Each year, the kick-off event for Portland Fashion Week is the Emerging Designers Competition which features up-and-coming designers from around the country, but have roots in the local design scene. This year Becky Ross, fresh off of her stint on the popular program Project Runway, was featured that evening showing off her “Wicked Quick” collection. Another local designer Joshua Buck was a favorite with his extensive collection of women and menswear for studioSKB. Other fashion shows during the week featured local Project Runway alums, Jay Nicholas Sairo and Bryce Black.
The Emerging Designers Competition has been dubbed “Catapult” by the show’s organizers due to its reputation for launching the careers of so many designers, both local and national. And though Portland’s Fashion Week is growing in its scope, scale and reputation, the glitz and the glamour are not the only goals of the event.
“Portland Fashion Week is the second-longest running fashion week on the West Coast,” said event producer Prasenjit Chowdhury. “And in 2007, Portland Fashion Week became the first sustainable production of a fashion week in the world.”
In keeping with the show’s commitment to sustainability, this year the runway was made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. Last year, it was made from solar panels provided by Solarworld.
After all was said and done, it was designer Amanda Grisham’s “Grishley” line whose designs wowed Portland Monthly’s Eden Dawn and the rest of the judges with her creative Pendleton-inspired prints. The title of “Emerging Designer” was bestowed upon her later that evening.