Three little birds. Bra-stache. Old Money Bags. What in the world is on your bra?
Bizarre Bras 022713 AE 1 Capital City Weekly Three little birds. Bra-stache. Old Money Bags. What in the world is on your bra?

Photo Courtesy Of The Ketchikan Area Arts And Humanities Council

"Three Little Birds" by Barb Brandt-Erichsen.

Photo Courtesy Of The Ketchikan Area Arts And Humanities Council

"Old Money Bags" by Susan Heisler.

Photo Courtesy Of The Ketchikan Area Arts And Humanities Council

"Bra-stache" by Rhonda Green.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Story last updated at 2/27/2013 - 2:33 pm

Bizarre Bras

Three little birds. Bra-stache. Old Money Bags. What in the world is on your bra?

Wearable Arts is getting a little perky in Ketchikan with a Bizarre Bra contest.

Having just finished its 27th annual Wearable Arts Show, the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council took its after party a notch higher.

Program Director Marni Rickelmann said that every year after the Saturday show ends everyone would go to the dance party - where people could debut their wearable art bras. Rickelmann said Laurie Thomas, who organizes the after party, wanted to take it further. So this year, three finalists are rounding off in a fundraiser competition where the winning oddball bra gets their bra submitted for entry in the World of Wearable Arts show in New Zealand.

The contestants: A black, mock pin-striped moustache bra; bags of money with gold coins, and two cups of birds nest.

People can vote via PayPal through the KAAHC website: in $5 increments. The bra that earns the most money is the winner - and part of the proceeds go toward breast cancer treatment in Ketchikan, the other portion is a fundraiser for the KAAHC. Voting ends March 3.

Beth Brandt-Erichsen created the bird's nest piece, titled "Three Little Birds."

Susan Heisler created the moneybag bra - titled "Old Money Bags." She's made one wild bra before, for her niece who runs the Great American Lumberjack Show. Naturally, it was plaid and suited the show. Heisler's also been involved in wearable arts for the past nine years.

But, she had trouble thinking of a theme for this contest, after a friend encouraged her to enter. Heisler said her son asked why it was taking her so long to think of a theme.

"I'd just do two big money bags," he suggested.

The actual process of putting together the piece didn't take very long, though it was a bit of a challenge since the rules stipulate no hot glue. Heisler said most crafty Ketchikaners love their glue guns. The total cost of making the bra - $7. Most of the items she found on sale.

"It was fun," Heisler said. "It was really fun. I got the beautiful Caity Widness to model it for the after party. ... I love how they have it displayed on the wall down at the arts council. The hardest thing to find probably was the gold coins."

Heisler thinks it would be exciting to have her bra selected for the New Zealand show.

"I'm totally into wearable arts," she said. "I've done wearable arts for about 9 years. Totally excited just the thought of it going to wearable arts."

Rhonda Green is the artist behind the "Bra-stache."

"I was actually on Facebook and came across a photo of one of my daughters friends,

she said. " She always posts funny pictures that have black mustaches in them. I thought to myself that it would make a funny bizarre bra. The Bra-stache was born."

Green crafted it over a period of weeks, and it's made out of cow leather. This is the eighth bra she's designed and Green is pleased that this year part of the proceeds go to support the fight against breast cancer.

"I've submitted bras with themes such as a Pirates Chest, a Stainless Steel bra, Bootie Call (made from baby booties & pacifiers), and a bra that had Roulette wheels that spun," Green said. "This year's bra is one of my favorites - simple design, but makes me smile."

Green has made wearable arts a family event for the past 12 years, ever since her children asked if they could make costumes for the show.

"Since that time each one of our kids has participated in the show along with many of their friends," Green said. "We've had many laughs and created some great memories along the way. I've had several entries in the Ketchikan Wearable Arts show and have participated in the Juneau Wearable Arts show and the Anchorage Fiber Festival as well. My friend Anne Fitzgerald and I have collaborated on metal pieces for the show but I also like to mix it up with unusual ideas. Some of my favorite pieces were "Ice Queen" made from recycled water bottles and this years "Shake it off" made from thousands of metal discs hand sewed onto the dress and tail. I also incorporated fishing gear into the design with a headpiece resembling a King salmon head, the completed costume weighed in at over 50 pounds!"

Green dreams of having a piece entered into the World of Wearable Arts Show - and an honor.

"My decision to enter has always been to help raise money for the arts," she said. "The Ketchikan Arts & Humanities Council work tirelessly year round to promote the arts and artists living in the Community. I feel it's the least I can do to help out."

Sarah Day is the editor of Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at