Put on your party heels for Anne Bocci Boutique’s sixth anniversary party on Friday, August 16, from 5 to 9 p.m. (the store is open for business starting at noon and is located at 7824 SW Capitol Hwy). This year’s soiree features an appearance by none other than Project Runway season 11 winner and local design maven Michelle Lesniak, 35, who runs fashion label Au Clothing. Other party treats to look forward to: an exhibit of Jon Manning photographs, refreshments, and jewelry giveaways.
Lesniak has been selling her designs through the Multnomah Village boutique since owner Anne Bocci served on a jury panel for Portland Fashion Week’s Emerging Designers showcase two years ago and the women clicked. “She is such a huge supporter of Portland designers,” says Lesniak, “and a great coach to have in my court.” No wonder, then, that Lesniak looks forward to celebrating her friend’s success (and the champagne ain’t bad, either).
What to look for at Anne Bocci Boutique? Lesniak says the store has the best selection of jewelry in town, and other wares run the gamut from local gems like Lesniak’s edgy, urban streetwear to flirty, femme dresses. An artist herself, Bocci has created in her boutique a haven for artisan designers: “It's a dream of mine to be able to support and celebrate fine artists and designers in my own space,” she says on her website, annebocciboutique.com.
As for Lesniak, life post–Project Runway has been, quote, “crazy!” She keeps a suitcase packed for last-minute travel, and her focus now is on sourcing fabric for new collections. (Hint: she says to look for see-through designs for 2014 because she loves “a good transparent moment.”) Catch her before she’s off again at Anne Bocci Boutique on August 16—and don’t forget to dress your swanky Portland best. “I love a good party,” Lesniak says, “and any excuse to dress up.”