Introducing the three local fashion designers headlining In the Garden of Atlantis by Joseph Caruana


Amara Black designs men's and women's clothing with the use of various patterns, textures, and fabrics. The brand's design aesthetic is sleek, strong, clean, and bold. While earning a Bachelor's degree in 3 years in Fashion Design from the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago, Amara Black created a name for her brand by participating in over 15 fashion shows in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas.  With great skill in several aspects of fashion design, (including, but not limited to, plus-size, costume, swimwear, outerwear, and accessory design), Amara Black plans to expand the brand's awareness by opening an online boutique in 2018.



Rebirth Garments's mission is to create gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size, and ability. The line creates a community where all people can confidently express their individuality and identity. Our identity is that of QueerCrip, a politicized umbrella term that encompasses queer gender nonconforming identities, visible and invisible disabilities / disorders - physical, mental, developmental, emotional, ect. In particular, our trans and disabled communities have very particular clothing needs that are not adequately served by mainstream clothing designers. Instead of being centered on cisgender, heterosexual, white, or thin people, Rebirth Garments is centered on QueerCrip people.

Rebirth Garments challenges mainstream beauty standards that are sizest, ableist, and conformist to the gender binary. Instead, we maintain the notion of Radical Visibility, a movement based on claiming our bodies and, through the use of bright colors, exuberant fabrics, and innovative designs, highlighting the parts of us that society typically shuns. Through Radical Visibility, we refuse to assimilate and can create a QueerCrip dress reform movement.



MJ Ernst Couture is the premier destination for Custom made Bridal and Special Occasion. Located on the North Shore of Chicago for over 25yrs, this label is known for excellent customer service, reliability and unique creative designs. Owner Mary Jo Ernst has an ability to work one on one with her clients and together create one of a kind looks that will become heirlooms of your special event. Her attention to detail and couture finishing techniques sets her apart in the Couture Fashion Business and is the reason that MJ Ernst Couture has been a mainstay in the Chicagoland area and keeps her clients returning year after year.

In the Garden of Atlantis is Saturday, November 18th, 2017, 7-10pm at Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square. Click here for tickets and more information.

An Immersive Evening of Arts and Fantasy by Joseph Caruana

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On Saturday, November 18, 2017, Elements Ballet will present its fall performance and gala, titled In the Garden of Atlantis. This interdisciplinary evening of dance and art will include excerpts from Elements’ forthcoming original ballet, Atlantis, a full-length production depicting the epic story of the mythical island nation.

The Hairpin Arts Center, a performance and exhibition space in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, will be transformed into the world of Elements’ Atlantis. A place where artistic tradition and innovation meet to support one another, the event space will incorporate elements of the ancient and futuristic, the earthly and ethereal.

Guests will enjoy the following event highlights:

  • Live dance performances interspersed throughout the evening;
  • An exhibition featuring the work of watercolor artist Chloe Feldman Emison, storyboard artist for Elements’ Atlantis, as well as new work by company photographer Topher Alexander;
  • A runway-style fashion show, with Elements company members modeling Atlantis-inspired collections by local designers Rebirth Garments, MJ Ernst, and Amara Black; and
  • “Teaser” readings from writer Miata Boayue's companion novella to Elements’ Atlantis, to be released in full as part of the ballet’s premiere in 2019.

Light food, white wine and specialty martinis will be served and are included in the price of admission.

Tickets are $75 in advance or $90 at the door, and may be purchased here. Sponsored tickets are available to local professional artists and art students on a limited basis (details provided at registration page). Attendees may choose to sponsor an artist by purchasing an extra ticket when placing an order.

In the Garden of Atlantis is a fundraising event to support Elements’ annual programming, including free or low-cost community performances, self-produced concerts, original story ballets, and educational programs. An online crowd-funding campaign for the Atlantis production will kick off one week following this event. Elements Ballet is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization.

In the Garden of Atlantis, Saturday, November 18, 2017, 7:00 – 10:00 PM

Hairpin Arts Center, Logan Square, 2810 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (north of Diversey, west of Kimball)

Tickets are $75 in advance, or $90 at the door (free for sponsored artists)

To purchase tickets, click here


In the Garden of Atlantis is made possible by support by the Illinois Arts Council state agency, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation, Dance Center Evanston, Allegro Dance Boutique, Athletico, and many generous businesses and individuals.