First, a big thank you and congratulations to all of the designers, models, stylists, and helpers who put in their work and time for the Mercury's third annual fashion show last Sunday night. None of us had any real idea of what the designers would do when we gave them a 4' x 4' allotment on the floor of the Wonder Ballroom, and half the fun was seeing what "our" show was actually all about. The designers pulled through: From Ese Carnal's shoe tree to Open Clothed's cottony box full of balloon-toting models, each installation was unique and thoughtful. We were likewise curious to see what came down the runway, and I along with judges Holly Stalder, Adam Arnold, Patricia No, and Lisa Hough were tasked with what seemed impossible: rating these designers to determine a "winner" who will appear in a spread in the Mercury. And the winner was Leanimal, the work of Leanne Marshall. The crowd also voted for their favorite, and the winner of this "people's choice" award goes into the deserving hands of Julia Barbee for her Frocky Jack Morgan line, which will also be featured in the May 3 issue.
In the meantime: The Boost Foundation is holding its fashion show fundraiser, Catwalk, this week, featuring Anna Cohen, Souchi, Michelle DeCourcy, Jantzen, and men's clothing store Finn (132 NW 12th). This is a rare opportunity to see Cohen's work on a Portland runway; the busy designer has her work in several local stores, but the promise of 30 new looks from the fastidiously eco-conscious designer will be more Anna Cohen than I've ever seen in one place. Another line I'm especially looking forward to is Souchi, Suzi Johnson's incredible line of cashmere pieces that range from bikinis to wedding dresses. She'll be showing some of her spring line, summer's saturated colors contrasted with pale, neutral shades, and a fall preview that promises beachy tones and retro influences. The admission price is steep, but it's benefiting Self Enhancement Inc., which provides personal and academic guidance to underserved youth. And if last year's event was any indication, there will be lots of freebies. (Catwalk 2007, Henry V, 6360 NE MLK, Sat April 28, 7:30 pm, $85-150)
Another stop to make this weekend is the grand opening party for Dirty Little Secret's new spa. The outrageously popular salon now offers a full range of spa services, as well as a "comfort room" with aroma and light therapy. (1909 NE MLK, Sat April 28, 7 pm-midnight)
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