Portland Fashion Week came and went this past weekend — in truth, it’s only a three-day affair — but it left in its wake a taste of fashions coming from local designers next spring.
The runway shows, all taking place at the Oregon Convention Center, displayed a range of fashion from bridal to avant garde, and featured work from designers from around the Pacific Northwest. While the scale of the event may pale in comparison to those in other cities, the creative quirk shown was representative of Portland.
While most designers choose pulsing electronica for their runway music, Brady Lange’s models walked to throwback pop songs like Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” and Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams.” That sort of unpretentiousness is emblematic of the 28-year-old’s line.
His clothes are simple, casual and fun — “I don’t try to take myself to seriously,” he says. One of his models threw a handful of glitter at the end of the runway. Others exchanged high fives as they passed.
Lange, originally from Columbia Falls, Montana, worked for Portland designer Adam Arnold before starting his own line. He describes his work as “happy clothes” and takes what he calls “calculated risks,” like juxtaposing neon and camouflage or black and florals. His looks for spring and summer 2014 are austere in construction — he has a lot of basic shorts and tank tops — but the colors and silhouettes show character. Take a look at the line he presented in the ready-to-wear show.
At 22, Andres Pinedo was the youngest designer to show this year at Portland Fashion Week. He lives in Yakima, Washington, but his name started circulating in Portland fashion circles after he showed for Portland’s Latin Fashion PDX last year.
“I’m not as experienced as all these other people are,” he says, “but I do have a little talent and some heart and a huge passion for this.”
Pinedo only recently learned to sew from a mentor he met at a fabric store in Yakima. Roxanne Nicholson, who died from cancer in June at age 63, taught him how to make clothes — pattern making and draping — and often helped him pay for his materials.
“My mom thought really highly of him,” says Nicholson’s daughter Brandy Bradford. “She thought he was extremely talented as a designer.”
Nicholson told Pinedo stories, too. Some were harrowing, like those about her days as a police dispatcher. Others were more mundane, like how she once cut up her mom’s fur coat to make a jacket. “She was like a second mother to me,” Pinedo says.
Pinedo says Nicholson influenced him a lot in his most recent collection. She taught him many of the techniques he used. And much of the collection is black.
Pinedo describes his style as “very sultry and very Latin.” The clothes in his latest collection range in interest from basic to flashy, some featuring long fringe and lace bodices. His collection showed in Portland Fashion Week’s Dream Luxe show.