Wednesday night kicked off this year's Portland Fashion Week, and the space at 14 Square looked as beautiful as we've come to expect from the PFW trio. Showing on this inaugural night were Icebreaker, the active wear line that emphasizes the laudable use of wool, including light jersey versions used in T shirts. The company has claimed a large portion of 14 Square as its local headquarters.

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When in doubt, add a dog.

The Art Institute also represented, with a show of dresses formerly displayed at the school, made entirely out of paper by Lia Griffith. Following that, the schools students showed looks inspired by Griffiths projects, as well as "Re-fab," originally slated to be a Project Runway style competition (I was one of the judges) but that was reduced to us jotting notes on clipboards and silently choosing a "winner" in each category. The re-fabrication at hand was a project that had the students re-purposing graduation gowns into LBDs--check after the break for photos of what they came up with.

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The original: a piece by Lia Griffith

All photos by Minh Tran!

This is the entry that took the judges' prize:

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Although I would note that I also liked the colors in this one, and the use of concert fliers as the chosen paper material:

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As for the LBDs, this one, by Jason Bray, came out on top:

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Since we were not--as originally planned--allowed to give any commentary on the student pieces, I will say now that as well done as this dress is, this kind of stiff volume at the hips has worn its welcome to my eyes. It simply doesn't look fresh anymore. You snuck in at the last minute, Bray!

The show ended with peeks at the senior collections of AI students, some of which we've seen before. Though unfortunately uncredited, it offered a whirlwind glance of the next generation, a visual flood of young ideas:

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