by Amanda Miller
When it comes to Couture fashion, one’s first thought is usually not Cincinnati, Ohio, but once the world catches a glimpse of the artwork of Erika Beartie, that may well change though.
Gowns by Beartie (pronounced Bear-tee-ay) are the passion projects designed and hand-fashioned by Erika Beartie. Thus far, she has given “birth” to ten one-of-a-kind works of art, and each has its own story and personality. Beartie gowns are “wearable art, fabric sculptures designed to enhance your body, reflect your style and transcend stereotypes of purpose.”
One of my personal favorites is named “Inner Passion” – a delectable concoction that is the physical embodiment of passion – from the color, to the cut to the embellishments – every line cries out that the dress and the woman wearing it is the very essence of passion. In fact, any woman wearing one of Ms. Beartie’s gowns must be prepared to be noticed. These dresses make a statement that the woman wearing them is a powerful, lush, confident creature who doesn’t mind the attention on her. But make no mistake, these are not gowns to create objects out of women but to enable women to feel powerful in their femininity, to encourage them to fully embrace the power of the goddess, to step into her own skin…and not as a girl who is playing dress up but as a full woman who knows herself and accepts every luscious inch.
We often see fashion hung on the pre-adult forms of lithe, young girls who have yet to develop the fullness of womanhood. Society seems to expect and accept this standard for couture: the uber thin. However, Beartie does not design for society. She designs for the real woman, and her passion for it shows. Her gowns are made to reflect an aspect of a woman’s personality, and she truly takes into account who her client is when creating a custom piece. She emphasizes that “I really care about the women who wear my gowns” and that women of all ages and shapes can wear one of her creations – as long as they don’t mind being the center of attention.
Ultimately, she wishes that her art can be an expression of the wearer’s truth and not only will it make the client LOOK beautiful but that it makes her FEEL it as well.
Also, check out her options for going green with sustainable and organic material or the option to breathe new life into a vintage dress or family heirloom.
You can find Gowns by Beartie on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gownsbybeartie
and here on her blog site: http://erikaberthy.blogspot.com/