So Portland Fashion Week, if the website that hasn't been updated in a year didn't tip you off, has been abandoned. Instead, Executive Producer Tito Chowdhury has started FASHIONxt, which sounds like a stylish new model of vacuum cleaner or curling iron, and somewhat rightly so. Chowdhury, whose day job is as a Microprocessor Design Engineer at Intel, is re-branding the event from a relatively straightforward week of fashion shows with an environmental event, to "not only what is next in fashion, but what is next in personal style technology." That means in addition to a lineup of designers increasingly dominated by recovering Project Runway contestants (Seth Aaron, Michael Costello, Goga by Gordana, Becky Ross, Joshua Christense, and Viktor Luna) there will be other "lifestyle exhibits" for technology products like Intel's "Personal Cloud"—inspiration from whence Seth "Corporate Sponsorship" Aaron and Luna are collaboratively designing a line—a newfangled Bluetooth speaker, and the latest reinvention of a $4,000 slow-moving urban vehicles for people who still refuse to simply ride a bike. The whole thing makes me a little paranoid, but Mayor Sam Adams has these comforting words to offer:
“Portland is known for being a national and international creative hub - and few events showcase the diversity of Portland’s artistic, entrepreneurial spirit more than FASHIONxt. Combining the worlds of fashion, creative arts, technology and sustainability, FASHIONxt is a true Portland original.”
Thanks, Sam. Another soothing thought is that the tech world is Chowdhury's longtime stomping grounds, and his know-how and connections there combined with the fashion-grounded members of his production team (including MOD contributor Elizabeth Mollo, the event's Associate Producer and the woman responsible for the smooth-running of many other fashion shows in town), should... er, yeah, I don't know what it's going to be like. It might be really weird. But hopefully it will be a healthy break from PFW. I think we all were ready for something new.