The bass is booming. Fuschia glows on white curtains lining the room while the smartly-dressed crowd anticipates what is coming. Jess and I sit, clutching our programs. We are about to witness our very first runway show.
In honor of our Fall fashion theme, Jess and I set out to experience something very fashion-y. Luckily for us, Portland’s Fall Fashion Week happened to be perfectly timed to our fall theme and so, not knowing what to expect, we ventured out to our very first runway last Sunday evening.
- Jess: dark purple pencil skirt, grey sequin-collared top, black cardigan, mustard tights, and black flats.
- Linz: dark fuschia mini-dress, black blazer, grandmother’s black beads, dark grey tights, and black flats.
This part gave us the most anxiety for the obvious reason of not wanting to unpleasantly stand out as the nerdy kids at a cool party, but I think it was an added pressure because I had kept wondering what kind of crowd is Portland Fashion week? Are they the type of people who might actually laugh and point if we looked out of our element, were they the type of people who would snicker behind our back or would they be too cool to even make eye contact with two ladies excited to s ee what this was all about.
It turns out Portland Fashion week is a seriously nice group of kind of relaxed people. Crazy, I know? Lindsey and I showed up late (not to be cool, but because we are always on some slower clock when together and those rich chocolate desserts we were eating before hand were very distracting). As it turns as being fashionably late to a fashion show means you are right on time. Already my kind of scene. Then the guy guiding us to park was all friendly smiles and reassuring, unlike many parking guides who seem bored and annoyed. This one actually told Lindsey he could not have parked the car better himself. My favorite friendly person of the nig ht was a 50 year old husband of one of the women who was working backstage. Lindsey thought he was a little strange and might be trying to hit on me. I think he was just giddy about the fashion show! He was shocked to learn this was our first time and was letting us know how the rest of the nights had turned out. He kept saying that it was a tough life having to go to all the fashions shows for his wife and it took me awhile to catch on he was being sarcastic and he loved it here.
For some reason I was expecting to feel very out of my element, to feel that people would look at me and think, “She knows nothing of fashion. What is she even doing here!” Instead people smiled and wer e polite, like anywhere else. It was fun to look at what people wore in the crowd, but I did not have feelings of inadequacy that can often come with products trying to be pushed by consumerism (fashion magazines, department stores, etc.). The fashion show felt more like art. This was not about who in the audience was wearing what or who you were talking to. Instead it was about what people wanted to create, what elements they wanted to use and how they wanted to display it.
As far as the c ollections go, Amelia Toro and Pendletonwere the stars of the evening. Columbian designer Amelia Toro blended the Kuna Indians’ traditional Mola technique with modern silhouettes. Each outfit featured bright colors in overall elegant, yet wearable designs.
- Lenzanita’s designs composed of repurposed materials, such as scraps from a balloon manufacturer. Good idea, but some of the textiles did not fit well and required specific hand placement from models to ensure they didn’t ride up too much.
- A plet hora of erect nipples distracting from Souchi’s knitwear.
- Our personal favorite: a model who channeled her inner zombie, swinging her head back an forth with the best of the un-dead!
For as much anticipation we felt before the show, it was over in a strut and a flash. The whole fashion show experience was quite different from what we’ve ever experienced, but it was also a lot of fun!