Get ready again for this year’s 7th annual Alley 33 Fashion Event! If you aren’t already familiar with this event, Alley 33 is an annual Summertime al fresco ready-to-wear fashion show, that features the new designs of independently manufactured, and locally handmade American apparel lines. Wearable and available in Portland, OR, it’s a fashion show that knows the importance of sustainability; curating designers that feature a wide array of handmade garments; from easy-fit everyday casual wear, high couture evening wear, to hip and fun swimwear designs.
This year, Alley 33 is graced with 18 designers, each with their own creativity, uniqueness, nerve and talent (clock the drag race reference ;D). Their clothes are readily available for sale, making it perfect for audiences that really want that instant gratification satisfaction! I really love local fashion shows like these, because I find the people to be snob-free, friendly and most of all, fun! A perfect example of how spending time in the summer should be. So here’s a breakdown of each of the designers:
Allihalla is a small independent clothing and accessories business, solely designed and constructed by Allison Ditson from Eugene, OR. A line about “handmade underthings,” Allison’s pieces are campy, colorful, bombastic and fun. From biker shorts, to lingerie and fun patterned superhero themed garters, these pieces will definitely satisfy your eternal inner child, and bring that extra kick to your personal style; whether it’s for the bedroom or any other time of the day.
You’re probably familiar with this brand. Probably. I mean you’re reading this blog entry on the website of it’s home. Founded by Cassie Ridgway, this brand of clothing is obsessed with layering sheer textiles atop of each other to perfect and display that adored flowy easy-fit style. She’s got a few new designs coming in that you HAVE to see. Working at Altar PDX, I’ve been lucky to get a sneak at some of these new pieces. There’s texture, movement, cute prints, and of course flowy moments. And I will say: chic witches don’t just wear black anymore. Also, jumpsuits are awesome.
Alyson Clair is an Oregon native from Newberg, now residing in Portland. A freelance patternmaker, technical designer, and owner of curvy girl knitwear line Clair Vintage Inspired, she started her own business in 2014 after working many years as a product developer for Amer Sports, Wilson Tennis, and Nike. Her style includes fun, flirty and feminine dresses, skirts and tops, with an admiration for fashion trends past, ensuring a wearable and easy fit for any and all body types.
A staple worn by several Portlanders for decades, Carla Mink’s line of clothing includes dresses and separates that are conceived, designed and produced in Portland. Founder of Mink Boutique, a store that contains a chain of local artists and freelance designers, Carla has been working in apparel since 1994. Her style is conventional, ready-to-wear, and definitely colorful. Perfectly fitting of the metro style, her clothing conveys colorful patterns and prints in loose fitting ponchos, cute skirts and breezy summer dresses.
Created by Shawna Farmer, this home birthed local indie curve fashion line serves hip, trending clothing for voluptuous bodies. A funner clothing line with mesh swing dresses, colorful bodysuits, and cute crop tops. Shawna’s clothing allows any type of body to proudly show off some skin, while also dazzling themselves with neon colorful cat eye sunglasses, body positive buttons, rhinestone ear cuffs, and velvet booty shorts.
Another local independent plus-size fashion label, Claire Doody dedicates her clothing line for curve bodies utilizing her knowledge of textiles, fit techniques, jewelry design and fiber arts. One look at her online store and her clothing is splashed with electric neon colors in the shape of maxi skirts, tanks, shrugs and other various cuts. Her style is fashion forward, architectural and has rad geometric motifs.
Ecovibe Apparel is the collaborative work of Leonard and Andrea Allen, each with their own unique set of talents and passions. One, a veteran of the apparel industry for over 30 years, and the other, an expert in the natural health and wellness and industry with a strong commitment to business sustainability, together they created their line of wear that perfectly fits the Northwest scene of style and living. Their favorite sustainable materials to use include modal, bamboo, recycled polyester, tencel and cork. While this line is not made here in Portland, it is sourced ethically and specifically from a range of manufacturers who are designing for their house line specifically to capture the core of EcoVibe’s focus on sustainable textile and lessening harmful bi-product.
Oregonian designer Eve Skywalker makes each of her garments with ecological intent, hand dyed and hand sewn in the U.S. What’s super cool about this line is her method of dying and manipulating textiles by pressing real flowers into her fabrics, allowing for a variety of unique and one of kind styled pieces. As a photographer, Eve also transfers prints of her original photography and art to her clothing. Her main focus includes the details of her textile embellishments for supreme adornment and ornamentation.
Designer Vanessa Froehling creates products for all genders from evening wear, lingerie, business couture to costuming with a modern perspective to classic silhouettes. Sweatshop free and made in the U.S., she uses a variety of patterns, prints and fabrics to create unique pieces that blend an almost boho feel with a strong couture design. Her dresses go from bodycon to cut out breezy skirts, with various fabrics that convey texture, shine, and movement.
A line of garments entirely purposed and created for those with busy lives, Hubris Apparel understands the schedule and lifestyle of the business person. The constant on the go move with little time to deal with complex dresses and tops, this all American - made company uses organic and sustainable fabrics as often as possible to design fashionable, yet convenient clothing via easy tunics and comfortable waist dresses with twist fronts.
Started in 2012 by Katrina Dimick, KD Designs is dedicated to producing handmade basics that anyone can wear time and time again. She began making her clothes in high school via upcycling thrift store finds, and today, her clothes vary in graphic skirts with interesting patterns as well as mini dresses with open backs, midi skirts with cute prints as well as form fitting tunic dresses. A very popular brand of clothing in Oregon, her clothes are easy to wear, stretch comfortably, and can easily match any of your favorite pieces due to its soft versatility.
Love to Love You
Love to Love You is a Portland local line of clothing with its own unique style. Created and designed by Loni Gaghan, her skirts definitely stand out among the crowd due to their common asymmetrical a line skirts with ruffles underneath conveying a variety of texture; from cat prints, to plaid, to triple layered ruffles. Her dresses are designed with stripes in a variety of colors, creating different shapes on her garments. Looking at her etsy store, Loni is able to combine colors and styles that at first seem clashing, but overall create a cute style that almost reflects something of that seen in an adorable anime, or cat cafe. This line is likely to blow minds this year with an incredible use of embroidery and IKAT fabric. Keep an eye on this line, for sure.
May and Mary Apparel
A sustainable clothing brand that offers a wide range of active inspired wear, May and Mary Apparel offers pieces that are classic and clean, while comfortable as it is stylish. Proudly making everything with ethics in the U.S. utilizing organic and renewable materials, this company works with other artists to create one of kind hand printed fabrics and colors, releasing limited editions each season. Owned by Heidi Brown, her clothing is simple, movable, and progressive.
An all gender street fashion brand based in Portland, Andrea Moore Beaulieu uses a palette of hyper neutral colors with vegan fabrics, local production and sustainability focus. I really love this brand due to its fashion forward aesthetic, creating truly unique gradients and styles in their clothing. Examples include pleated flow pants, ombre zip jackets, quilted tee dresses, tapestry inspired pants, and textured box dresses. Keep your eye open for this very modern line of clothing.
A band of “sun worshippers, dreamers, and professional loungers,” I would love to introduce to you the very fun Nuke Swimwear. These bikinis and one pieces are adorably cute with patterns of lemons, rainbows, sunshine, flowers and other happy things! Using photography to design their swimsuits for a truly unique look at the beach, these pieces can’t help but put a smile on your face when you’re walking down the beach or at your favorite swim pool. Think pastel tropical glory at the Bahamas whilst eating a luxurious coconut under a beautiful palm tree.
One Imaginary Girl
A label from Sarah Donoforio, this fashion line represents an interpretive point of view with outright creativity and newness. A very hip line of clothing with box printed blouses, comic strip tops, sheer vinyl skirts, broken record bottoms, and very graphic shirt dresses, Sarah has a very unique and individualistic taste in her designs. I absolutely love this clothing as it’s made with the the utmost quality, breathable comfortable fabrics and pop art inspired designs. For some reason, looking at these designs makes me really wish I had a huge watermelon for me to dig into.
On the pillars of slow fashion culture, local manufacturing and the finest craft, Opal Heart offers luxe womenswear that bring airs of whimsical romance and an old-polite soul. The clothes are very nicely tailored, conveying a effervescent gloss to their creations, with light box tops, dainty printed skirts, and sheer layerable skirts and bottoms for a customized feel. Think the goddess Ostara having brunch with Jesus in her colorfully pastel house on a lovely Easter day.
Living in Portland, biking is almost a mandatory thing to know how to do, especially during the summer. So if you’re someone who uses a bike to get everywhere, but still wants to look cute, hip and fashionable, look no further! Quick Study offers dresses that are movable and perfect for biking in; giving its customers that fantasy of riding a bike around town with wind in the hair, fabric ruffling in the air, as you pedal towards your destination with a few farmer’s market carrots in your front basket. Very Parisian. So European chic.
Thanks for reading this post! I hope you’re excited to see these designers show their stuff and creativity. It’s a always a dream for local artists to be able to show their wearable art, suited for different people with different lives. The Alley 33 Fashion Event is a moment of collective appreciation. It expresses the city you live in, the home you have, and the people around you. A moment of togetherness for an appreciation towards a common passion, this event is a powerhouse combination of excellent ethics and good vibes, so enjoy your time this Summer at Alley 33!