Two shows at Chicken Alley: Fashion and art

Zaneta Pavelka kicks back in a top by designer and former Vineyard resident Valerie Beggs. — Photo by Chandler Elizabeth Cook

A fashion show highlighting clothes and accessories by Martha’s Vineyard designers and a sale of art and collectibles are two annual events at the Chicken Alley Thrift Store this weekend.

Thrift Shop patrons are made up of three main groups, according to store manager Sandy Pratt. Donors; those who are looking for specific things, be it an article of clothing, place settings, books, or a decorative or collectible item to add to their collection; and those who stalk the aisles looking for treasures. Sunday, August 17, is a day for the treasure hunters at the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop, known as the Chicken Alley, located in Vineyard Haven.

Art and collectibles culled by staff from donations over the past year are offered to the public at the annual art show and tent sale from 1 to 5 pm. The show was originally the idea of art devotee Olga Hirshhorn of Vineyard Haven, benefactress of the Smithsonian Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., who has lent her support to this event since she first suggested the show as a way to raise money for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, an Island nonprofit that provides a range of health and human services for the Island.

Needle Book Vol.2 Community Couture Fashion Show

The statuesque Noavakay Knight is marketing coordinator for Chicken Alley. The Vineyard Haven native is also a model and a dress designer who specializes in using recycled clothes and fabrics. When the tent was raised several years ago for the Chicken Alley art show a few days before the actual event, she thought she could put it to good use on one of the days it was just creating shade for the parking lot. Last year she organized the first Needle Book Community Couture Fashion Show. It was a success.

This Friday, August 15, 18 models will walk the catwalk showing off fashions by seven Vineyard designers at the second annual show. Each designer will show six pieces on the runway. A selection of vintage and designer clothing, shoes, and accessories will be on sale before and after the show.

Music will be provided by DJ Pretty Ninja and food will be available from the ArtCliff Food Truck. Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate company will serve samples and treats for sale, and there will be a free photo booth.

In addition to Ms. Knight, the following designers will be represented.

Valerie Beggs, who developed Woodland Waders, a collection of Island inspired clothes, more than a dozen years ago when she lived on the Vineyard before moving to Pennsylvania to take a job as a designer for Woolrich. Retired from Woolrich, she now is a freelance designer of outdoor gear and backpacks. She is donating dozens of sample pieces from her personal collection, a retrospective of her three main lines of clothing.

Chrysal Parrot is a fashion designer and custom dressmaker who creates pieces that range from the historical to the whimsically contemporary. She works from her own boutique called Demi-Monde on State Road in Vineyard Haven.

Randi Sylvia and her mother Marlene DiStefano work from their Studioshop in the Arts District of Oak Bluffs. They are the design team behind the label Kenworthy that features looks influenced by cultures from around the world.

Karen Trotier, formerly Russillo, creates her unique fashions from her boutique, Menagerie, in Edgartown.

Beldan Radcliffe, who works out of Night Heron Gallery in Vineyard Haven, is best known as a printmaker and collage artist. Some of her work includes recombining recycled sweaters into wearable art. She calls these creations Upcycled Sweaters.

Sylvie Farrington is the creator of the popular Sylvie Bags, one-of-a-kind handbags and pillows made from authentic vintage fabrics. She works from her home in West Tisbury.

The work of jeweler Jessica Helen of Hawks House Jewelry will also be on display. Ms. Helen lives in Aquinnah.

2nd Annual Needle Book Vol.2 Community Couture Fashion Show, Sample Sale, and Boutique, Friday, August 15, 5–8 pm, Chicken Alley Thrift Shop, Vineyard Haven. $10.

Chicken Alley Art and Collectibles Sale, Sunday, August 17, 1–5 pm, Chicken Alley Thrift Shop, Lagoon Pond Rd., Vineyard Haven.  Proceeds from both shows benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. For more information, call the Thrift Shop at 508-693-2278 or visit