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Lights, cameras, and Seattle Fashion Week


May 18, 2010/9.14

On a not-so-typical Seattle day, many people prepped months in advance for a much-anticipated week filled with fashion-related events. In a low-key setting, the Emerald City held a fashion week, showcasing local and international talent. Founded by Gabriel Chong, Seattle Fashion Week has existed since 2003 but has slowly opened the umbrella of unknown talent for the rest of the world to view.
   At the Emerging & Independent Designer show, the ambiance was a bit different backstage than what one would normally see behind the scenes at a fashion show. As you looked around, it was clear that this event was well planned. If there was massive chaos happening, it did not show. Maybe that’s because of the gracious space that everyone had backstage. Although the show began with an obviously smaller crowd than, say, in New York or San Francisco, there were a few designers who made an impression.

   Among them was Banchong Douangphrachanh, a calmly reserved Seattle native who showcased her menswear collection. Douangphrachanh graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has worked for well-known Bay area brands Nice Collective and Vagadu.
   You may have viewed a glimpse of her work gracing your television screen already. Just check out Lady Gaga’s ‘Pokerface’ video, a reality that started from just a ‘sketch on a napkin,’ says the designer. As Douangphrachanh spoke about her inspiration, her meek personality resonated. She has taken Seattle men’s fashion and given it a ‘kick in the butt.’ The well made line was somewhere in between ready-to-wear, comfortable menswear, and non-restrictive tailoring. After speaking with Douangphrachanh, there’s definitely more to this designer’s creativity than meets the meticulous eye.
   The designer used nature, regatta racing, and other organic elements as inspiration. Her fashion line is so functional that even a mountaineer or hiker would find it appealing. Her clothing showcases organic shapes and a well tailored menswear collection that is practical enough for the great Northwest yet styled without using fleece or socks with sandals. The collection gleamed with fitted puffed vests and the use of wool and outdoor fabrics like neoprene, Gore-Tex, and ripstop.

   Last but not least, kudos goes to the extra bonus of the evening: the House of Isaac Andrew Collection by Isaiah Whitmore, an Art Institute of Seattle grad and winner of the Comcast student designer competition.
   The young designer greeted the crowd before showing his line, setting the appropriate mood for his awaited collection, which he said was ‘inspired by Tim Burton.’ His clothing resembled your favourite storybook character. Imagine Alice of Wonderland walking the red carpet as a singer, poet, musician, model, or merely a rock star in the making. Well, this was a line that even a modern-day Alice would approve. It was bold and dark with dramatic detailing. He had a full collection, conceptualized and executed like a beloved letter written for your enjoyment. There was a warm greeting, a fashionable subject, an envious body, and the proper closing with you wanting to see even more of his designs. There’s no doubt that this talented designer is on the move to success.
   For more information about these designers, contact Agnita Pandian at—Tamara Madison

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fashion / Lucire / media / modelling
Filed by Tamara Madison

4 thoughts on ‘Lights, cameras, and Seattle Fashion Week

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  3. If this show was actually organized and run by relevant people that actually work in the fashion industry…it might have an impact.

    As-is, it just makes Seattle ever more irrelevant to the fashion world. So sad.

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