Whitney Manney Launches a New Line this Fall

Three years out of the Kansas City Art Institute, fiber artist Whitney Manney has racked up an impressive list of exhibitions and fashion events for her WHITNEYMANNEY label, which seeks to translate “the aesthetics of street art into ready to wear clothing and textile design.”

Manney will keep the momentum going this fall, with an exhibit of her new nine-look collection, arkhiMODIste, at Commerce Bank’s Box Gallery downtown. Featuring bold colors, patterns, textures and unique silhouettes, the line is inspired, the artist says, by the “culture of the worker, craftsmanship and machinery.”

Textile design, reflecting Manney’s knowledge of both hand processes and digital printing, is a key part of the line, which also pays tribute to unsung heroes of the past, including female World War II workers and pioneering African-American architects and seamstresses.

Manney received a $1,000 artistic innovation grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance for the launch of ArkhiMODIste, a name derived by combining the Greek “arkhi”, the Latin “modi” and the French “modiste.”

The September 11 opening will feature a runway show of designs that include a remake of the classic motorcycle jacket, featuring removable components that can be mixed and matched, allowing “the wearer to become an artist.”

The gallery environment, too, will be transformed by the installation of a large woven mural. On September 4, 8, 9 and 10, visitors can watch Manney create the 28 x 10-foot weaving out of recycled clothing, parachute cord and fabric rope.   ο

“Whitney Manney” opens at the Box Gallery, in the Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut St., from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 11 and continues through Oct. 30. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. Manney will give an artist talk at noon September 25. For more information, call 816-760-7885 or visit boxgallery.org.

Alice Thorson

Alice Thorson is the editor of KC Studio. She has written about the visual arts for numerous publications locally and nationally.

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