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September 24th, 2008 Byron Beck | News Stories
 

Lights, Camera, Fashion

Portland’s screen scene showcases this season’s latest looks.

     
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The Goonies and a pair of waffle shoes.

For years, those were two of Oregon’s most well-known contributions to the world of film and fashion.

Our state hasn’t had much of a track record as a place where high-quality films are made. For every Academy Award winner like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there are several more duds, like Andrew Dice Clay’s Brain Smasher…A Love Story.

The same could be said for couture. Despite Nike’s command of the world of sportswear, this state isn’t exactly a cradle of fashion, and we haven’t really had a big-name designer living here since Emilio Pucci went to Reed College in the late 1930s.

But that’s all changing. It helps that directors Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes both call this place their home. Tack on indie voices like Old Joy’s Kelly Reichardt, who loves to shoot here, Film Geek’s James Westby and Matt McCormick (who just started shooting Some Days are Better than Others in PDX), and you have the makings of something that could be easily labeled “The Portland Movement.”

According to an economic report issued by the Governor’s Office of Film & Television, the cinema industry generated $1.3 billion of combined direct and indirect economic impact in Oregon last year. The study further shows that nearly 13,500 people held jobs that were in some way related to the movie industry.

Local fashion is also being seen as something more than plaid and woolen. Right now, local designer Leanne Marshall (Leanimal) is ripping up the catwalk on the Bravo reality show Project Runway (word is, she might even be the winner), and Portland boutique Seaplane is extending its reach into L.A., adding a location in the trendy Silverlake neighborhood.

Portland’s Fashion Week, once just a foggy idea in a few local designers’ heads, is now touted as the “world’s largest ‘green’ fashion week.” The next edition of PFW will take place Oct. 8 through 12, in the Pearl District’s brand-new 14 Square building, soon to be home to New Zealand sportswear company Icebreaker’s U.S. headquarters.

In honor of all that’s happening, we thought it time to meld the two worlds of local film and fashion. Over the next few pages we “interpret” the looks of recent films that have either been shot in Portland or by Portlanders with the latest looks for fall.

And who better to do it than Portlander Amanda Needham? The 27-year-old costume designer for recent local movies including The River Why, Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy and McCormick’s latest, Needham graciously accepted our request (OK, we begged) to help out on this project (read a Q&A with her on wweek.com). Is Portland a good town for her line of work? “The important thing is to be part of the process that trains people and makes Portland known as a place with capable people,” she replied.

As they say in the film world: Roll ’em.

>>>CLICK HERE TO GET ON WITH THE SHOW<<<


ROLL THE CREDITS



On the front: Willamette Week returned to the Columbia Gorge Viewpoint at Cape Horn (where scenes from Twilight were actually shot) to capture the mood for this fall’s key looks. To learn about Friends of the Columbia Gorge, the group that owns the viewpoint, and its efforts to promote public recreation at Cape Horn, visit gorgefriends.org.
Photographer: Laura Domela, domela.com
Photographer Assistant: Kevin Morris
Wardrobe & Stylist: Amanda Needham Assistant to Stylist: Monika Schmitt
Makeup: Janine Salzman
Models: Cora and Jay (courtesy of Q6talent.com), Brittany, Joe, Pete, David, Paul, John, James, Viva, Malice and Max Johnson-Fox.
 
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