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Art meets fashion on 'Runway' shows at Burchfield Penney

It has the buzz of New York Fashion Week -- as well as the innovation, entertainment, drama and even some big names.

Runway 2.0 comes to the Burchfield Penney Art Center on Saturday with two events that merge the fashion and art worlds.

It's all part of a collaboration between the Buffalo State College Fashion Department and the Burchfield Penney, where the shows will be staged in the East Gallery.

A look at the day:

*An afternoon fashion show from 4 to 5 p.m. will showcase the designs of students in Buffalo State's fashion program. Their creations are based on the current Charles Burchfield exhibition, "The Romance of Urban Decay" -- with students finding design inspiration in everything from broken glass to gargoyles.

Remaining tickets are $7 at the door and benefit a Buffalo State fashion scholarship.

*The evening extravaganza again features designs by Buffalo State students in addition to those by prominent designers with Western New York roots, including Adam Lippes, Mara Hoffman -- both of whom present their collections in New York during Fashion Week -- and Susan Bosley, who designs the Canadian line GISH (Girls in Skirts).

That show starts at 9 p.m., with music selections by Shock & Awe. Other highlights include a red carpet with Lydia Dominick -- the CW 23 Girl -- asking what everyone is wearing; students posing as paparazzi; a dessert reception, and post-show music by Them Jazzbeards. Remaining tickets are $40 at the door to benefit the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Faculty member Erin Habes, former owner of the Elmwood boutique Sweet'n Dirty, said that other local designers' works will be featured, too.

"We wanted to make the event more glamorous and special by securing some really cool local designers," said Habes on Tuesday, as her students finalized plans during Fashion Show Production class.

In addition, collections designed by senior fashion students will be judged by a panel that includes David Tanner (Burchfield Penney's chief operating officer); Mindy Shine (from Adam Lippes); Joan Fedyszyn (former TV stylist; buyer in women's department at O'Connell's clothing store); Danae Dade (Is-mental blog); Corey Moran (www.fashionindie.com) and Nancy Belfer (Buffalo State professor emeritus/textile artist).

"It has been great working with these fashion divas," said Habes, who also produced last year's student fashion show at Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the "Mass Appeal: A High Fashion Event" last November.

As for the student designers, it's a thrill for them to see models selected from a casting call wearing the clothes they have been working on.

One student, Tiffany Landon of Albuquerque, N.M., said that her one-of-a-kind feathery designs were inspired by the mythical griffins and gargoyles she has seen on buildings around Buffalo, specifically their wings.

"I love how they are the 'secret watchers' of the city,' " she said.

For those attending the show, it's not just about the fashions on the runway, however, Habes said.

It's also about the clothing in the crowd.

"People are so excited about the show. Everyone is asking, 'What are you wearing?' " Habes said.

"It's really creating a buzz," she said.

e-mail: smartin@buffnews.com

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