Today marks the fifth annual Modified Style runway show, an apparel design challenge that's open to all—amateurs, professionals, and youths. Each participant gets a big bag of recycled fabric, out of which they create one or more looks for the runway. Since they're not commercial collections, most people go for something big and dramatic, with one foot in the realm of costume design, and a lot of the participants have historically been artists who typically work in a different medium. There are judges (including apparel designers Joshua Buck and Cassie Ridgway, who also owns Hawthorne's Mai-Big) and prizes, but the event was originally conceived to give people a creative outlet while at the same time throwing money at local non-profits (this year's are Sisters of the Road, Bark, and the Pixie Project). I'm emceeing for the second time, and I also wrote a bit about it in this week's Sold Out, because I love it as a fun-loving, mid-season antidote to a scene that is increasingly taking itself seriously (which is good too). There'll also be raffles, and—although the event itself is all-ages—a 21+ after-party, and plenty of opportunities to throw money at some excellent homegrown causes.

This year's shindig goes down 6 pm tonight at Refuge PDX... see you there!