LAST WEEK'S Pink Carpet Project fashion show benefit for Planned Parenthood was a nice capsule of the diversity of apparel design happening in the Pacific Northwest, from hot little bikinis to fashion-forward menswear. I had a pretty nice view of it from my vantage as co-emcee, and was thrilled to see many of the designs on a runway for the first time. I particularly had my eye on Brady Lange, who was showing his designs for the very first time. I first met Lange as an assistant to Adam Arnold, and then later when he began working with Grayling and Blackbird—pretty great influences for a budding designer—but had never known him to design himself. And until now, he really hasn't—the Pink Carpet was his first runway show since he graduated from the Art Institute of Portland with an apparel design degree.
The collection he debuted at the event marks his official foray onto the scene, and the all-pink, denim-and-floral result marked a favorite episode of the evening. Loud and fun (culminating in an outrageous finale full-length pink cape for him), the work also showed off serious tailoring chops. Denim jackets, vests, and pants demonstrated an excellent eye for fit and pristine construction, all the more striking from a designer who has basically been hiding in plain sight. Lange spoke to the Mercury about what his future in Portland design holds.
MERCURY: How has your design background developed since graduating from school?
BRADY LANGE: I have a degree in apparel design but felt like my education was lacking, which is one of the reasons I got into contact with Adam [Arnold]. It's always been my goal to start something myself, but I'm kind of a perfectionist and I hate when people put something out that I'm like, "Why? You aren't ready."
So can we expect to start seeing seasonal collections?
Yes. I'm doing a collection for fall 2012. It will be very small. I am going to try to work something out for a show, but I think it will be more of a party. I don't know if I will have enough garments for a full show.
How did you get involved in the Pink Carpet as, basically, an unknown?
Adam actually told me about it, and I kind of bullied my way in. It was a lot of trust on the part of the organizers. I don't have a website or anything.
What was the process like for the collection?
It took less than a month. It was actually kind of a rough July. I went to a family reunion, and had a pretty hard breakup. I did a lot of stuff in that last week. I didn't sleep for 52 hours.
Will you have the pieces produced? Are you selling them?
I'm not sure. I need to shoot them first. A lot of the fabric I don't know if I can find again. But I would say it's for sale. If anybody was interested I'd be more than happy to work something out.