Add another fashion show to your calendars my friends. This is one I plan on elbowing my way to the front. Portland Sewing, ran by the fiercely lovely Sharon Blair, is having an indie fashion bonanza this weekend. The designer list has a good sample of talented Pdx-ers including Alyson Clair, Tiffanee Bean (owner of Mabel & Zora), Stephanie D. Couture, Ms. Wood and the first collection Bryce Black has designed for Blair’s SKB Studio line. I would literally bet money that this will be a show worth the effort. I caught up with Bryce and got a few answers out of him about the new collection.
What was the inspiration for the collection?
The inspiration for the Little Edie Collection came from the 1975 documentary film by Albert and David Maysles, Grey Gardens. The film depicts two reclusive socialites, “Big Edie” and “Little Edie”, who live at Grey Gardens, a mansion in East Hampton that is slowly crumbling away like their fortune. Little Edie is always seen in wearing garments, or other forms of fabric, from around the house and draping them on her body as something new. Like a sweater for a skirt or two army jackets as a dress. This gave me the idea to make garments that can be worn in several different ways, such as my 3-in-1 cape. The cape can also be worn as a dress and as a skirt just by flipping it upside down. Many of the pieces are flipped or reversed into a new look or a new garment.
How do you go about designing items that have multi-functions?
I first designed the collection as I would any other collection. Then I looked at each individual piece and sketched ideas on how else it could be worn or draped on the body. It really came together in the development stages. It was all about measurements and math. You need to be sure that the garment fits well in every variation and look.
What’s it like designing under a studio’s name?
Designing for Studio SKB was an amazing experience. I was able to see first hand what it is like to design and develop a small independent collection. Independent designers might be the hardest working people in Portland. Studio SKB is known for its superb tailoring, fit and sustainable fibers. Founder Sharon Blair is an institution in Portland’s fashion community. A lot of the talent we see in Portland has been taught or worked with Ms. Blair. I felt the pressure to produce a collection that held up the integrity of her brand, but kept true to my own design aesthetic. In Portland we are looking for garments that are fashionable, unique and can endure any change of weather. We like clothing that take us from the office to cocktails. I feel confident that my Bryce Black for Studio SKB is a collection Portland didn’t know it wanted.
If you want to see this all with your own eyes, get your tickets fast.
Garden Party Fashion Event
2111 NE 43rd Ave, Portland
Saturday, April 16.
Doors open: 7 pm. Show at 8 pm.
For tickets – $10 in advance; $15 at the door