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The Art Institute's New Graduates

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On the brink of summer, it's easy to relate to the enthusiasm of those about to graduate from the various institutions around town. The Art Institute of Portland's apparel design seniors are gearing up to present us with their work, to be showcased in a group fashion show this Sunday at the Portland Art Museum.

A standout in the graduating class is Kelcey Stockey, who makes bridal wear out of vintage linens. A simple, delicate, and understated option for brides, the size of the material dictates the size of the garment, creating wedding dresses with non-traditional hemlines, from tea-length to above the knee, but with a something-old-something-new-etc. nod to custom. Meanwhile, Emily Wyant designs unusual streetwear including pants and dramatic coats in wools and silks. Bound for London after graduation, Wyant took the city as her cue for this collection, resulting in a muted palette that reflects the overcast weather (one might note that the weather in London is not dramatically different from Portland's, but that's rather beside the point).

One member of the graduating class, Andrew Vanzaten, is already active in the local design scene. His handiwork is already being sold in Sameunderneath's spring line of menswear, and he will continue to work with the locally based company after graduating. (Speaking of Sameunderneath, look for their second location on NW 23rd.) Vanzaten's work is some of the more technically proficient, a smart move for a graduate who wants to make an impression in the apparel world—bodices that lace up the back and intentionally irregular hemlines are well enough, but better to prove your ability to tailor and finish your seams neatly when it comes to first impressions.

Jessica Bobillot's line of women's wear, which she says is aimed at the wide demographic of 30-60, takes its cues from the Oregon Coast, with lots of hand felting and other textures inspired by the natural erosion from sand and water. Todd Templeman calls his collection Dark Assembly, and says his garments are created for lonely, depressed girls(!). In trying to narrow the gap between designer and wearer, he created "modular" pieces that can be worn in any number of ways, and can create both shrouded and exposed looks. Currently an assistant at Nemo Design, Templeman's post-graduate plans include a startup business selling T-shirts exclusively in Japan.

In addition to the graduating students, the fashion show includes budding designers from other classes, so expect the unexpected. (Portland Art Museum's Kridel Grand Ballroom, 1119 SW Park, Sun June 17, 7:30 pm, $25-100)

Other notes: There is a huge, not-to be-missed sample sale at the Lucky Lab this weekend, with goodies from Bijoux Luck (jewelry), Acme Made (laptop accessories), db clay (wallets), Mixx (accessories and tote bags), and many more. Bear in mind that not every vendor can take plastic! (Lucky Lab, 1945 NW Quimby, Sat June 16, 11 am-6 pm) Also, this weekend Souchi (807 NW 23rd) is having another big sale, with up to 80 percent off the in-house line's spring styles, and 15 percent off the rest of the store.

Stay in school: marjorie@portlandmercury.com

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