These three ladies are who we’re calling the Art Bra Austin triple-threat. They are not only the talented artists behind the incredible art bras we’re introducing to you today; they’re also survivors of breast cancer and clients of BCRC, and members of the Art Bra Austin Model Committee! Olivia, Jeanne, and Jennifer play a huge role in the planning of BCRC’s signature fundraiser event, Art Bra Austin, and we’re delighted to show off their beautiful creations!
A four-year Art Bra veteran, Olivia Moreno is our first triple threat. Olivia’s introduction to the event was in 2014, when she modeled her own sporty art bra design during Art Bra Austin’s Floor Show. It had been just over 6 months since Olivia first learned she had breast cancer. But she did not let cancer break her spirit, reflecting, “While breast cancer took away my left breast, it left me with much more. My love of fashion design and my faith have grown so much because of breast cancer and this wonderful event called Art Bra Austin.”
Olivia became hooked. In 2015 she modeled on the runway with a one-of-a-kind “Batgirl” themed art bra, designed by herself, of course. And in 2016, Olivia decided to take her participation a step further, and serve as a volunteer on Art Bra Austin’s Model Committee.
This year is Olivia’s second year stewarding our 60+ Art Bra Models as the Model Committee’s Co-Chair. It’s a big job, but as the mother of many kids and an active member of her Church, Olivia has become the reliable steady hand, shepherding sixty breast cancer survivors on the road to June 3rd. She’s a pro we couldn’t be more grateful for!
“The Ring Master” is without a doubt Olivia’s most ambitious design yet. The art bra is made from a mosaic of modern and vintage fabrics, buttons, and metals fashioned together to form a corset fit for cancer-land’s ‘Ring Master’. The neckline clasp is of particular distinction: a vintage Mimi Di N piece. Olivia felt inspired by her interpretation of cancer as a chaotic, three-ringed circus – full of labs, scans, and appointments – and all coordinated by the ‘Ring Master Oncologist’ and her team of schedulers. She dedicates “Ring Master” in honor of her oncologist, Dr. Beth Hellerstedt, and oncologists everywhere who are cracking the whip to bring order back to chaos.
The next Art Bra Austin superstar to gush over is Jeanne Elliott. Born an Air Force brat in New Jersey, Jeanne moved to Texas when she was 4 years old. She later met her husband in Corpus Christi, moved to Austin, and raised two handsome boys, one of whom has gifted her with a granddaughter! Like Olivia, Jeanne first got involved in Art Bra Austin as a BCRC client. She was diagnosed in 2013 and modeled on the Runway for the first time in 2014. The next year, Jeanne returned to the Art Bra stage modeling an extravagant art bra costume she created head-to-toe.
Always wanting to do more, Jeanne took on a new role in 2015, volunteering as the Art Bra Model Committee’s Fundraising Chair. Under her leadership and guidance, the models blew past their 2016 fundraising goal by raising a record-breaking $125,000!! We’re so grateful Jeanne decided to return as the Model Fundraising Chair for this year, and proud to say she’s now a part-time member of the BCRC staff, helping our Development team get ready for the best Art Bra Austin show yet!
This is Jeanne’s third year to submit an art bra for the show, and her final year for modeling her creation on the big night. Jeanne loves letting her creative juices flow through all types of mediums, and finds it important to use her own experience as both a cancer survivor an Art Bra Model to support breast cancer patients through this experience and help them find their ‘new normal.’ She created “Royal Peacock Masquerade” because the peacock is a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavor to show our true colors. She felt inspired by the beauty of the peacock’s majestic feathers, and set out to create a visually stunning art bra made from peacock feathers, hotfix crystals, printed ribbon, eyelash yarn, and glass and crystal beads. Jeanne also created a matching mask, and what’s not pictured is the extravagant skirt she’s hand-sewn using over 500 peacock feathers!!
Last, but certainly not least is makeup-extraordinaire, Jennifer Wallace. Like her fellow Model Committee members, Jennifer is a BCRC client and survivor of breast cancer. She walked the runway as an Art Bra Model in 2016, and has returned this year as our Model Committee’s Hair and Makeup Coordinator. Art Bra Austin would not be the theatrical, beautiful event it is without the generously-donated time and talent of over 50 professional hair and makeup stylists who work backstage to transform our clients into their Art Bra Model best. Managing backstage hair and makeup is no small task, but taking on this role has proven seamless for Jennifer, who also works as a Lash Artist for Cara Bello Studio.
This is Jennifer’s first time creating an art bra, which she and her co-designer aptly named, “The Mad Hatter”. She’ll be modeling “The Mad Hatter” in her second debut as an Art Bra Model. The art bra’s other creator is Jennifer’s close friend, Jaylinn Davidson. Jennifer met Jaylinn when she was in the final months of her Herceptin treatment. She describes how they became fast friends and how this friendship set the inspiration for their design,
“Not only do we have a ton in common but we are soul sisters. I am always asked about my successes during treatment and the love that comes from friends is definitely a major thread. I always wondered how could I represent that in an art bra? Until now. She came to me during my rebirth and just like this bra that has been created with threads and chains is this friendship. It is loose and tight and is nourished and there’s so much love.”
Jaylinn also describes the fun they had in designing this one-of-a-kind piece together,
“It’s Jennifer’s 40th birthday and we really wanted to have some fun and take on the craftsmanship of the Hatter. We hand-stitched all of the buttons and embellishments. We hand-shaped the rabbit and stitched him down with gold elastic. We steam-punk the punk out of this hatter. And had a jolly good time doing it.”
“The Mad Hatter” is a mixed media piece made from pleather, feathers, buttons, faux fur, metal wiring and clock gears, tiny teacups, keys, and chains. It comes complete with a top hat, bustle, collar and cuffs – all hand-made by Jennifer Wallace and Jaylinn Davidson.
We find these art bras and the women designers behind them beautiful and inspiring, each in their own way. And together they represent the remarkableness and strength of the women who BCRC is honored to serve. We can’t wait to see these creations come to life on June 3rd. If you haven’t bought your tickets, we suggest you act quickly before they sell out! We hope you join us!
Art Bra® Austin will take place on June 3, at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St., Austin, Texas. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for cocktails, food service and silent auction, followed by the runway show and live auction at 8:00 p.m. General Admission tickets are currently on sale for $200 and reserved-seating floor and runway tickets are available for $250. Tickets are available at http://artbraaustin.org/get-tickets.
ABOUT ART BRA AUSTIN
Art Bra® Austin, now in its sixth year, is BCRC’s signature fundraiser. Every year, Austin’s talented community of artists, designers, and jewelers submit their original works of wearable art to be showcased by a dynamic group of Art Bra Austin models, creating an enchanting evening where everyone involved from the artists to the models and stylists donates their time and services. Approximately 60 to 70 pieces are selected from over 100 submissions to be offered for auction the night of the event. Top submissions are auctioned live during the runway show with winning bids as high as $8,500. For more information about this event and how to get involved, please visit www.artbraaustin.org.
ABOUT BREAST CANCER RESOURCE CENTER
Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) is a nonprofit organization providing guidance, education, and assistance to thousands of local women whose lives have been disrupted by breast cancer. Staffed by breast cancer survivors, BCRC helps each woman find her footing and determine the solutions that are right for her.
BCRC was founded in 1995 as a volunteer-staffed helpline and a single support group. Today, in addition to being survivors, BCRC staff are trained support professionals and experts in where to go, what to do next, and how to keep a woman moving forward through diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. They serve more than 2,200 women annually, offering personalized guidance, robust educational opportunities, and several financial and personal assistance programs. All of it – free of charge – to the client. For more detailed information about BCRC services and programs, please visit www.bcrc.org.