Seth Aaron is looking forward to meeting 1,000 strangers on Friday night

First things first: If you don’t already have tickets for tomorrow night’s Remix at SAM, you might as well avoid heartache and make other plans. The museum’s every-season city-wide parties are sold-out, solidly packed affairs. Though I did hear something about free entry for the first hundred people to show up wearing a wig …

Among the guests this time around: Project Runway winner Seth Aaron. The Portland-based (okay, Vancouver, but he’s about seven minutes from downtown) designer is leading one of SAM’s My Favorite Things tours. I spoke with him on Memorial Day (he hadn’t given himself the day off; he was cutting patterns and getting ready to deliver them to a Portland factory when I rang) about what he’s got planned.

"The Warhol stuff did it for me. That’s why I agreed to do a tour. My stuff is all about pop art so its’ a great fit," he told me.

Did he get a chance to come up and preview the other exhibits, or is he going to wing it?

"Nah, I don’t like to plan ahead. I don’t really know what else is there – I’m getting in around 3p and I’ll be able to walk though and check it out, but I’m more into just doing what feels right at the moment. It’ll be really fun to meet people and talk to everyone. That’s where I’m most comfortable. I like the idea of a room full of 1,000 people that I don’t know."

Any interest in the Kurt Cobain stuff? After all, his stuff does feel … sort of rock- and 90s-influenced, too.

"Oh yeah, I mean, I had Nirvana’s studio album about a year before it came out, and I own all their records, it’ll be cool to see that stuff, but it’s about Warhol."

What type of art is he most drawn to?

"Photography is definitely an interest. I’m fascinated by all of — I guess I don’t really care for folk art, but I grew up in a house where art and design were in our every day world. My dad was a cartoonist, he worked for Disney, and my mom was always sewing and making things. We had an art-filled life. We just shot my collection for the July issue of Marie-Claire, and I’ve been a fashion stylist here in Portland for ten years, so I work with photographers all the time, I love fashion photography. "Rafael Astorga,":http://www.rafaelastorga.com/ here in Portland is one of my favorites."

And how’s life after Tim and Heidi?

_"You have to work every bit as hard. All the doors are open now, bu you can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen. I’ve done 101 interviews from radio to TV to print, and I’ve got a publicity company in LA and I’m with DMA in New York, but yeah, I’m still cutting my own patterns. Anne Bocci sells my stuff here in town, but she’s been sold out for awhile and wanted more. As you get bigger, you can always have your personal projects, so that’s what this is for me."

So the Northwest still feels like home?

"I’ve had so much support from this area, and stuff like this (SAM’s Remix) is how I can show my support in return. The next morning I’ll be back in Portland to be the grand marshal at the Rose Parade. It’s good to mix it up."

Indeed.

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