Because this is no average boutique, of course, this was no typical fashion show--and unlike anything you'd see on the play-it-safe runways of New York's just-finished Fashion Week. For example, alongside actual clothes were accessories like horns, tails and riding crops. To help the show move along, there were also a sword swallower and a 10-minute cave-dance orgy featuring a dreadlocked faun in a tank top made of bike tire tubes. And, oh yeah, there was a raffle to raise rent money for a friend recovering from Tylenol-induced liver poisoning (prizes included a slave for a day, and a night at Breitenbush Hot Springs with free massage).
Despite the sideshow, a few standout designs careened down the catwalk. The Red Cross white vinyl corsets and hotpants shown by Morgan's Belle Epoque (above right) played out the naughty nurse theme in a line that was clean, consistent and spectacularly well-made (desirable traits in a nurse, after all). Likewise for the gypsy skirts, Sufi coats and mirrored Xena breastplate from Cate Carter's Moonhare Creations line. Faith Jennings' reconstructed sweaters, with rough reverse-serged edges and angled seams, provided great and very wearable contrast amid the show's abundance of lace and latex. And I definitely wanted a better look at the koi-patterned, hand-painted leather pants that flashed by during the segment by OROBOROS (the man next to me whispered, "Those sell for thousands").
Art, yes. Entertainment, yes. Plumber's crack, definitely.
But maybe we should replace one f-word--"fashion"--with another, more descriptive term. Blest Moon, Dandy Lyon principal and emcee (wearing a stunning patchwork leather trench he had made that morning), gave a midshow pep talk about supporting indie design that ended with the benediction: "Go forth, make fierceness and be fierceness."
Frill Handmade Bridal Show
Tumbleweed's Kara Larson joins Sarah Mansfield to show their line of unique wedding dresses under the label "Frill." Alberta Station Ballroom, 1829 NE Alberta St., 335- 3100. 3 pm Sunday, Feb. 23.