THE TEAM that brings you the annual Alley 33 summertime outdoor fashion show and the Unmentionable lingerie show is rolling out a new production: this week's Engaged: A Bridal Runway Event.
Cassie Ridgway, December Carson, and Elizabeth Mollo (who is also a Mercury contributor) are among the city's most prolific when it comes to showcasing independent apparel, and their diversification allows them to both broaden their scope and target specific interests. And in comparison to most of the other, larger bridal events that pepper the spring season, Engaged has a tight focus. As Ridgway puts it, "We are keeping the lineup for the show slightly smaller than many of our other shows, so that the emphasis on single pieces will have a stronger impact."
That lineup, naturally, is also devoted to small businesses, most of which do their design and/or manufacturing locally. Featured boutiques include Eve in Eden, Lille Boutique, and Duchess Clothier, with designers Urchin ReDesign by Sonia Kasparian, Sunjin Lee Bridal, Bad Wolf Clothier, and ElizaBeth Rohloff Designs.
While most wedding events tend to be aimed more forthrightly at the bride, Engaged offers plenty of eye candy for the suit-wearing among us, with what Ridgway calls "a strong emphasis on tailored menswear." Duchess, of course, has a longstanding and well-earned reputation for excellence in this regard, offering suits that hearken back to bygone eras. Bad Wolf is a relatively new force in this arena, but after an especially good showing at the most recent Fade to Light, it will be very interesting to see how their tailoring skills look in a formal context.
Like any good wedding event, there will be vendors off the runway too, available for your cake-making, photo-taking, and flower-arranging needs. In a lovely touch, Portland First Lady Nancy Hales, a powerful champion of the city's apparel industry, will emcee the event.
Engaged: A Bridal Runway Event, w/DJ Gregarious, Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, Tues May 20, 8 pm, $10-12