Outgoing Artist in Residence, Stephanie Schultz, presented her finale show to a sold out crowd on Friday, March 15. The show employed the technique tableau vivant, which translated from French means “living picture,” to recreate nine of the Pfister Hotel’s most celebrated paintings currently on display. Lithe models, clad in designs created by Schultz, appeared as if they stepped off the canvases of the Victorian works and into the striking scenes concocted by the artist.
Schultz made excellent use of the drama and elegance provided by her chosen setting, the Imperial Ballroom. Each carefully choreographed move by the models was designed to convey the mood of the piece being represented, while carefully displaying the artistry of the clothing on display. The theatrically lit runway highlighted the detail in each design and the rapt audience followed the performers every gesture.
Essential to each scene was the music provided by the string quartet which played from the balcony. Presenting brief exerts from the classical canon, the nimble group moved swiftly from scene to scene, beautifully transitioning between the well-known works. The group, Strings for All, which features interpret concierge Bernard Runo, entertained the standing room only crowd after the show while they sipped champagne and savored the stunning array of artfully prepared desserts provided by Executive Pastry Chef Martinez and his team.
The show ended to thunderous applause as the artist, a glowing vision in white and gold, appeared on the runway to address the crowd. In her brief speech, Schultz expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have been the Pfister Hotel’s 10th Artist in Residence, noting that the experience stretched her creative boundaries. While thanking the audience for all of their support, she was impacted by the emotion of the moment, then went on to say to those in attendance, “this collection is the gift I give to you for voting for me and allowing me to celebrate the Pfister Hotel.”
Spotted in the audience at the show was noted milliner and frequent collaborator Deborah Olson, who designed the headpieces for the show. A significant contingent of the Milwaukee Steampunk community, including Amy and Eric Clapsaddle and Bridget Sharon mingled with local influencers Fanny Müller, Katie Teutenberg, and Pamela Kieck as well as stylist John Kowalkowski.
Soon, visitors will have the opportunity to view the gown Schultz designed for her legacy piece. Inspired by “The Dancer” by Georges Jules Victor Clairin, the tulle, velvet and silk gown in black and pink and adorned with crystal applique is now part of the hotel’s permanent art collection.
More of Stephanie Schultz’s work can be found by viewing her Silversärk clothing line.