Style Watch: CAM Raleigh exhibit looks at the art of fashion

Installation view of Boris Bidjan Saberi exhibition at CAM Raleigh, through May 7, 2017.
Installation view of Boris Bidjan Saberi exhibition at CAM Raleigh, through May 7, 2017.

For many designers and fashion lovers, clothing is more than merely a cover for the body – it’s an art form.

CAM Raleigh celebrates the art of fashion with a series of exhibitions kicked off with “0-11 by Boris Bidjan Saberi,” which is on display now and runs through May 7.

Inspired by the local fashion scene, CAM exhibitions director Eric Gaard wants to explore the more avant garde, artistic side of apparel design.

“Experimental fashion is a personal interest of mine, and by introducing that interest in to the CAM exhibition schedule we begin to fill a creative void and community interest as demonstrated by the N.C. State College of Design’s Art2Wear program or the College of Textiles’ research and development programs or interest in local labels like Raleigh Denim,” he says. “And as much as I love historic fashion collections and exhibitions they don’t have a place at CAM. But ‘fashion’ defined by conceptual approaches or techniques with a relationship to personal experience – well then I’m in.”

Gaard discovered Bidjan Saberi after a previous exhibitor wore the European designer’s clothing at CAM. Gaard was drawn to the designer’s intensely personal designs – explored in pieces in the exhibition such as “Tar Coating 4,” a vegetable tanned leather jacket molded to Bidjan Saberi’s body and hand coated in tar.

“At the core of Boris’ work is a dedication to personal identity and the art of protecting it or exposing it as desired by the wearer of his garments,” Gaard says.

Gaard hopes that this series – which continues with a show in the fall exploring how designers are using biological and technical coding as a means to customize garments – will broaden the appreciation of fashion as more than just clothes.

“There are designers that define themselves as designers and there are designers like Boris Saberi that approach fashion through a philosophy related to human experiences – the end result being garments that embody a way of being that is beyond being fashionable, and in many ways they almost stop being garments altogether.”

Learn more about the CAM exhibit at

Trunk Shows

▪ Vermillion hosts a trunk show doubleheader this week with new looks from Sea New York and Frank & Eileen, April 19-20. Sea New York specializes in feminine, tailored yet casual clothing for women, while Frank & Eileen offers the latest in athleisure. To make an appointment, call 919-787-9780.

▪ New shoe styles for women from Munro America come to Nordstrom for a trunk show 10 a.m.-4 p.m., April 20. Shoppers will receive a gift with purchase. For details, call 919-806-3700.

Ladies’ Night Out

StyleFinder Boutique hosts a French-themed ladies’ night, April in Paris, 6-8 p.m. April 20. Shoppers at the Raleigh boutique can nosh on macaroons and Champagne, enjoy makeup sessions and score discounts and door prizes. For more info, call 919-454-3068.

Southern Women’s Show

The Southern Women’s Show comes to the N.C. State Fairgrounds this week, April 21-23. This year’s show boasts more than 400 vendors, including a spate of local makers such as Tyger Alexis, Beard and Lady, River Town Bangles and more in the show’s Etsy sellers pavilion. Several fashion shows will be held during the event, featuring models that range from kids to canines. Tickets for the show are $6-$50 and available at

Brimsuits Taking Orders

Raleigh-based children’s swimsuit company Brimsuits is officially up and running, accepting orders at The company makes swimwear for kids with attached hats that provide extra sun protection. Expected delivery dates for swimsuits are in mid-May.

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