Packed into her tiny workspace in the rear of the PoetHouse Art space in downtown Bend, Alicia Renner has a rack full of clothing she's recently completed. To her, it's art, but art that you can wear."Some people can make things that look like you can buy them in any store, but I like to add some originality to what I do," says the 21-year-old Renner, who grew up in the wilds of Canada, outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. She still gets back to Canada frequently, having previously spent the summers planting trees in the forests and also lived in Toronto last fall.
Renner came to Bend to work at Mt. Bachelor, but also dove head first into the art and fashion scene, creating tunics (like the one she's wearing to the right), bloomers (below) and is also experimenting with other items, like men's Western shirts. In short, she says she makes clothes that she'd like to wear, in addition to creating the occasional Halloween costume. ("Friends will come to me and say stuff like, 'Can you make me into a lobster?'")
Renner has been creating clothing since her youth, making doll clothes with a beginner's sewing kit, but really got into the craft when she received a sewing machine as a high-school graduation gift. From there, using skills she learned from her grandmother, Renner began selling clothing at folk festivals and other gatherings.
Now, she's selling her wares in shops around town, including Blue, Cowgirl Cash and the new Roller Doll store on Greenwood. She's also proud to be a resident artist at PoetHouse Art.
"Being up here has been really good for me," she says of the second-story location, "Everyone has input for me that I wouldn't be getting otherwise."
114 NW Minnesota Ave.
Niki Biki tank - $18; Crochet fit belt
- $16; Leaf necklace with beads - $18;
Leaf earrings - $14
Yellow tunic by Alicia Renner
Pikolinos shoes, $155
114 NW Minnesota Ave., 541-330-8301
Ivory ruffle back tunic - $32; Niki Biki rank - $18; Leaf Necklace - $14; Wooden Loop Earrings - $10; Bloomers by Alicia Renner.
800 NW Wall St, 541-312-8566
Old Gringo boots, $505