Hours before the Couve Couture extravaganza begins Brett Allred can be found directing models, as he fields questions, and gives the models direction on the very complicated runway that highlights the show. A total of four rooms where patrons are seated make up the runway, leading from a long, narrow hallway spilling out into a grand ballroom. The runway is a whopping record breaker at one hundred seventy-five feet long.
Once the lights dim, Vance Family Soy Candles bring a warm glowing ambiance to the four rooms where the show takes place. The Pearls band plays in the Prohibition room for sponsor tables, while a second band called Nightcap entertains in The Ballroom. Local designers of all ages and ability are invited to take part in the show; From Seth Aaron the two time winner of Project Runway, two fifteen year old Kate Miles, who has blown away the pro’s with her raw talent, display their talent in a scintillating parade of models donning a wide array of textures and textiles.
Nike Pappas comes to the show having been a young designer herself, while her designs have grown over the years with the show and flourished through experience. Some designers in the show have been inspired by European history. Desi Allinger-Nelson of Desi Designs is inspired by Marie Antoinette, artfully re-imaging, fashion using men’s wear as she captures the regality of French courtly life in sumptuous fabrics. Shelley Beauchaine’s accessories or ‘Shell Bell’ were inspired by the royalty and architecture of Europe. One of Beauchaine’s designs is in homage to the ravens in the Tower Of London.
Lydia Wagner, Kate Beeman, Oscar Lopez, Drew Dyrdahl, and Wendy Ohlendorf bring their own design flair to the table. The show could not be possible without the hard work of Brett Allred and Katie Carbjal from Beigeblond Salon, additionally Alisa Tetreault from Most Everything Vintage. Designers themselves, they now take a backseat as more administrators in the show. They have coached a new generation of aspiring designers to step forth into the limelight. With each passing year of the show, a legacy continues.
Photo by Hal Harrison/Rose City Photography