Join Shay Galla on the STP Virtual Runway
Written by Emily Pavis, Maya Kotomori and L.A. Vandyke
In a fashion landscape where NYC’s best-dressed and most prestigious events are scheduled to be remote and practically audienceless, we teamed up with Shay Gallagher, an apparel designer, stylist, and all around badass to create our own version of Fashion Week. “I had been wondering about fashion week ever since we went into quarantine,” said Gallagher. “It became apparent pretty quickly that a lot about fashion and the way people present their work would have to change.”
By the end of one conversation between Shay and Ben Werther, contemporary artist and the Jeff Gordon of STP, the two had come up with STP Fashion Week, an open submission online fashion showcase. “It will be made up of a series of live streams held by different designers, as well as an open submission fashion showcase,” Gallagher said. Shay designed a graphic for the event while Ben facilitated the submission process.
The goal for the submission guidelines is to accept all kinds of fashion pieces and eliminate any barrier to entry. “You don’t have to have a brand, or even identify as a fashion designer to be a part of it." Everyone is welcome.
STP aims to find solutions to the asocial challenges of online events by providing a digital space for artists to showcase their work, gain publicity and connect with each other. STP has hosted events through their website in the past, like the BFA Student Show last May. Burgeoning artists like Shay can utilize STP programming as a tool for their art practice.
“When I was little I used to get these destroyed Barbies from a junk store in Bushwick and I would sew them little outfits out of socks.”
Shay’s friends are now her Barbies; the inspiration and models for her designs. Her community is also where Shay sources material, and who she markets her work toward - everything is made to order and one of a kind. As a small-scale designer, that support network is crucial for Gallagher. Community is a driving force for the process and exposure behind her art practice. The relationship between her, her stylist, and her client is crucial to creating a cohesive end-result with everyone’s creative visions in mind.
“I get creative by playing dress-up with scrap, seeing what works, and taking some pictures, usually in the mirror, then put my little samples on friends, and take pictures of them too.”
Using scraps of tulle, deadstock fabric, and whatever stretchy materials provide a forgiving size range, Gallagher creates designs that range from bulging to billowing and from hyper-delicate to hyper-abrasive. She loves to be over-the-top with her work, though a lot of her design elements are ultra-practical.
“I try to make my pieces as adjustable and versatile as possible, which is why I often find myself using ties. A lot of ruffles and gathering comes from things being able to change shape, become longer or shorter.” The adaptable nature of Shay’s garmentation is a large aspect of the ethos behind STP Fashion Week.
“A virtual fashion week seemed like one of the most effective ways of allowing people to still show their work while in a pandemic,” Gallagher said. STP Fashion Week aims to connect all kinds of fashion communities and allow for networking and community building during a time where it seems nearly impossible.