Fellow Miss A writer, Andrea Davis-Gonzalez and I, attended the Chance Fashion: The Eco-Friendly Designers Fashion Show at Neighbours in Seattle.
Chance is a monthly networking event for the Northwest Fashion Community. Each month they hold a new designer theme runway showcase featuring aspiring designers. Chance not only showcases aspiring designers each month, they also hold an open casting call for new models before each show, have one-on-one photography time for participating and walk-in models, allow for space setup for participating photographers, and award “Collaboration of the Month” awards for participating artists. The production team for the shows are all run by volunteers who work to help artists expand their resources and get the exposure needed to practice their trade while gaining hands on experience.
Immediately upon walking into Neighbours, we were greeted by Ryan Muller, CEO of Active Entertainment, the organization that runs the Chance fashion shows. Ryan works very hard to put these shows on each month for aspiring designers, models and photographers. He was very welcoming and had front row seats reserved for Andrea and I.
Ryan introduced us to Christopher Chapman, the program director, technology coordinator host of the evening’s festivities. Christopher works for Microsoft during the day and spends the rest of his time with Ryan on coordinating all of the fashion shows as a volunteer.
Andrea and I arrived early enough to watch aspiring models practice walking on the runway, get their hair and makeup done and take head shots for their portfolio. Watching what happens behind the scenes and how Chance allows for anyone who wants to be a professional model or photographer gain some real life experience shows that Chance truly cares about the local fashion community and wants to see them grow.
DJ Martini, who was spinning the infectious beats as we walked into the venue, has been Active Entertainment’s resident DJ since their launch in 2008. Not only does he spin for the shows, he also creates, edits, and mixes set music for many of the performing artists and designer showcases as a volunteer supporter of the Event.
At 8:45 p.m., with DJ Martini at the helm, the fashion show began.
Tabitha Pike, designer of Genius Threads, was the first to showcase her pieces. Tabitha creates a ready-to-wear line using deconstructed pieces and recreating something brand new. She fell in love with the idea of up-cycling while living in Seattle, where the green ambiance is inspiring. She fully believes in the benefits of all sorts of recycling as it should be a lifestyle. Tabitha breathes new life into garments that would otherwise be forgotten or outdated, and takes application of modern design and trends. She uses the original construction to a new benefit, which was displayed last night during the show.
Her runway showcase included tank tops and men’s dress shirts made into skirts, paired with fun heels. The look had an almost sporty feel and yet was very relaxed at the same time.
Genius Threads is currently sold at Better Off Threads, a boutique in Woodinville, Wash. that specializes in offering products made by recycled designers and upscale second hand.
Kit McClearn, designer of Epiphany Rose Designs was next on the runway. Epiphany Rose designs to breath new life in to old clothes or costumes and re-imagining jackets and blazers with the help of old shirts and making costume and cosplay pieces! She specializes in custom blazers and Lolita cat ears and over the top extravagant head pieces and recycled fashion.
Her runway look was filled with fun ruffles and denim pieces, with some masquerade masks thrown in, giving her designs a Mardi Gras/New Orleans feel.
The final designer of the night was Desda Sayer, of Paper Dollz Clothing. Last year, the night before the AMDEF 2012 (Art Music Dance Entertainment Fashion) show, Desda’s car was broken into and all of her designs were stolen. Active Entertainment hosted a fashion show as a fundraiser for Desda, bringing together a little over $100 to help her buy fabric to get back to making clothes. This show was her first since the devastating incident.
Desda’s designs encompass a metamorphosis of ruffles, lace, sequins and bows into unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Paper Dollz Clothing caters to those who hunger for a unique look, which is wearable by either day or night. Desda’s clothing is her canvas, constructing wearable vignettes illustrated with joy, playfulness and magical fantasy. Whether it’s flirty or funky, Paper Dollz Clothing infuses a “one-of-a-kind past with a one-of-a-kind present”, by using vintage and thrift store cast-off’s and recycling clothing.
Desda’s runway looks included skirts made from fabric with space and galaxy designs and tops made from velvet, bold bows and lots of fun ruffles.
Chance will hold their second annual plus size fashion show on Saturday, April 13.
The runway shows could not be possible without all the behind-the-scenes work from Chance’s volunteers. Wyandon Lubom is the Runway Director, Tana Yasu is the Backstage Manager, and the Marketing/Promotional team is composed of Chance Ambassadors Pete Hamilton and Edwina Brown, (2012 male and female Model of the Year) and Brandon Rouge and Caitlin Scully. Most of the volunteer staff on the team were first involved as Artists before they became involved as Staff.
Chance is also teaming up with Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) to strengthen the Seattle Community. SOSea seeks to empower Seattle’s LGBTQIA communities to proactively address social justice issues that affect that community. Eventually, a percentage of the proceeds from Chance events will be donated to SOSea to help heal and strengthen the LGBTQIA community.
Please click here for more information on Chance Fashion.