WDRB goes behind the scenes as artists prepare for annual KMAC C - WDRB 41 Louisville News

WDRB goes behind the scenes as artists prepare for annual KMAC Couture Show

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Original fashion creations will walk the runway in the annual KMAC Couture. Artists spend months getting ready for the wearable art show.

For hours on end, Wende Cudmore slices piles of cucumbers, which might lead you to think she's a chef, but Cudmore isn't working on a salad. She's actually an artist transforming cucumbers into clothes.

"I'm so passionate about the fruits and vegetables," said Cudmore who designs from her Salem, Indiana home.

Wearable pieces of art that will soon make their way down the runway. "A different type of artistry," she said.

Cudmore is one of more than 50 artists featured in the annual KMAC Couture show. Presented by Louisville's KMAC Museum, designers let their imaginations run wild creating wearable art featured in the annual fashion show.

"This year's theme was related to street fashion and so we tasked the artists with creating in that concept," said Debbie Huddleston-Mitchell, chair of KMAC Couture.

"The inside of the fruit or vegetables just becomes an art piece itself," said Cudmore.

Art is something Cudmore came to later in life. She graduated from IUS in 2013 with a degree in printmaking. That's where a short article about pressing fruits and vegetables inspired her and the rest is history. This marks her fifth year designing for KMAC Couture.

"Every year I challenge myself to do something more wearable in pressed fruits and vegetables, which is an unlikely candidate to be something that you would wear," said Cudmore.

Cudmore starts working on her concept in January for the April show. It starts with a sketch, then it's time to prep the produce. "I'll see a fruit at the grocery store or a vegetable, and I'll think I wonder what that would look like sliced and pressed?" she said.

She slices, blanches, dries and presses the vegetables. It takes a lot of fruits and vegetables to put her piece together. And that's earned a reputation at her local grocery store.

"I order my turnips in 25 pound bags," said Cudmore. It can take up to 250 pounds of turnips for just two pieces. 

"People are like 'wow you really like turnips'," she said. And while she does like turnips, that's not a requirement for a dress.  

"Sometimes the pressed fruits and vegetables will not do what I want them to do, so I kind of go with the flow with that," said Cudmore.

This year she's experimenting with dying the veggies, creating a colorful collection cut out for the catwalk.

Art walks the runway at the KMAC Couture Show on April 14. The festivities are expanding this year with a fashion week leading up to the event.

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