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Jul 30 2014

Doing It! PDX Fat Fashion Collective

Summer Strut emcee Carla Rossi - Portland fashion photographer
Summer Strut emcee Carla Rossi

Summer in Portland brings us some of the most awesome fashion runways this town has to offer, and we’re pleased as punch to be trusted photographers for some high-profile shows! One of our proudest fashion photography bookings this summer has been shooting the runway for Summer Strut, a fashion show produced by the PDX Fat Fashion Collective, that boldly put plus-size women at the center of its focus, with an all plus-size lineup of designers.

Summer Strut was a truly splashy show, emceed by the scintillating Carla Rossi, and it showed eye-catching plus-size fashions that broke the 3X barrier, and runway models who brought the fun and the fierce in equal doses. It was a very body-positive show that pushed boundaries, both for clothing design and for what’s wearable in the plus-size realm.

Best of all, this show was only the beginning for the ladies of the PDX Fat Fashion Collective! These lovely ladies took few minutes to chat with us about the beginnings of the Collective, the Summer Strut runway, and what’s next for them!

Shiny, popping swimwear by Size Queen Clothing hit the stage at Summer Strut.
Shiny, popping swimwear by Size Queen Clothing hit the stage at Summer Strut.

UPSWEPT: Tell us a bit about PDX Fat Fashion Collective–what is its mission, and how did it come about?

PDXFFC: The collective is the result of many conversations about our frustrations with plus-size clothing options, and the way they are presented to us as consumers. The three of us are independently involved in fashion in different ways and wanted to build something that we could be excited about.

We’re in a really great upswing for fat fashion right now, where all of a sudden, there are many more options beyond the standard 00-14, BUT most of those options are a combination of being unethically produced, minimal in size range (3X and below), and just plain boring. We wanted to bring together local designers who we not only think are incredibly talented, but who also are interested in and capable of producing clothing in extended sizes.

UPSWEPT: What were some of the challenges of putting together Summer Strut?

PDXFFC: Surprisingly, there weren’t any major challenges for us. We had plenty of designers and models that wanted to work with us. The venue was extremely helpful through the entire process. Probably just trying to stay on budget, and making sure we got the word out were the most problematic issues.

a Summer Strut model works fashions by Copper Union.
a Summer Strut model works fashions by Copper Union.

UPSWEPT: What were some of your favorite parts of producing the show?

PDXFFC: One of our absolute favorite parts of the show was showing people–the folks who attended, as well as the thousands of people who we reached through social media–that you can adorn your body in styles that make you feel amazing, regardless of your size. I loved how diverse the designers were. We had everything from vintage-style tea dresses to holographic monokini rompers, and it was incredible to see gorgeous girls with an array of body types and sizes looking incredible.

UPSWEPT: What do you have up your sleeve next for plus-size fashionistas in Portland?

PDXFFC: We want to include more gender-free and masculine of center styles in our future events, and presumably this will include a Summer Strut 2.0 next year. For now, I’m personally focused on establishing relationships with more local and independent designers, and securing a presence for fatshionistas among Portland’s creative scene. Ultimately, I want to challenge more designers to include us in their brands. We love fashion, we live for a selfie, and we have money. It’s foolish not to.

Portland fashion photographer – Portland branding design – Upswept Creative

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