On Friday Union/Pine hosted Art of Garment, one of the innovative local fashion events to pop up recently, previously mentioned here. The aim of this show was to illuminate the process behind designing a collection, with each designer showing a display that included elements such as sketches, fabric swatches and pattern pieces, in addition to the final product. This provided the viewer with a lot more context than a traditional runway show typically does, even if space limitations sometimes left me wishing for more. Still, overall the format felt fresh and forward thinking.

The scene stealer of the night was definitely the display of Urchin Redesign by Sonia Kasparian, who uses repurposed materials and couture techniques to create one-of-a-kind bridal/special occasion gowns. The pieces she showed were romantic and feminine, but felt very fashion forward:

Urchin Redesign
  • Urchin Redesign

And her illustrations felt like works of art all on their own:

Urchin Redesign
  • Urchin Redesign

Heather Treadway had another standout display, showing the earthy, ashram-esque costumes from the desert based Hits of Sunshine performance/installation she participated in a while back, along with photos from the event:

Heather Treadway
  • Heather Treadway

Heather Treadway
  • Heather Treadway

Cassie Ridgeway of Mag-Big, showed some simple but fun, super boho pieces inspired by The Mamas and The Papas, accompanied by a single newspaper clipping on the band:

Mag-Big
  • Mag-Big

One of my absolute favorites was R.A.W. Textiles by Rio Wrenn. Her metallic themed collection included a bikini completely adorned with flattened bottle caps, along with some light, breezy silk pieces that were dyed using iron.

R.A.W. Textiles
  • R.A.W. Textiles

R.A.W. Textiles
  • R.A.W. Textiles

She also had some great process/inspiration pieces:

R.A.W. Textiles
  • R.A.W. Textiles

Overall I think this event is a great addition to Portland's ever growing fashion calendar. If I had one critique it would be that the presentations sometimes felt a little uneven in terms of how much of a peek we got into each designer's work and process. It definitely felt like there were some stars and some supporting cast-members in the show. That being said, it's a new event that I really hope will continue in years to come, so organizers should have plenty of time to smooth out the rough edges.