A runway show in the rain probably isn’t an ideal setting for most fashion designers, but Dana Herndon said it’s just another element of what makes Alaska’s style unique for the third annual Alaskan Fashion Week that starts Thursday.
“We always take that into account,” said Herndon, co-founder of the event. “We’re not afraid of the rain. We want to display clothes suitable for the environment we’re in. Plus we have umbrellas.”
The annual three-day event featuring about 20 local, Alaska and international designers is highlighted by a downtown runway show from 2-4 p.m. Saturday on Ferry Way, even though the weather forecast indicates a rainy weekend. Other events include a flightseeing tour to Taku Lodge where a photo shoot will take place, brunches and evening receptions, a designer marketplace, and a festival-ending “after party” featuring Ketchikan’s Dude Mountain Band.
“This year is bigger than before,” Herndon said. “I don’t want to say better, because every year it has expanded and every year it’s great.”
Herndon said Fashion Week organizers got about 100 applications from designers, only about half of which were eligible for consideration.
“There has to be an Alaska connection and that can either be a designer from Alaska or a designer who’s carried in Alaska,” she said. “There has to be some tie with sustainability as well.”
Among those on the design roster, according to the event’s website, are ArtBug Studio, Beth Bolander, Sarah Dexter Designs, Alaska Soles, Bering Sea Designs, ArtistNatalie, Caplan Anderson, Alpaca International, Bella Dahl, Chameleon Cooper-Lykes, Lily Wooshkindein Da.át Hope, Finesse Denim, Keren GoldbergBelle, ABLE, GarnetAnn, Cold Bay Studio, Sunrise Creations, and Alaska Fashion Week’s in-house Vintage Collection.
As for what’s considered in-fashion for Southeast Alaska in 2023, Herndon said local designers are featuring a mix of new and traditional, and stylish and practical.
“Alaska Soles, she’s from Southeast,” Herndon said. “She’s blending contemporary and traditional designs. And so she’ll be using materials like seal leather. She does seal earrings and whatnot. Natalie Weinberg, that’s a different approach. She’s a Juneau-based painter and digital artist. She’s just an Alaska-based artist who is going into design, so she does hand-painted, block-printed, digitally-crafted clothing jewelry and accessories.”
The event also features 26 models — nine from Juneau, nine from other parts of Alaska, and eight from the U.S. and Canada.
The full schedule of events, ticketing and other information is available at the festival’s website at www.alaskafashionweek.com.
• Contact Mark Sabbatini at email@example.com or (907) 957-2306.