And they're off.
Ten busy, style-minded design brains in the Seattle area are, as we speak, racing with big ideas and intricate plans for their Fall 2014 collections—which will be shown on the Vogue magazine runway on September 24, 2014 during Bellevue Collection's Fashion Week at the Independent Deisgner Runway Show.
A panel of judges and producers and I met with a truckload of candidates on a recent Friday, and then deliberated over who had the right stuff. (Side note: I'm downright psyched that ex-Merge owner Pat Wolfkill is joining us on the panel this year. I used to jokingly think of myself as the Nina Garcia of the Project Runway-like judging squard, but Wolfkill is tougher, smarter, and chicer than both of us.)
The following ten designers made the cut; they're moving on to compete in the final runway show—but before they can wow us on the runway they have to prove to us, in a series of meetings and check-ins, that they have what it takes to use design acumen and creative vision in intelligent and meaningful ways.
Here's who's up:
-April Pride of April Pride
We're excited to see how the interiors-pro-turned-designer develops her line from the existing bespoke dresses and accessories to ...
-Tina Witherspoon for BOHO Republic
She's a massive fan of local, indie, green design, now she's got the chance to show off her take on it all.
-Melanie Trygg of Klad Apparel
I was completely charmed by and interested in the stripe of Nordic heritage that runs through Trygg's modern goth pieces. It really doesn't get more Northwest than this.
-Deborah Roberts of Silvae
Roberts is probably the most established of all this year's competitors, which just makes her hustle different—not easier—than her peers'.
-Tom Ordonio of Tom Ordonio
Here's a great example of what I love about Seattle: you think you're pretty tapped into the scene with all relevant designers on your radar and along comes a guy working his riff on the Tom Ford Gucci thing, and doing it really, really well.
-Brian Cuddy of Cuddy
You're into prints on prints on prints? So is this thoughtful and experienced former Nordstrom designer. Three cheers for color.
-Mia Fioravanti for Fioravanti
I already own one of Fioravanti's pieces—a sort of apron-like utility mini-skirt that I like wearing pants in weird 80s/90s/future mash-up, and really, I think that's a pretty good metaphor.
-Rebekah Adams of Rebekah Adams
This designer's husband is in the service, and she talked about using 'found' materials from his gear to innovate and embellish. Lucky for her, the military look is always in.
-Kristie Metcalf of Calotype
Perhaps the only local designer who can say they've been on a first name basis with Rhianna. But IDRS isn't a reality show about rock stars.
-Jenny Fort for Lu
I own a Lu piece, too—pull-on drop-crotch pants that are neither sweats nor trousers. Fort's current collection is a homerun for easy style, and I'm excited to see where the competition takes her go-anywhere/do-anything ethos.
The Independent Designer Runway Show—affectionately known as IDRS—is truly Seattle's most rigorous and supported fashion competition, and the most popular too.
Last year's show was sold out; over 600 viewers packed the Hyatt to cheer on their favorite looks—and to watch, live, as the local design and fashion scene evolves and grows.
We'll update you here. Better believe it.