Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fashion show boosts Portland fashion community, women's shelter

Everybody needs a sanctuary in these troubled times – a place of joy and hope for the future.

Saturday, April 16 brings such sanctuary to Portland in the form of a hopeful vision for the city’s fashion business.

On that day, Portland Sewing brings together eight emerging designers for a “Garden Party Fashion Event.”

“Part of our vision is to create a market center for the apparel industry here in Portland,” says Portland Sewing owner Sharon Blair, “We have so much talent here, why not?”

Portland Sewing, 2111 NE 43rd, is a prep and finishing school for those seeking jobs in fashion design and the apparel industry. It offers classes from beginning sewing to patternmaking, fashion design and apparel business – from how to start your own business to hiring sales representatives.

Many of Portland’s designers have studied with Blair, including those featured at the show. Two students, Gretchen Jones and Janeane Marie, have gone on to compete on Project Runway.

Designers featured at the garden party event are:
-- Bryce Black, Grey Gardens. StudioSKB is Sharon Blair’s line of clothing. This year she is turning it around and using the label to launch a designer a year. This year, the designer is Bryce Black. Black soon will graduate from Art Institute. His clothes have been featured in Portland Monthly. His Fall 2011 collection, Grey Gardens, set the tone for the garden party fashion event. It is inspired by the documentary and film about Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’ relatives.
-- Alicia Wood, Ms. Wood. Wood studied at Parsons before coming to Portland and Portland Sewing. She combines draped kimono sleeves with fabrics such as silk, chiffon and leather. Her line includes obi belts, hats, bags, jewelry and handcrafted shoes. She was named Best Emerging Designer of 2010 at last year’s Portland Fashion Week.
-- Alyson Clair, Clair Vintage Inspired, aims to flatter all womanly figures. Her line ranges from XS to XL and is made primarily of knits. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that my entire line is designed and manufactured right here in Portland, Ore.,” she says.
-- Nyla Jano’s Torrain line of accessories was inspired by a trip to Cambodia. She recycles rice bags into purses, wallets, handbags and backpacks. She wants to encourage style mixed with a global conscience.
-- Robin Forsythe, Estate, sells her clothes at Portland boutiques Union Rose, Sofada and Tumbleweed. Estate upcycles fabrics to create apparel from existing fabrics, preferably made from natural fibers. She chooses subdued colors and textures.
-- Stephanie Dong, Stephanie D Couture. She uses her bachelors degree in apparel design to create ready-to-wear, bridal and custom-made garments. After five years in the business, she is in the process of opening her own boutique.
-- Tiffany Bean, Tiffany Bean. Owner for five years of Mabel and Zora, a boutique in Portland’s Pearl District, Bean is launching her eponymous line at the garden party event. She describes her line as “inspired by Doris Day and James Bond movies. My line has a 1960’s influence, bright colors, bold prints and flattering, feminine silhouettes.”
-- Vien To, Vien. Her well-constructed silhouettes are sold in boutiques in Salem, Ore., and will soon be sold in a boutique of her own. She earned her apparel degree in 2009.
The interior of the sewing school will be turned into an indoor garden featuring bird-friendly plants.
Proceeds go to Peace Garden at Coburn Place Safe Haven – a women’s shelter. Coburn gives women who have suffered from domestic violence and their children a sanctuary where they can start anew.

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Doors open @ 7 pm; Show starts @ 8 pm
$10 in advance; $15 at the door
To buy tickets, go to: Fashion Show Tickets

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