Last night marked the premiere of Tito Chowdhury's brainchild FASHIONxt. The event departs from the ghost of Portland Fashion Week's past and anticipates what is, well, next in Portland fashion and design. Portland's fashion is not New York or L.A.'s fashion, nor is it trying to be, so it makes sense that Portland should identify and cultivate what makes our city's style set individual. So what exactly is that?
Last night's theme focused on how technology engages fashion in Portland. The night kicked off with Intel's Personal Cloud Concept Collection. I admit, at first I was skeptical of the tie between fashion and technology but then I remembered, hey, President Obama visited Intel, Portland is a technology powerhouse. Despite my prehistoric inclinations I was impressed with the Personal Cloud collection's conceptual approach to how technology bolsters imagination and invention in fashion.
- Hal Harrison
Seth Aaron and Viktor Luna collaborated on the collection and the pieces were cool. My only complaint was the tape over the models' mouths. The show was intended to be conceptual but the concept of a woman with no voice, especially when engaged in a dialogue about the power of technology has too many dark political implications for me.
However, the breezy, neutrals in Soham Dave's Reborn collection blissed me out a bit. Created with 100% handcrafted Indian cloth known as Khadi, the collection focused on versatility, yet remained elegant in the supreme quality of its textiles.
Atelier Exclusively Yours also delivered sumptuous fabrics but in a bright palate. What set Atelier apart was the collection's dedication to the simple, clean lines of the Kimono. With hair loosely knotted at the model's nape and fresh faces, the minimalist architecture of the collection felt modern. And I basically died for the full kimonos.
The highlight of the night was, clearly, Viktor Luna. Project Runway buzz abounds in Portland fashion but Luna delivers the goods and he delivers them in a dark, sexy and precisely executed package. Namely, this dress:
and these spooky, Jurassic park-printed pieces.
Here are some other Luna goodies:
What elevated Luna's collection was its intricate details. When the black gown and suit jacket appeared on the runway I thought is that eelskin? No, it was finely woven textile that created a shiny, pleasing symmetry and the gown floated down the runway. Exquisite. Luna's blurb states that his line channels "sophistication punctuated with dark sensuality" and I'd say mission accomplished Luna. Cheers. Now can I borrow that dress?