ART HAS MEANING, but not all art has a deeper meaning. Not That Deep, the first fashion show for Data-Mosh, demonstrated just that.

By her account, there was no deeper meaning behind the designs Raquel Elysia Costilla sent down the runway last Saturday evening at Private Eye Gallery. 

“It’s the idea that my work doesn’t have intellectual depth,” the designer explained. “It’s my idea of certain art having to have the qualifications to be in certain spaces and meeting a standard to be in those spaces, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to have that to exist or to be valued or to be viewed.”

The Houston-based designer always wanted to sew but felt her skills weren’t up to par, so she dove deep (oh, the irony) into another art form–photography. Enter datamoshing, a process of taking language, or data, from a digital file to manipulate it into something new. When Costilla began to sew, she upcycled garments to create wearable art.

On Saturday, Private Eye Gallery was packed with guests, both standing and sitting in carefully placed chairs throughout the space. Foregoing a typical runway layout, Costilla arranged seating in the shapes of a triangle, circle and square.

“I wanted to challenge how people interacted with each other,” she said. “I thought about how specific personality types would sit in certain spots.”

Chairs in the circle faced each other in hopes of attracting more sociable to those spots. The top point of the triangle, meanwhile, was meant for a guest who would lead the pack.

“[The goal was] putting people in a social situation that they usually aren’t in, and maybe make them feel a little uncomfortable, but the ultimate goal was to make them feel something,” Costilla said.

Houston-based fashion organization STRUT co-founder Dick Clarke found the ambiance and seating arrangements intimate. Clarke’s STRUT crew, a social bunch themselves, sat in the circle.

Costilla also chose to have audience members shine flashlights on each model as they passed to maintain engagement.

“I thought it would be cool ... and I liked the way it looked aesthetically,” she added.

Costilla used simple shapes and combined three-dimensional elements to create avant-garde, ready-to-wear dresses and sculptural concepts.

The designer is working on her website, but all pieces are for sale.

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