Artist Spotlight: Julianne D’Errico, CMOA Material Worlds Fashion Show

This is my second and final post for this artist spotlight series to preview the upcoming Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), Material Worlds Fashion show happening Friday March 24th at the Ace Hotel. Friday nights runway show is inspired by the otherworldly designs of Iris van Herpen and her current prolific exhibition at the CMOA. If you haven’t seen this exhibit yet, it runs until May 1st, add it to your weekend plans! 

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing 2 of the 12 incredibly talented artists who will be showing their creations in the show on Friday night. Here we have Julianne D’Errico!

I first met Julianne as she walked into TechShop last week carrying her Mood bag of fabrics. She immediately began telling another person in the room about her creative process and joking that with one week to go until showtime, she's in the difficult stage of her process.

We sat down to talk where she elaborated about her creative process, her two looks, and her inspiration from water.

"I love the ideas phase in my creative process. You have the spark of inspiration and you attach it to the idea. You know, the research, image gathering, I love that... and then,  you get down to the nitty gritty of executing. I just always try to remember that spark when it gets meticulous and hard. My process always starts really high then plateaus and I start to question what I’m doing. But, I know that’s part of it and I’m always going to find my footing and find my way."

In her creative process for this particular runway show, the ideas phase for her two looks sparked the creation of creating her own fabrics, and inspiration drawn from mythology and the ocean. 

“My jumping off point was how Iris gets a lot of her inspiration from the natural world. Right now I’ve been really driven to portrayals of females in mythology, the tracking of sensuality for women and how far back it goes. That’s how I traveled to the Venus myth. There when I was re familiarizing myself with her origin story I learned she was born from sea foam- that was my main inspiration from the ocean.”

With that inspiration, Julianne hand dyed the fabric for one of her looks, a flowing long dress. 

"I’m always drawn to water in some way. It’s always a place for reflection, purification, peace. I always feel reenergized when I’m in the water or surrounded by water. I’m also working on some paintings that are underwater pieces, so I guess it’s just coming up."

I ask if she’s a pisces. She laughs and says she’s an Aries

“Maybe I need to cool down my fire.”

For look number 2, Julianne was able to combine fashion and technology and actually create her own textile by using the laser printer. This look is a more ready to wear piece with lace and leather. YES PLEASE!

I asked Julianne what attracted her to apply to this show, I am not surprised, it was Iris herself and her incredible designs.

“Iris van Herpen attracted me to apply. I saw the call on the CMOA FB page and I was instantly like OMG! Just because her designs are so extreme and that’s kinda my jam. I’m all about the conceptual, pushing boundaries. So it was kind of the perfect call for me. Also the opportunity to put something on the runway.”

In April, Julianne will be designing costumes for a dance piece at Attack Theater. 

“I love designing for dance because I gain a lot of inspiration from music so it’s really easy for me to come up with ideas.”

I, also being heavily inspired by music in my photography, of course, wanted to know what artists she gained her inspiration from, the first artist that came to her mind was Bon Iver. Same girl.

From Medina Ohio, Julianne came to Pittsburgh to get her MFA in costume design at CMU straight out of undergrad.

"I wanted to stay and take a break and get to know the city and the art scene in Pittsburgh. I think it’s a good place for starting out and figuring out what you want to do. To experiment and find your voice, I think it’s not overly saturated."

Julianne, we are happy to have you and your art here in Pittsburgh and I am so looking forward to seeing these two pieces walk down the runway Friday night!

To learn more about Julianne and her work visit her website or follow her on Insta

*The Material Worlds fashion show Friday evening is SOLD OUT*


Sarah Collins