Wearable, musical, edible content revealed at ’Awkward: The Event’ at Johnson Museum

February 28, 2008

CORNELL CHRONICLE — What is a publication? Is it ink and paper, text and images? Can it be something more, or something else?  The artistic student lifestyle publication Awkward continues to stretch the perception of a ubiquitous part of Cornell campus life with innovative releases of a "magazine" that explore sensual means of communication and experience. Its latest edition, "Awkward: The Event," was presented at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Feb. 23, as a fashion show combined with original music and dining, all created independently to relate to 13 texts published in an event program. In effect, the "issue" consisted of wearable, musical and edible interpretations of ideas. Moving to music composed by local DJs and doctoral candidates in music, the student models added interpretive dance to the mix, while showing original fashions that ranged from revealing ("Logo Dress," a giant letter "a" and little else) and futuristic ("Plugged" and "Feet on Concrete") to local and pop-culture references ("Yoda Dress," with an altered green T-shirt reading "Gorges Ithaca Is") and a combination bridal/graduation gown ("M.B.S."). "When all the different designers got together, they didn't know each other," said Awkward creative director Kirby Fowle '08, development sociology, who introduced the show along with editor-in-chief Savinien Caracostea '09, architecture. "Some were more literal, and some were more about how the model looks. No one was talking to anyone else, and this week it all came together." Sigrid Pauen and her Café DeWitt staff created 13 miniature gourmet dishes, including a guilt-laced "2,000 Calorie Truffle" to accompany "The Morning After the Night Before."  The show was presented at five hourly intervals in the museum lobby, with diners lining the runway constructed for the event. "Awkward in the past has tried to take written work and make it more perceivable," Fowle said. "Last year we did a box with different textures. We want to make the experience more enjoyable."

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