LeMay America’s Car Museum recently hosted 100 Feet of Fashion to benefit Chance Fashion, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing accessible, hands-on resources to the fashion community in the Pacific Northwest. Planned much in part by producer and photographer, David Bailey and founder of Chance Fashion, Ryan Muller, the evening was a fantastic showcase of the Seattle fashion industry.
The one hundred foot runway was lined with LeMay’s famous historical car collection, providing a classically elegant backdrop. Christopher Chapman, Program Director of Chance Fashion and CEO of Seattle Fashion Week was the MC for the evening, keeping the crowd entertained and introducing the designers’ collections. With DJ Martini spinning the tunes, the show began.
Chelsea Mack of Chelsea Mack Designs was first to present her designs on the runway. Her nine creations included unique scrap skirts and dresses in a variety of colors, matched with chiffon, strapless fitted tops and belts.
Olga Szwed, Svetlana Petculescu and Lindsey Tabor of Poppy & Bloom were second to showcase their designs. The first model stepped on the runway to the Mad Men theme song, which set the tone for the rest of the designs. The ready-to-wear designs were very 60’s-inspired, complete with floral-print summer dresses, polka-dots, chunky jewelry, empire waist dresses, and sheer sleeves. Olga designs, Sventlana heads business development and Lindsey leads market and events for Poppy & Bloom. Each worked in the fashion industry in Seattle by running their own individual boutiques. Svetlana and Lindsey both ran plus size boutiques and met Olga through her bridal shop in Bellevue. They all shared a vision for creating a vintage inspired, classic and whimsical collection for curvy and plus sized women. After a successful Kickstarter project, they launched their first collection in Spring of 2014. They are very appreciative of the open arms the community has had for Poppy & Bloom, and they have been given several opportunities to work with one of their favorite Seattle based charities, the Ruby Room. Their first event as a company was last October, when they participated in the Ruby Room’s annual Fashion Faux Pas to Fashion Fabulous runway event, in which they created eight unique runway looks from recycled prom dress fabric. The response Poppy & Bloom received from that event was amazing, and they were very lucky to be able to showcase the first inspiration behind their collection all while raising money for the charity.
Karen Langley of Karen Ashley Fashion was next on the runway, in her debut show. Her designs included the same patterns used in different ways to create beautiful tops, skirts and dresses. Little black dresses were embellished with sparkling flower designs, furry collars paired with Asian-inspired patterns and gorgeous jackets. Karen’s inspiration for the collection came from the idea of fences and flowers, with the juxtaposition of the more linear and geometric lines of fences, and lattices against the playful and organic lines of large scale florals. These, mixed with other elements such as the fluid lines of a water feature, hard scape, and fall leaves, create an overall picture of a garden from spring to fall. Almost a year ago, she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Last fall, she finished up her BA in Fashion Design while undergoing chemotherapy. In January, she underwent a double mastectomy, and, just last month,finished treatment with radiation. All the difficult side effects, while putting this collection together was a big challenge for her. She hopes to soon work with charities such as Gilda’s Club and other breast cancer groups.
Vivid Haiku Meroe’s collection was inspired by her grandmother’s garden and Seattle’s famous Gum Wall. The delicate designs, all in a nude color tone, showed how versatile the light color can be. Short, ruffled and taffeta skirts, plunging necklines, tanks, belts and dresses were all a part of the collection, creating a soft yet sophisticated look.
Julie Danforth ended the evening with her latest collection of Julie Danforth Designs. Dresses and gowns walked down the runway in a multitude of bold colors, including an oxblood red dress paired with a bright pink jacket, an aqua-marine dress, black dresses with gold jewelry and embellishments, grey suits with snake skin print and a black and white chevron gown. As a girl born in the 60’s, she is very inspired by the famous designers of that time and the celebrities who wore them. She sticks to classic style lines and tries to update with a little styling, creating an almost luxe grunge look that is fitting for the Pacific Northwest. She likes to design special occasion wear, something that has value and timeless pieces made from natural fiber fabrics and “hand made” construction. Julie has a degree in apparel design from Seattle Central Community College and two summer internships in London, one working for Angels the Costumier. She has also worked in the production department with many Designers on film projects, so period costuming is also a passion. She designs, patterns, cuts and sews everything herself, and also works a full time job! Her designs are a combination of past work, some new Fall 2014 pieces, and four gowns. She will also be featured in an upcoming September MODE Fashion Magazine issue for a Vigor Shipyard photo shoot. In 2012 and 2013, Julie participated in the annual Gilda’s Club event in Seattle and made gowns for three very special cancer survivors. Julie is also participating as a designer for the Gabby Wild Foundation to save endangered species. She was recently in a show at the University of Washington’s Wild on the Runway and she will participating in the Central Park Zoo’s Elephantasia next year.