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In the upcoming fashion performance The Dowsing this Friday, March 22, at University of Washington's Red Square, designer Anna Telcs will gradually layer male models in her garments that "are more like sculptures," designed to build the silhouette's volume. "It'll feel ritualized as the bodies are walking. I'll be anointing them with clothing," she says. (The affiliated display runs at the Henry Art Gallery through May 5.)

Watch for voluminous sleeve caps fastened on with buttons, pleated neckwear "like an ecclesiastical dickey," quilted thigh pads, a chest plate of swollen knots made from batting-stuffed tubes, cocoon-shaped outerwear resembling "a Fabergé egg that you can peer into and see all the smocking inside," and another form that "started as a jacket-y situation but then became a ball."

The apparel of The Dowsing manages to seem both pure and timeworn. The shapes are basic and flowing and embellished with details like darning-stitched knees to suggest use and repairs, and a palette of deliberately washed-out colors: "It's what happens when you wear a garment again and again and again. Black becomes bleach black or rust black or blood black." To make an actual rust-tone trim, Anna soaked bias tape in a salve made of water, vinegar, and steel wool. And she transformed silk from beige to an ash brown by singeing the fabric: "It sort of melts. It doesn't really catch fire. Well, it does every once in a while."

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