los Angeles this past December 9, 2012.

The project was part of Los Angeles Road Concerts, an artist run series conceived by LA based artist, Stephen van Dyck. Annual artistic interventions take place on selected boulevards throughout the city.

On the corner of Mullholand Drive and Pyramid Place,  WOAH presented “Immersion Pyramid” – a shrine, temple, and oasis for the curious passerby.

This was our first manifestation as WOAH and hope that future directions, collaborations, and participation can be possible in the near future!, for now, some documentation!:

immersionpyramid

immersion pyramid