Wear for Art, Thou

Edible clothing is always in good taste. And this Thursday evening, it's elevated to an art form, as a dress fashioned from gumdrops hits the auction block at Artlink's Third Annual Wearable Art Auction. When the folks developing the Phoenix Family Museum enlisted the talents of six Valley children, ages 4 to 10, to make and model items for the event, some sweet designs resulted. (We hear that another garment was built from balloons.)

In addition to these future fashionistas, about 30 artists and fashion designers, many of them local, have contributed wearable wares to the auction of "Human Scale Raiment and Accoutrements." The Paper Heart functions as the wear house, and proceeds benefit Artlink, the organization behind downtown's First Fridays and Art Detour. Local artist Roberta Hancock is on tap to serve as auctioneer and hostess, offering for bid an assortment of jewelry, handbags, hats, shoes, coats, belts, dresses, pants, shirts and aprons.

"There will be lots of unusual items," promises Artlink's Shari Spears Boulanger. "We not only have artists creating the items, but we have fashion designers, which is kind of a booming thing in the Valley."

Locally produced pieces include Billy B.'s record-album handbags, Jennyvi Dizon's dresses adorned with faux butterfly wings, and Lisa Takata's military gowns. (Spears Boulanger made matching accessories by mounting plastic army men on hair combs.)

"The event has really grown," she says. "And this year, everything will be modeled." Even a dog will hit the catwalk: Poochie of Beverly Hills will have a rep on hand to model the company's canine rain slickers, some finished with ostrich feather trim (see for a preview).

You heard it here first: Hartz collars are so last season.