Alexa Stark marches to the beat of her own drummer. She tells me when I inquired about her inspirations for this line: "I don't usually come up with a fixed set of inspirations. I approach each piece individually. Materials and moods cultivate my creativity. I usually try to convey my political views as well as my daily reactions to my personal life. I am constantly questioning the norm. Strip my work down, make it raw. Everything is intentional. I guess in a sense my work is about instinct... it is what it is."

The Parsons-trained designer has been doing her thing since 2010. I met her when she was living in her studio/apartment off Alberta back in 2011. Since then she's moved (probably more than once), launched a Kickstarter, and most recently made retail store Backtalk PDX her home away from home. The one thing that remained the same was that she never stopped designing clothes.

The looks ranged from maxi dresses to underwear and crop tops and everything in between. The line of mainly all black and grey showed a lot of exposed hems, which I had to inquire about. "I do exposed hems to say something about, well, exposure. Being raw and decaying. Ironically if my clothes were to wither away they wouldn't be just plastic in a landfill, like most fast fashion garments. They are part of nature. Their fringed hems are like plant roots, connecting not dividing us."

Stark tells me more about her fabric sources: "This collection I worked with a felting artist, Tash Wesp. She made the furry looking felt I used in my sleeves. I also worked with Revere Metal on custom zipper pulls." She adds, "think it's important to support other artists." I think so too, and it's what makes Portland such a wonderful place to work, collaborate, and live.

Take a look at my faves... (All photos by Ashley Anderson.)






The designer
  • The designer