Fashion Events

White Bird and Michelle Lesniak Team Up for a One-Time Fashion Experience

The Portland dance producers and fashion designer present a special summer fashion show promising "pureness with the warbling of evil."

By Eden Dawn June 21, 2017

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In the world of the arts, one thing is a necessary constant: fundraising. The concept can feel hard to reinvent year on year, so when an organization steps it up to make it a fantastic spectacle, we should all take note.

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A peek at Lesniak's new collection with hand airbrushed patterns.

Such is the case with Saturday’s collaboration between the venerable White Bird dance organization, who’ve paired with our beloved Project Runway champ Michelle Lesniak for an intimate fashion show experience. A one-day-only event, the third in White Bird’s View from the Perch series, features a collaboration between Lesniak’s design and the music of her new husband, guitarist Seth Montfort. 

The capsule collection, inspired by a quote from Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds, isn’t the average breezy summer collection. Instead, Lesniak says her line, Thornebird, is a fashion event “showcasing pureness with the warbling of evil.” Montfort’s soundtrack provides a haunting melody of shadow and darkness, while Lesniak's designs incorporate bright white light. And as we've seen from her runway shows over the years, one of Lesniak’s greatest strengths—beyond tailoring and exquisite craftsmanship—is her ability to create unique emotional experiences when presenting her collections, provoking the audience to laugh, cry, or both.

View from the Perch is a series, kicked off in April, of "educational springboards" featuring some serious heavyhitters from the arts world, to benefit White Bird and its various community programs. This latest installment, hosted in a private Southwest Portland home, provides opportunity to engage with the artists, snap up hors d’oeuvres, and visit the open bar. Dancer-models Mariecella Devine, Chase Hamilton, Hannah Luckow, Michael Mesa, Kema Shannon, and Kirk Whiteman will star in the atypical fashion show emphasizing the movement of the designs. 

Thornebird by Michelle Lesniak

4 p.m. Saturday, June 24, Private Residence, $125

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