The future of fashion takes the runway in Portland this week.
FashioNXT returns for a seventh year this week. Helmed by Tito Chowdhury, the event aims to celebrate the elements that Portland and the cutting edge of fashion have in common—an appreciation for aesthetics, a fascination with technology, and a deep reverence for artisanal sustainability.
Four nights on the runway will deliver a broad range of designers, from the Season 3 collection by local leather phenom Colty to a London luxury swimwear line co-founded by Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell—all worn by models selected from open auditions in Portland and Washington. Attendees even get the chance to vote for the winner of the UpNXT Emerging Designers Runway Competition, in which three winners are awarded cash prizes.
There's a lot to see, but here are the shows we won't be missing.
The relaxed silhouettes and understated neutrals of designer Andrea Moore's work thus far make it the purest manifestation of gender-neutral streetwear made in Portland. All of it is made locally with vegan fabrics. Though a theme of wearable nude and monotone basics endures, pops of cherry-red materials, white mesh and black floral cotton made a dynamic splash in her last collection. That last runway also featured models wearing super-long, brilliantly white wigs, showing a taste for playing with an understated color palate in an overstated way. Thursday, Oct. 4.
Did you know the latex dress in Katy Perry's latest Covergirl commercial was designed and constructed in Seattle by a woman with the cutest portmanteau in high fashion? Apparently the likes of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and Kylie Jenner did, as they've been ordering custom latex outfits from Dawn Mostow ever since. Known for optical-illusory lingerie, slippery gloves and catsuits, Mostow also studied kimono design while living in Japan for several years. However you feel about latex, this show won't be easily forgotten. Friday, Oct. 5.
Nigerian-born Tony Iyke has brought soul back to bespoke menswear. Every impeccably tailored suit is made not only for the individual's shape but for his personality, too, with customizable details in the stitching and contrasting collars. Iyke also fears no fabric, featuring blazers in wool, silk, linen, rich brocade and anything else that makes a man stop and question his commitment to poly-blend joggers. Friday, Oct. 5.
A runner-up on Season 8 of Project Runway who later won the first season of Project Runway All Stars, Guerra will pack the house. His taste for structured glam and pop-art patterns has brought about a slew of over-the-top custom looks for major drag queens of late—RuPaul's Drag Race finalist Blair St. Clair wore a custom gown during the Season 10 finale. It's highly probable the collection will feature Guerra's signature take on maximalist, "break all the rules while honoring classic silhouettes" chic. Expect nothing of the basic sort. Saturday, Oct. 6.
SEE IT: FashioNXT is at 2204 N Randolph Ave. on Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 3-6. $30-$185. See fashionxt.com for a complete schedule and tickets.