The new Portland Fashion Week—not the one that former producer Tito Chowdhury built up before starting his own FASHIONxt alternative event, but a new beast being helmed by original founder Tod Foulk and his new partners (yes this is all terribly confusing indeed)—has finally announced its location.
Its website has long touted that it was bringing PFW back to the heart of the city "where it belongs"—presumably a dig at the previous incarnation and FASHIONxt's longtime home on the shipyards. For a while the talk was that it would be located somewhere on the waterfront, but today the announced that it will be... at the convention center, where, as a certain colleague put it, "fun goes to die." Burn! But really, if they dress it up enough, this could be okay. It certainly is in the heart of the city, positioned near the confluence of its quadrants.
All in all, though, PFW 2.0 is still a mystery. The application process to show at the event is still open, so it's anybody's guess whose talent is actually going to be showcased. PFWs of the past sometimes struggled to fill its time slots with qualified designers, bringing down overall standards of curatorial quality control, and now that, with FASHIONxt and PFW, there are two large fall fashion events, it raises the question of how many good designers there will be to go around. It may help that PFW is not charging designers a production fee. They are also inviting retailers to participate, which—while my pride in Portland retail is well documented—seems a less vital thing to showcase. Either way, the proof will be in the pudding.