Vancouver: Fuse party plays with fashion’s past

The Ought Salon at Fuse. Photography by Julia Dewhurst
The Ought Salon at Fuse. Photography by Julia Dewhurst

A few Fridays a year art enthusiasts from across the city gather at the Vancouver Art Gallery for a cultural gathering known as Fuse—an evening that celebrates music, performance, fine art, and all around entertainment. The most recent incarnation of Fuse, which took place just last week, coincided with the opening of some of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s summer exhibitions, including the works of Anthony Hernandez, Andreas Gursky and Stan Douglas.

 However, no other work of art was more the centre of attention than Ought Apartment by Reece Terris, a six-storey apartment tower built in the Gallery’s rotunda. Each floor is decorated to reflect the aesthetics and social values of one of the last six decades. In fact, many of the evening’s activities and performances were focused on reliving some of these past decades—especially the fashions.

As the crowds ventured from floor to floor, they may have encountered actors improvising scenes, or dance troupe The House of La Douche performing choreography set to classic tracks from past decades. Both groups, of course, were also dressed to the nines in era-appropriate garb. In fact, one actress took on both the role of a crimpy-haired, Lycra-clad 1980s party-girl and earlier, a polished, fur-coat-and-white-glove-wearing 1950s domestic goddess.

Photography by Julia Dewhurst

Meanwhile, if attendees wanted to join in on the fun, they too could blend into their surroundings after a visit to the on-site Ought Salon. Provided by Gloss Salon (3149 Granville Street; 604-732-8282), stylists were on hand to fashion hair-dos from decades gone by. Popular looks seen rocking around the gallery included beehives and Farrah Fawcett hair for gals, and the slicked greaser look for guys. While the young and hip took advantage of the opportunity to live in the past, even those whose glory days are long gone had some fun taking a romp down memory lane.