Just in time for the onset of the fall season, the Village Gallery of Local Artists will feature fashion designer Suzen Brackell during the month of September. The cooler temperature can motivate putting away summer clothing and seeking out something colorful and stylish to refresh last year’s fall wardrobe.

Suzen is the founding member of the Village Gallery and has shown her wearable art there for over 10 years. Her indomitable optimism and conviction that artists can help each other has been a guiding influence of the Village Gallery and permeates the atmosphere. Suzen’s signature fashion style reflects her philosophy that clothing can be sexy and comfortable; stylish and functional. Her fabrics are easy care and with a classic black pant and shoe, her tops easily go from day to night. She believes every woman deserves to feel fabulous owning something hand-made and one of a kind.

Suzen’s line offers sets with matching top, vest, capri pant, mask and even hair scrunchy. Her children told her “Scrunchies are back in, Mom!” So Suzen got to work sewing up these hair pieces in every imaginable color. Colorful fabric water bottle holders with matching masks allow hikers to hit the trails in style. Suzen offers scarves and other accessories as well.

Since the Covid19 outbreak, Suzen has more time to take on creative and labor intensive projects. Diving into her vast collection of fabric remnants, she chooses a color pallet and pieces them together, bringing new life to material by recycling. She says “By reusing and repurposing everything we have, we can save the planet.” Out of this patchwork, she creates tops that can be worn with either side in front. Some have brighter summer colors on one side and more subdued colors of fall on the other.

Working 3 or 4 days at a time without the usual interruptions has allowed Suzen to immerse herself creatively. She explains; “Fear and creativity can’t occupy the same space and time, so I leave fear behind to be creative.” In response to the global pandemic, Suzen is designing a top that will incorporate a mask that can be worn as a turtleneck when not in use.  To accommodate Arizona’s heat, and add sex appeal, the mask/collar will attach front and back and be open at the shoulders. In keeping with Suzen’s sense of flair, the mask will add color and style to the outfit.

The Village Gallery of Local Artists is always taking applications for new members. The gallery is open daily from 10am-6pm and located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek. For more information go to sedonalocalartists.com or phone (928) 284-1416.