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ISU College of Design faculty, student work part of Des Moines Art Center's 'Window Dressings' exhibition

September 11, 2014

Peter Goche, "The Boning Frock." Courtesy of the artist.


AMES, Iowa — Work by Iowa State University faculty members Peter Goche, senior lecturer in architecture, and Mitchell Squire, associate professor of architecture, and students in Squire's spring 2014 Toys! studio will be featured during the Des Moines Art Center's Window Dressings exhibition, Sept. 13-27 in Des Moines' East Village.

The exhibition—a series of fashion-inspired window displays by local artists installed in East Village businesses—is part of the "Art Meets Fashion" week of events to benefit the art center's free admission policy, outreach and educational programming. An open house will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 ($20 admission).

Goche's "The Boning Frock" (pictured) will be suspended from a single point in the Dornink storefront at 518 E. Grand Ave. The piece tends to stay in perpetual motion (turning/orbiting), Goche said.

He used a Depression-era dress as referent of the body; wire, a ridge ball and teaspoons refer to the boning—"in this case, the boning is a visual logic separate from the dress," he said. "As a consequence of this type of aggregation, there is a symbiotic tension in the work."

Squire's "B-Movie Bombshells, 'Black Venus,' Naughty Girls, and Queens of Outer Space, et. al." installation is inspired by the calendar art of Gil Elvgren, the shapely starlets-turned-paper-dolls of the 1950s and the colored lithographs of French poster artist Paul Colin.

Particularly, in Colin's portfolio titled "Le Tumulte Noir," two pictures have piqued Squire's interest and have a playful way of relating to fashion and window dressing: one in which jazz entertainer Josephine Baker is depicted wearing nothing more than a skirt of palm leaves, and another where she similarly dons the famous skirt of yellow bananas. The installation will be at Projects Contemporary Furniture, 501 E. Locust St.

The Toys! Studio's "tuck your shirt in* (for mothers only)" installation at Wooly's, 504 E. Locust St., responds to an old practice by mothers of sewing lace around the bottom of their sons' shirts to help ensure they kept shirttails tucked in. This year's studio, Squire said, "decided, well, to embrace the lace!"

For the students involved, "there is no such 'lace' sufficient to embarrass a playful expression of innovative fashion independence." Following its consideration of the relationship between toys and fashion, the studio's display includes designs for candy lingerie, burgers and fries beachwear, and acrylic masquerade couture.

"And how can there be a celebration of fashion without something along the lines of a dodecahedron drag-queen gown, or a vacuum-formed superhero costume made of blue foam, or a comfy dolphin pillow for late-night lounging in front of the TV, or what can only be described as an outfit for Eve's imaginary shoe paradise?" Squire said.

Anchoring the display is "an astonishing ensemble" of stuffed animals created by Omaha high school students who participated in a weekend Toys! workshop.

View a map of all Window Dressings locations.

Peter Goche, Architecture, (515) 294-4717,
Mitchell Squire, Architecture, (515) 294-0390,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,