It’s a big week for fashion in Portland

9-10-13-portland fashion week
Lights illuminate the Portland Fashion Week name on the concrete floor of the Oregon Convention Center Sept. 10, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two major fashion events kick off this week in Portland.

Fall fashions will be hitting a number of runways in Portland over the next few days, when Portland Fashion Week celebrates its 10th anniversary. Downtown retailers also have their own designer showcase, called Fall into Fashion.

“I don’t think a lot of people know that Portland has a fashion scene,” said Portland Fashion Week Marketing Director Megan Graves. The goal, she said, is to “bring a lot of us that maybe don’t think about it every day to come in and see what’s coming out for fall.”

Portland’s fashion week is a runway show of locally designed fall fashions. It’s gearing up for its 10th birthday with a new venue: a 1,000-seat set-up at the Oregon Convention Center, with an 80-foot runway and a movie screen backdrop above the entry.

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Portland Fashion Week Marketing Director Megan Graves talks to KOIN 6 News Sept. 10, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

“Once the light is turned down, and the music amps up, and the spotlight is on … it’s going to be really exciting,” Graves said.

Three days of runway shows start Thursday, showcasing the work of local designers and geared toward consumers rather than corporate retail buyers.

“It [gives] them a chance to buy what they see on the runway,” Graves said, “and get excited about stuff that’s accessible now — as opposed to six months from now.”

Meanwhile, across the Willamette River in Portland’s Director Park, “you’ve got this great natural light that’s coming in on the evening, and you’ve got this great natural stage.”

The park is hosting its fourth-annual Fall into Fashion show, an outdoor display of clothing available at 25 different downtown retailers.

“It’s a great venue,” said Courtney Ries with DowntownPortland.org. “It’s nicely located and really is a great opportunity for people to come check out a show, then check out all the great events that are happening in stores around downtown.”

Models walk the outdoor runway in Director Park from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“It’s a really great opportunity,” Ries said, “to come out and walk around what’s going to be a very beautiful Wednesday evening.”

Back indoors, Portland Fashion Week organizers have two days to get their stadium-seating site ready for an event they claim reaches nearly 2 million consumers a year.

Portland Fashion Week is the third longest running week of fashion, behind New York and Los Angeles. Along with the three catwalk shows, the schedule includes seven days of satellite events around the city.

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