Undoubtedly the highlight of the 5 days of shows this year was Saturday night’s show, with the Spring collections from project Runway alums Gordana Gelhausen [Goga by Gordana], Jay Nicolas Sario, and Jonathan Joseph Peters, capped off by the SETHAARON promotional collection sponsored by SolarWorld.
From the start of the night the lobby was packed, the mood expectant and jubilant, the security tighter than anything Portland Fashion Week has seen before. Onsite at the Vigor Shipyards on Portland’s Swan Island, on a runway constructed entirely of SolarWorld‘s sleek, high-performance photovoltaic solar panels, models local to Portland showcased almost 60 looks from the finalists from Project Runway Seasons 5 & 6.
As the show started (about 40 minutes late), a cheer rose up from the crowd – clapping filled the room as the lights dimmed and the first look from Goga by Gordana walked out. Breezy, feminine, intricate – and with some woven pieces displaying gorgeous cutwork evocative of her signature lace – the collection was colorful and fun. Yellows and reds dominated, with a patchwork leather dress and hand-dyed blouson top that received another round of applause. Girly ruffles and A-line silhouettes evoked all the jubilance of Spring, and the sweet creams and light blues called to mind blue skies and washed coral.
In contrast, Jay Nicolas Sario‘s collection was far more structured, with an overtly military-feel and Jay’s signature cuffs and button-detailing. Utilizing mostly wools and denims, in a darker color palette of olives and grays, the separates were buttoned-down sex-appeal. Though a few of the more voluminous pieces struck a discordant note, the tailored jackets and vests, skirts with asymmetrical pockets, and cascading layered denim neckpiece were instantly covetable.
Jonathan Joseph Peters‘ collection was a fun, carefree collection of prints and hand-dyed, hand-distressed fabrics. With a one-shouldered top with cut-outs (with each cut-out painstakingly done by hand and then heat-sealed, inch by inch!), a gold spangled romper (which, amazingly, was much more beautiful than it sounded), and a leafy tropical-print swing skirt and cardigan, the entire collection evoked a whimsical vacation. The designer’s attention to detail truly shone through each piece.
Sponsored and inspired by SolarWorld solar panels, Seth Aaron Henderson produced a 15-piece promotional collection for SETHAARON that had the room breathless from the first, and cheering excitedly by the last. The pieces were futuristic, warrior-inspired, juxtapositions of light and dark, hard and harder. Tiny details, geometric shapes, and asymmetry made it feel fresh and modern, with black and red vinyl and pops of yellow keeping the palette minimalist and sharp. With avant-garde headgear encapsulating some of the models’ heads completely, exaggerated silhouettes, skin-baring cut-outs, and mesh overlays, it was certainly fashion with a capital F. A blouse with billowy sleeves with metal zipper-like detail down the slits and skin-tight vinyl hotpants garnered a round of applause, and by the end people were standing on their seats to see the finale garment, an Transformer-like dress of slick black vinyl (also featured in all the promotional materials for the Collection).
After 2 encores from Seth A. the rest of the designers also came out and did a triumphant walk (or in Jay’s case, a skip, bow, and flourish;-) down the runway with their models.
Left: Look #1, for the first 3 shows, and Right: Look #2, for the SETHAARON show.
Lead makeup artists Nicolette Z. Gonzales and Austie Eckley (who also makes fabulous couture-style flowered headpieces available for sale in her Etsy shop BTW!) created two makeup looks for the shows: the first, a neutral, fresh look for the models walking in the first three shows, and the second, an edgy look with a bold eye as specifically designed by Seth Aaron himself for use in his own show.
For both looks Nicolette created the complexion, contouring, and eye shadow base, using Boots No7 Intelligent Balance Mousse Foundation. Austie was in charge of the eyes and sculpted a bold, angular stripe of yellow above a dramatic smokey eye, as directed by Seth. This look was also the signature look for his entire collection, as featured with his finale piece on the “Solar is the New Black” SolarWorld poster.
All the false lashes used in the shows were applied by lash artist Kimmie Nguyen.
To say the venue was crowded was an understatement. (Every seat filled, two rows of standing, and people jammed in the aisles – it was the biggest audience in the history of PFW.)
Seth Aaron Henderson talking with a fan and signing autographs at the SolarWorld booth just after the show.
Jay Nicolas Sario and two of his models wearing his Collection pieces.
Closeup of Jay’s awesome gauntlet/spat design for Spring. I want!
Seth Aaron’s brother, Noah Henderson of Headlock Clothing, with Crystal Ewing.
Project Runway Season 6 alum Janeane Marie out to support her fellow designers.
So what’s everyone’s take on the collections? Any pieces you love? Or love to hate?
All watermarked photos taken by Brent Barnett, Peter Greene, Bruce Ballard and Joey Stalone of OSI. Thanks, guys for the awesome pics! All un-watermarked photos taken by me.
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Who could this be? (Okay, my title kind of gave it away…)
If you guys are wondering why I haven’t posted, I’ve been mired in Portland Fashion Week stuff and haven’t caught up just yet. I have a couple big posts coming up (but I have to sit down and do them) – so they’ll be up soon!
In the meantime, here are some photos I snapped of Project Runway Season 7 Finalist Jonathan Joseph Peters. For the first time ever in the history of Portland Fashion Week, there was actually a showroom organized so the designers could present their creations to the buyers and press. (In Portland, there are no official designer showrooms at all! At least that I know of. It’s such an independent community here that there just doesn’t seem to be a need for it.)
So I stopped by the showroom – and whaddaya know? It was Jonathan from Season 7 of Project Runway showing his pieces (that will be coming down the runway tonight in a HUGE Project Runway alum show with Goga by Gordana [of Season 6], Jay Nicolas Sario [Season 7 finalist], and Seth Aaron Henderson [Season 7 Winner]!!)
He is such a sweetie in person – so down-to-earth – and his collection is phenomenal! He said he is particularly drawn to mixing patterns, hand-dyeing, playing with textiles, and layering fabrics – like the spectacular detail at the neck on this top.
Breathtaking cut-work detail (done by HAND, not by lasers – then heat-sealed by HAND. I just have to write HAND in capitals because it is so rare to see nowadays.)
A skirt in the same vein.
The fabric is a little “melty” around the holes, which adds to its fabulous deconstruction.
A gorgeous spangled top and the rest of his collection. Check out the prints!
Being based on the East Coast, he said he was really excited to be able to bring his collection out here to the West Coast and see the reception. Sewing since he was 10 and producing collections under his own name since 2002, he characterizes his aesthetic as “thoughtful separates with a sense of fun.”
I can’t wait to see it on the runway!
And in the meantime, check out his website below and show the guy some love!
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Stuck in the hotel room recuperating from a bad reaction to the sleeping pills I took on the plane, I unfortunately ended up missing all the shows I had intended to go to Saturday. Even though I wasn’t there, I thought since the kind companies sent me an invite; the least I could do would be to post some coverage for them.
From the PR company:
“Irina Shabayeva, the season six winner of Project Runway, debuted her Fall 2010 collection on Saturday, February 13th during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at SIR Stage 37. Freedom and the un-tethered journey of flight set Shabayeva on a course to create a fantasy of intricate beading, textile construction and exotic materials. Hand sewn creations of soft cashmeres, silk-screened and hand- painted wools were showcased side-by-side with structurally sculpted bodices and flight inspired flounces.
(read on for more…)
“Materials ranged from natural to industrial as creations were swirled in feathers and patterns only born in nature. Tupperware-engineered materials provided the hard edges and solid structures delicately balanced with luxurious materials like cashmere, supple leathers, double faced wool and fur. An unusual partnership with an alternative view to fashion and design allowed Shabayeva to join Tupperware’s effort of inspiring women around the world through confidence and empowerment.
“Knowing that Tupperware is so passionate about empowering women, it was easy to implement an element of determination into the clothing,” states Shabayeva. “To me, fashion and the design process is liberating, fun and empowering.”
“When we saw Irina on Project Runway, we were simply in awe of her of talent and vision,” said Tupperware Brands’ Chairman and CEO Rick Goings. “As a company that has long been focused on innovative design, we’re thrilled to work with someone who is forward-thinking and whose work is so inspiring.”
Highlights from the Fall collection include intricate hand-painted prints, pheasant feather dresses and custom made aviator hats. A strapless white cocktail dress made from 8 different wings of Tupperware materials impressed attendees along with a black glider with hand carved leather wing paired with leather panel pants.
I personally love her stuff; I’m amazed at her versatility and range – and how much of this is incredibly wearable. And to think Tupperware is incorporated into the pieces?? (It ain’t your mama’s plastic any more!) I can’t wait to see how she grows and matures as a designer.
What do you guys think?