Last night the shipyards were a flurry of excitement. Producer Chris Cone had told me before arriving that pre-sale tickets were through the roof so I was prepared for busy evening. I am a bad mental prepper evidently, because when I showed up and had to park a mile away and hike in my 4 inch strappy heels I felt dumbfounded by the amount of cars. I squeezed inside to music blaring and a boisterous crowd, who was more than ready for the show to start though we weren’t even close to seating time. As a judge for the “Catapult- Emerging Designer” competition I was herded through the crowd and tucked in the “judge’s box” between my friend Marjorie Skinner – managing editor for The Mercury and Seth Aaron – most recent winner of Project Runway. The other wise judges included Sue Bonde the intrepid director of fashion programs at The Art Institute, boutique owners Jo Carter and Anne Bocci, plus photographer Marie Saturn. A pretty well rounded crew, if I do say so myself.
The show opened with range of designers from our unofficial sister-city, Seattle, before moving into a showcase of some of Ai’s most promising graduates. After the last silver tarp dress strutted back stage, Sue Bonde stepped up to talk about the emerging designer competition and introduce the judges (sort of, as Seth had taken an ill-timed trip to the bar and I felt too many eyes stare at me when she nodded to his empty seat).
The winner of the Emerging Designer Competition wins a bevvy of fashionable prizes:
1. the chance to show a full collection at next years PFW
2. a photo shoot with Fashion Wire Press
3. a marketing package with 24Notion branding
4. future coverage in a little publication called Portland Monthly .
So the tension mounted as the show began. All four designers put forth a really good effort but the end horse edged ahead by a nose. Designer Ms. Wood won over the crowd and judges with cohesive and complete looks that included shoe and accessory design. She will be a welcome addition to the Portland fashion scene and I look forward to working with her for her PM coverage. Congratulations!
The Evenings’ Designers:
Tonight at the shipyards the ladies in town will be in shopping heaven. A show featuring some of the best, most wearable, chic women’s wear in town it will be a treasure trove of ideas for a spring wardrobe.
Find Portland Fashion Week 2010 event info on our Events Calendar.