For three days last week, the new incarnation of Portland Fashion Week had its inaugural run at the Convention Center—if you want the inside baseball on how PFW and FashioNXT came to co-exist, I laid it all out back in January. Despite the rumors that trickled down to me—pissed off models, dropped looks, grumpy sponsors, general chaos and drama—from the front of the house, at least, the event did not fail. The setup was polished, and there were some interesting participants in the pop-up shop area, no models fell on the runway (though at least one audience member did), and turnout was decent if not packed.

My ongoing question with all of this has been whether or not there was any justification for Portland to have what are essentially two fashion weeks within two months of each other. One of the best answers to that, I think, is that due to budget snips, the Art Institute is no longer planning to host its big annual graduate fashion show—which is a bummer. Instead they found an alternative at PFW, which did not even charge its participants a fee. I love student shows (and the smell of fresh blood), and the students deserve to show off their senior collections, so for that, at least, PFW has done good.

Click over to MOD for a full review of opening night, featuring students past and present, emerging designers, and a boutique or two.

Lingerie look by emerging designer Rachel Rector
  • Dawn Marks
  • Lingerie look by "emerging designer" Rachel Rector