On Sunday the 13th, PDX Fat Fashion threw Summer Strut, a plus-size runway show. The plus-size fashion market has always been very underserved, locally and globally, but lately, the landscape has been improving as an increasing number of labels increase their size range, and more plus-size specific lines are cropping up. While big-box retailers that do carry plus-sizes are generally known for their extremely limited range of options, usually limited to a color palette of black, charcoal and grey, PDX Fat Fashion is all about showcasing the limitless possibilities that can exist within the category. Summer Strut was a celebration of body-positivity, with designers sending an expansive range of colors, prints and silhouettes down the runway. The common thread between collections was a sense of fun and fabulosity, so it was fitting that the show was hosted by Portland's premier drag clown, Carla Rossi.
The first line on the runway was Mag-Big, who showed a series of flirty summer dresses. Highlights included an elegant, desaturated tie-dye, a gorgeous floral print on a deep purple shift, and a boho-style maxi-dress that was paired with a sheer white blouse.
Next up was Hubris Apparel, who gave us breezy 70's style. It consisted of extremely wearable, versatile dresses that truly would be flattering on just about any body type (a feat that is often claimed, but rarely actually achieved). A zig zag print mini halter dress, and flowy, abstract maxi were two major standouts.
Clair Vintage Inspired showed their signature style of tasteful with a little bit of a wild streak. The collection included series of shift dresses in prints that ranged from subdued florals, to quirky award ribbons, to a really fuckin' cool semi-abstract plaid.
Copper Union vamped it up, with lots of black lace and sheers. A couple copper-toned pieces added just the right amount of glitz to the collection, and some slightly more understated, covered-up looks created a nice contrast.
Size Queen amped the sex-factor way up with some early 60's style va-va-voom. The aesthetic was a sort of Liz Taylor meets Barbarella, with a dash of Judy Jetson in a saucy mood. They used shiny spandex to create curve hugging pieces, complete with super-short hemlines and some serious side cutouts. There may be a somewhat limited base of customers who would rock these clothes on the street, but the collection was a standout on the runway.
Accessory line Scrafts paired their trademark metallic colored bondage harnesses with various iterations of the classic lbd, for an edgy, sophisticated vibe. The concept was fairly simple, but made for an appealing, dynamic presentation
Eugene based line Allihalla showed 40's-50's pinup style swimwear collection, with lots of color-blocking and ruffle trim. Ruffles can very hard to pull off in swimwear, but in this case, their sparing and strategic use was generally successful. The final look, which turned the vintage aesthetic on it's head with an outer-space themed print, was the definite standout.
The final line to present was Chubby Cartwheels, who served some serious kitschy-chic style. The collection was full of crop tops, leather/pleather skirts, and campy food based prints, such as french fries and doughnuts. There were also lots of sheers and a little bit of leopard. This collection pretty much thumbed it's nose at every fashion rule in the book, and the results were perfect.