Arts & Entertainment
Best-Dressed Show In Town
The Janice Charach Gallery's new exhibit offers beautiful bras and tantalizing ties.
Special to the Jewish News
or a mere $1.25, a woman of
1940 could have it all: "an anima-
tion, a vitality and a distinctive
style "the joy of being attractive" and
"the secret of charm."
All she needed was the Formfit bra —
a gem certain, the company's ads prom-
ised, to put the "'life' in your lifeline!'
The first bras — actually more like
corsets — were invented around 2000
B.C.E., though the first patent for a bra
wasn't issued until 1850. Since then,
the bra has undergone extraordinary
changes, from the wool version of the
late 1800s to the wireless bras (all forms
of metal were needed for the war effort)
created during World War I to the make-
yourself-flat bras popular during the
1920s, thanks to flappers.
Rarely, however, have bras been regard-
ed as fine art.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, the Jewish
Community Center of Metropolitan
Detroit's Janice Charach Gallery will host
"The Bra Show:' a collection of ordinary
bras that have been transformed into
works of art.
The exhibit, which runs through Dec.
17, features bras decorated by national
and local figures including actress
Justine Bateman; fashion critic Steven
"Cojo" Cojocaru; Robin Schwartz, a
reporter for Fox-2 News and the Detroit
Jewish News; Peter Soronen, fashion
designer to celebrities including Sarah
Jessica Parker and Jennifer Hudson;
Joe Faris of Project Runway; Melrose of
America's Next Top Model; and Scarlett
Jade, designer for films including Detroit
Rock City, Demoted and Standing in the
Shadows of Motown who also created
the wardrobe for the local production
of Legally Blonde, running at Detroit's
Fisher Theatre Oct 15-Nov. 1.
The event is free and open to the
Gallery Director Terri Stearn provided
the plain bras to each artist, with a
request to simply do a bit of decoration.
The results, she says, are "completely
unexpected. Each one is so extraordi-
Donna Pellegata's bra is a tribute to her
Hillary Levin's bra is made of silver
and copper wire.
All eyes are on Scarlett Jade's work
Bra by Michael Daitch
Model Melrose submitted a pointy
bra made of jeans material, which will
be featured in an upcoming magazine
shoot. Designer Scarlett Jade donated
a sequined bra with flirty green eyes.
Cojo's creation features drawings of
Madonna and Angelina Jolie; it's the
"Red Carpet Bra;' complete with fiery-
red writing. Local artist Viktoriya
Strumban made a bra, with King Titan,
comprising only tiny seeds and beans.
The "From Forest to Floor" bra
is made of red gourds, another bra
shows kittens, a third offers support
— in a big way — for Michigan State
University, and artist Susan Emerling
created a bright and beautiful garden
bra of felt shapes. There are also a few
"The Bra Show" opens 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct.17, at the Jewish Community
Center of Metropolitan Detroit's Janice Charach Gallery, located inside the
JCC at 6600 W. Maple Road in West Bloomfield; free and open to the public.
"The Bra Show" runs concurrently with "Toward the Threadbare," an exhibit
featuring sculptures and other works of art created solely from ties. Gallery
hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays and 11
a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. For information, contact Gallery Director Terri Stearn,
(248) 432-5579 or email@example.com .
requisite pink bras, offering both a
nod to the breast-cancer ribbon and
a bit of va-va-va-voom (a fluffypink
scarf). Actress Justine Bateman's proj-
ect reflects her passion for knitting, and
reporter Robin Schwartz donated a TV
The gallery staff also donated bras;
Stearn's is based on her hands, cast in
plaster. Assistant Director Hillary Levin
designed a silver-and-copper wire bra.
Other artists contributing to the
project are Donna Pellegata, Gail Mintz,
Taryn Boyn, Diane Nunez, Amy Durfee,
Ilene Harris, Gilda Snowden, Cliff
Harris, Robert Schefman, Mollene Levin,
Lisa Fox, Joe Faris, Susan Massucci,
Susan Brennan, Abby Stybel, Diane
Takacs, Michael Daitch, Imre Molnar,
Linda Onderko, Ilene Kahan, Karen
Fenwick, Mimi Prussack, Susan Moiseev,
Lynn Duffy, Mary Tata Lynch, Lucy
Morey, Ron Stearn and Denise Rieck.
Most of the bras — like one bearing a
bird's nest — show a bit of humor. But
there's also a work from artist Donna
Pellegata that is both artistically lovely
and poignant; Pellegata's shows two
photographs, of the artist and her sister,
Patricia, who died of breast cancer. "My
heart," Donna wrote across the top of
her art, "is broken to know I will never
see you again.
All bras will be for sale, with prices
beginning at $180, with proceeds to the
Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital Charach
Cancer Treatment Center and the gal-
Showing with "The Bra Show" is
"Toward the Threadbare an exhibit
featuring sculptures and other works
of art, created solely from ties, by Isaac
Amala and Liz Simpson.
"Neckties, idiosyncratic in design
and personality, are normally viewed
independently of one another!' the two
write on their blog. "As cultural objects,
they bring to mind the world of profes-
sionalism, formality, conservatism and
business. In our current body of work,
we examine the necktie as a formal
material rather than formal wear. While
we don't necessarily aim to strip the ties
of their popular psychological weight,
we seek to better understand and ulti-
mately reveal their properties!' PI
October 15 • 2009