Fade to light spring 2016 portland monthly byericajmitchell largeweb 052 wzmscp

One of our all-time favorite looks from Fade to Light: Laurs Kemp's now-famous Boob Dress.

It bears repeating: we once called Fade to Light “a show for fun-fashion lovers and those who love theatrics.” We stand by those words.

Since Fade to Light's inception in 2012, producer Elizabeth Mollo (from shows like Unmentionables and Alley 33) has encouraged designers to think beyond the traditional runway and incorporate multimedia elements like video installations, choreographed dancers, live music, and sometimes even giant balloons. After originally sticking with the same small group of designers every six months, now the show encourages new names to join in each round. 

This time around, expect some known crowd-pleasers like Sonia Kasparian with her intricate bodice work and Veil & Valor with their bold Viking vibe, in addition to debuts from five graduating students from the Portland Fashion Institute. The lineup is rounded out by Carolyn Hart, Fräulein Couture, and One Imaginary Girl. If runway shows feel a little frivolous given our current global mess, this is a good time to remember that many of these designers and the shops that carry them have been steadily donating money to nonprofits, and that designers are a vital part of the local economy. A portion of ticket proceeds got to Cancer Curesaders, a Portland-based nonprofit raising funds and awareness for children’s cancer treatment.

Fade to Light Fashion Show

6:30 p.m. Wed, Aug 23, Crystal Ballroom, $10–75

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