Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection kicked off on Wednesday, September 24, with the third annual Independent Designer Runway Show (IDRS). Designer Deborah Roberts was chosen as the winner from a group of ten local designers for her collection, Silvae. Roberts received a prize package including $5,000 furnished by The Bellevue Collection and the Kemper Freeman family and her designs are to be featured throughout Bellevue Square during the month of October. Jenny Fort of Lu. was named runner-up and received a $1,000 cash prize for her collection.
During cocktail hour before the runway show, each designer staged a small area with a sample of his or her collection. Guests could see the garments close up and meet the designers. It was a great opportunity to see the workmanship and passion of these talented people. The well-heeled crowd that attended the sold-out show pulled out all the stops with looks that reflected the innovative feel of IDRS. The IDRS winner from 2013, Aykut Ozen, who wowed the crowd with his flawless leather designs last year, was in attendance for this year’s event.
The IDRS program itself is a five-month process, during which designers are mentored by a panel of fashion insiders and experts. The panel consisted of Laura Cassidy of Seattle Met magazine, Dana Dickenson, Bellevue Collection Merchant Representative, Bruce Pflaumer of Michael Bruce Image Consulting, Patricia Wolfkill, a fashion industry veteran, Marj Turner of Fashion Group International and Terri Morgan from TCM Models and Talent.
IDRS is truly one of my favorite fashion events of the year. It is a reminder of how many talented people we have in our community, and seeing their meaningful designs and enthusiasm for what they do is quite inspirational. Immense creativity and vision is required to get to IDRS, and all the designers were worthy of the challenge and the buzz that followed in the conversations around the main event.
Here is a list with links of the other nine IDRS designers that participated in this year’s event, along with my notes from the runway show:
BOHO republic by Tina Witherspoon
Swinging skirts, Obi belts, jumpsuits and a 70s vibe with vibrant prints and bold black and white that channel bohemian chic. The casual elegance and modern black and white prints wowed. www.bohorepublic.com
KLÄD Apparel by Melanie Trygg
Rocked the runway with models coming out in a single stream with exaggerated collars, high-low hems and incredible draping. These were sophisticated pieces that have a futuristic feel. www.kladapparel.com
Tom Ordonio by Tom Ordonio
Showcased gorgeous aesthetics with fur, leather and silk. Wide culottes pants and skinny belts. Rock & roll luxury with an edge and a high fashion feel to the entire collection. www.tomordonio.com
CUDDY by Brian Cuddy
Retro 60s-70s vibe with modern abstract geometric patterns on silk made from original artwork. Simple silhouettes let the prints shine. These vibrant pieces will make you want to buy a plane ticket to somewhere warm and sunny. Immediately. www.cuddystudios.com
Mia Fioravanti by Mia Fioravanti
Clothing with fluid design and a beautiful combination of form, elegance and function. Architectural designs with a muted color palette of brown, black and gray were understated loveliness. www.miafioravanti.com
Rebekah Adams by Rebekah Adams
Inspired by her military husband, parachute fabric was incorporated into some of the most gorgeous outerwear I have ever seen. Bright blue with grey, cool cutouts on pants and jackets gave a wow factor. My favorite was the beautiful blue jacket. www.rebekahadams.com
Calotype by Kristie Metcalf
Navy, black and sheer fabric panels on jackets and skirts, these pieces would make you the most gorgeous girl in the room at your next soiree. The collection was a sexy and unique in its understated take on dressing to impress. www.calotypedesign.com
Lu. by Jenny Fort
Runner-up Lu. opened the IDRS show and got the vibe going. The Pacific Northwest colors of loden greens and grays were showcased on culottes and short stylish dresses. Structured designs and mesmerizing movement with stellar fabrics. Yes, please. http://thisislu.us
APRIL PRIDE by April Pride
April Pride turned a favorite dress into a line of beautiful pieces that are timeless. Her halter dress—the wool suiting is a favorite of mine—is perfection, and the new coats that walked the runway are a gorgeous addition to her contemporary classics. www.aprilpride.com
The winner of IDRS 2014, Silvae by Deborah Roberts, gave an original view of the merging of art, fashion and Seattle. Silvae, which means “of the woods” in Latin, is inspired by outdoor beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the collection’s feminine silhouettes were matched with surreal fabric prints developed in collaboration with artist Olivia Knapp. (We got a peek at this collaboration back in June at Glasswing.) Don’t miss Deborah Roberts’ showcased designs at Bellevue Square in October. You can see more work by Olivia Knapp at Ghost Gallery and the artist’s Web site.
IDRS continues to inspire enthusiasm for what is new and beautiful in Pacific Northwest fashion, and I would love to see more shows of this caliber in our area. I just might move my perch to a front row seat next year. Congratulations to all the designers of IDRS 2014.
Photography by Jed Sarmiento. See the full photo gallery from IDRS 2014.