Hippie Chic

Style Happenings: 'Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture' at BAM

Mark your calendars as Michael Cepress brings far-out fashion to this must-see exhibit at Bellevue Arts Museum.

By Amanda Zurita August 17, 2015

Next month at the Bellevue Arts Museum, local designer Michael Cepress will premier something of his life's work. Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture features handmade clothing, accessories, and other wares from the hippie movement of the ’60s and ’70s alongside the stories of the designers behind each piece. 

We profiled Cepress and the must-see show in the September issue of Seattle Met. Here are more of the dates and details to jot in your planner in anticipation of the opening on September 4.

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Image via Bellevue Arts Museum

Thursday, September 3 from 7:30 to 10
Put on your grooviest threads for the show's preview party. There will be a bar, KEXP's DJ El Toro spinning tunes of the era, and what we can only assume will be some of the best people watching of the summer. Plus you'll get a look at the collection before opening day. Tickets are $10, or free for BAM members.

Friday, September 4 from 6:30 to 8
Cepress hosts Soulful Expressions: The Bold Voices of Counterculture Fashion featuring a screening of three short films on the history and trends of the exhibition followed by a panel discussion moderated by Cepress. Tickets are $5, or free for BAM members.

Thursdays, September 10 through November 19 from 4 to 7
The Gage Academy of Art's teen art workshops feature themed tie-ins like Graffiti CultureRevolutionary Fashion, and Self-Expression Through Fashion. Teens will work in different mediums like sculpture, sewing, painting, and drawing, with all materials provided free of charge. Space in each session is limited and BAM suggests attendees register in advance.

Saturday, September 26 and Saturday, November 14 from noon to 3
The Contemporary Quilt Art Association hosts Denim Demolition, and afternoon where guests are encouraged to distress, update, embroider, paint, or otherwise destroy a piece of denim. BAM will provide a handful of denim pieces, but you should bring your own just in case. The event is free with admission to the museum.

Wednesday, November 11 at 7pm
Head to the Seattle SIFF Uptown Cinema for a film screening and discussion of the documentary The Cockettes, which follows a flamboyant 1960s theatrical troupe. Following the film, Cepress and Cockettes founding member Fayette Hauser will host a discussion on the piece and its cultural influence and significance.

Friday, November 13 from 6:30 to 8
If you make it to any event, let it be this one.
Cepress gives a curator talk entitled Unlocking the Psychedelic Trunk: My Journey into the Closets of a Movement. Having sat down with the designer myself to talk through the exhibit and how it came to fruition, this is sure to be an enlightening and engaging discussion—not just about how he dug through people's attics, but about the meaning behind dress as a whole and its particular significance to this era. Tickets are $5, or free for BAM members.

Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6 from 10 to 4
For crafty types, Cepress's two-day design workshop, Sew Your Soul, offers an in-depth look at the techniques and styles of the counterculture movement. Participants will learn how to embellish and reconstruct their own garments. Registration is $270 for nonmembers and $230 for museum members. The deadline to register is November 20.

Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture runs from September 4, 2015 through January 10, 2016.

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