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Portland's Hardest Working Designer

As we take a breather between the year's two major fashion weeks (September's the Collections, and Portland Fashion Week, which begins October 20), biding our time with internet links to other fashion weeks around the globe (New York, London, Milan), there is one Portland designer who is currently the busiest of them all: Magalí Corzo. Gearing up to debut her fall/winter line this week, she is also participating in a group show—the following day—and in just a couple weeks will debut her '07 spring line at Portland Fashion Week.

Originally from Buenos Aires, since her arrival in Portland, Corzo has made a name for herself in the local fashion design scene. Most were introduced to her through her dresses, in slinky fabrics and shapes that evoked tango dancing and romanticism. Since then, she has flexed her range to a startling degree, suggesting that those who thought they had her pegged right away still haven't seen her whole range. This is largely due to Corzo's relentless quest for knowledge and development in her apparel design, a skill she was born into (her parents had a popular, upscale line of children's clothing, Coco, in Argentina, and she is the granddaughter of a tailor).

With an admiration for many top designers (off the top of her head she mentions John Galliano, Gucci, and Argentina's Maria Vasquez) and an interest in someday relocating to Europe and furthering her couture education, she enjoys the diversity of design found in Portland's own scene, naming Adam Arnold, Emily Ryan, Kate Towers, and Holly Stalder as local names she favors. On her wish list for Portland's development? "We need more collaboration," says Corzo. "If we work together more, we will grow faster."

For her fall collection, Corzo looked to old Argentinean films; a special edition of a Buenos Aires newspaper, Clarín, depicting the history of Argentinean photography; and the vibe of an after-work lounge scene. This translated into a palette of browns, dashes of electric blue, a little red, mustard, gray, and black in a collection that features dresses and blouses as well as both knee-length and cropped coats—which Corzo proved a knack for in her fall/winter designs of last year. She'll also show pants made with stretchy material, in cuts that range from above the knee to a long, wide leg, and even something resembling a legging. With the possible exception of a brocade corset, Corzo's take on the season is certainly one that prioritizes comfort, a quality that is characteristic of her tendency to consider the feeling of the fabric on its wearer's skin as important as the look of the cut.

Corzo's show will also feature a photo shoot, either preceding or following the runway show, which she welcomes the public to observe. Additionally, there will be a trunk show for those who seek to snatch up items still warm from the models' bodies, and a performance by Miss Anne Thrope. (Magalí Corzo Fall/Winter Show, Fri Oct 6, Jupiter Hotel, 800 E Burnside, 8 pm, free, all ages)

The following day, the indefatigable Corzo returns to headline the runway show of Stargazing, the second annual event to benefit the Franny Fund. Franny Cabler is a six-year-old with cerebral palsy, and the money made from the event goes to pay for medical treatments not covered by her insurance. Also participating in the runway show is new boutique Blue (3753 N Mississippi), and vintage stores Xtabay (2515 SE Clinton) and Buffalo Exchange (1420 SE 37th; 1036 W Burnside). The event also features a dinner by chef Jason Simmons (formerly of Paley's Place), a cocktail hour to the tunes of Dylan Thomas Vance, dancing with DJ Brad Vachal, and a silent auction following the runway presentation. (Sat Oct 7, Rotture, 315 SE 3rd, 6 pm, $75, frannyfund.org)

Another way to be charitable is to book an appointment ASAP at London Influence (625 SW 10th) for October 14 for a hair service, when all retail and service sales will go to benefit Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a breast cancer awareness group focusing on young women. All month long in October, purchase of the limited edition bright pink ghd styling iron will aid YSC, as well as automatically enter you in a raffle for prizes including free salon services and products. Now there's an excuse to fix your hair if there ever was one.

Idle hands are the devil's workshop: marjorie@portlandmercury.com

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