In the Sentinel…

Learning a thing or two from a thread head

By Christa Martin
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted:   09/19/2012 12:49:20 PM PDT

Watching “Project Runway” is one of my favorite ways to whittle away a few hours. Being a novice seamstress myself, I’m particularly blown away by the skills and speed with which the contestants execute “looks” for the show. This admiration extends not just to television personalities but to those fashion designers I happen to come across in the real world. Designer CAROLINE WEBSTER, a Tannery Arts Center live/work artist whose pieces will be shown in the FashionART runway show Sept. 22, is no exception.

Her collection is geared toward “the woman who is still in touch with her youthful, sensual self,” Webster says. It includes luxurious, draping silks, pops of color, gowns, bathing suits, mini-skirts, short dresses and more.

This year’s show will feature the work of both visual artists creating “fashion art” and fashion designers offering up their collections. “It’s an opportunity for local artists to get a taste of what it’s like to show their creations on the runway,” Webster says.

It’s hard to believe, but this will be the first time Webster, 39, has entered the show. Fashion design for her has been as much about rediscovery as it has been a new and exciting diversion from her regular work as a graphic designer.

“I applied for [the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising] and got accepted with a full scholarship,” she says. “However, I didn’t go … and had a family instead. I’m picking this all back up after 20 years and I’m even using the old Kenmore sewing machine my father bought me back in high school.” And what inspired her to pick it back up? Rather fittingly, it was seeing the work done in FashionART shows in the past. Learn more about her work at


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