Hitting 10 years as a successful small business is alone something worthy of celebration. But after a decade of providing Portlanders with beautiful lace underthings from indie designers all over the globe, owner Sarah Wizemann doesn’t want to just do the traditional anniversary bash. Instead, on Friday, May 12, Lille hosts a massive fashion show—and Planned Parenthood fundraiser—called Bodies Empowered. Looks from Turkish line Else will grace the Holocene runway.
“After the election, I was feeling so down and ineffectual," Wizemann says. "I thought about what can I do, to not only pull myself out of the funk, but also affect change in the current administrative crisis. Everyone I know has been depressed, and I wanted an event that cheers everyone up, that celebrates beauty, and raises money for causes under fire. It’s been tremendous to see the responses from local businesses and the designers we carry at Lille.”
Lille isn’t the only one stepping up for the fundraiser: all of the production costs for the event (typically sky-high for a fashion show) have been donated by other local businesses. The models have waived their fees, Bishops has donated hair and makeup services, and DJ Gregarious volunteered music and video services. Holocene waived any charges, as did dessert provider Vivienne Kitchen and Portland Juice Co. It’s an admirable example of a village coming together for good. Wizemann promises 100 percent of proceeds will go directly to Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette, with a goal of hitting $20,000 in a single night.
And from the programming perspective, they’ve got a fighting chance to make that happen. In the goods realm, there's a silent auction that includes everything from silk kimonos to a Voicebox karaoke party for 30 friends, as well as a raffle—$5 per ticket—featuring seriously covet-worthy prizes. Between the auction and raffle, there's $10,000 worth of items up for grabs. On the main stag is the real gem of the night: designer Ela Onur, traveling all the way from Istanbul, to headline the show. An independent designer with a family who’s been involved with the textile industry for decades, she’ll show her Fall 2017 line, which incorporates her consistent use of interesting silhouettes and jaw-dropping laces.
It’ll be a scene for sure, and one that leaves everyone feeling good about celebrating design, community, and supporting reproductive health. VIP tickets have already sold out, and regular tickets are likely to go quick, too—snag yours while you still can.
6–9 p.m. Fri, May 12, Holocene, $5–15