Portland Mercury OPEN SEASON Fashion Show - Backstage Pictures and Inspiration

There is nothing quite like relaxing after a fashion show!  The Monday night show at the White Eagle Social Club was a whirlwind of fun. The best part was getting to spend time with my fellow friends and designers in the show,  Emily Ryan and Liza Rietz.   Below are some some quick photos I shot right before my models walked out on the runway. 

I designed the small collection of very wearable beach inspired pieces to sell at Haunt this summer.  My inspiration came from a Abalone shell that I have been carrying around since I was a kid growing up on the California coast.  To me it has always symbolized the freedom of summer adventures.

All the pieces from the show but one, were hand dyed with Indigo dye. Dying, along with the smashing of Abalone shells, was something that I was able to do outside the last week all while enjoying the hot Spring weather we have been having in Portland. It felt like a little mini vacation from making wedding dresses inside in my studio.  The best part of all, these activities caught the attention of my four year old son.  Smashing shells with a real hammer? He was on it!  Stirring the weird foaming blue indigo dye vat? Dream helper job! 
I was also inspired to do some hand beading by my friend and fellow mother, Austie Eckley, who just did some amazing hand beaded bridal accessories. She said that the best part was that you could take it anywhere with you and work on it.  Perfect, if I can sit outside and enjoy the sun and still be sort of working, there will be more beading in the future. 

 I was lucky enough to borrow pieces from two accessory designers that I admire a lot.  Sarah Vale Rapp from Seaecho bags and Emily Baker from Sword and Fern, who is my neighbor at the 811 building.   Sarah knew exactly what I was looking for and made four new designs that captured the feeling of the clothing effortlessly.  After the show I traded with her for the dip dyed metallic leather bag she made for a pair of the blue lace shorts from the first look and it felt like a sort of high fashion middle school girl exchange - we were both so excited.  With Emily, I just walked next door and pulled some jewelry from her store, Sword and Fern, and it was a perfect fit for the beach inspiration collection.  Emily has done entire collections of beach glass jewelry and regularly uses driftwood and shells in her work.  
Check out their websites: 

This longer necklace was my favorite:  A braided vintage Kimono fabric cord with a ceramic bead.

All of the fabric from the show was hand dyed with the exception of this stripe fabric which was made from an old beach blanket.  I had to throw some vintage fabric into the collection somewhere!  Look for all of these pieces at Haunt this summer and at the trunk show we will be having on the 30th of May at Haunt.  Thanks to the amazing models from Option and Q6 and thanks to all the friends who came out to the show and thanks to Marjorie, Connie, Kayla and Brett from the Portland Mercury for putting on the show.   

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