Paint the Runway Purple is a fundraising fashion show which provides paying opportunities for emerging fashion designers, models, hair and makeup artists, photographers, and production staff. The show brings exposure to local businesses to connect to their local demographics through sponsorship.
I had the chance to meet a true gem of a person at last year’s show, Desi Allinger-Nelson, creator of Paint the Runway Purple. I can’t begin to describe how warm and inviting Desi is, and how truly supportive she is of the local fashion industry. Everyone we spoke to talked about her generosity, how much she positively encouraged those around her and how incredibly accommodating she is. I feel so honored to know her and have the opportunity to support her fashion show.
Then it was time for the models to strut the runway.
Sage of Athena’s Owl has always been exposed to fashion, thanks to her mom. Her passion for fashion really sparked when she took an elective at her middle school in the fashion program. “Now it’s about making it and designing it,” says this vibrant 12-year-old (yes, you read that right, she is 12 years old!) who has her immediate goals already set, “I want to start designing more and learn how to make patterns – all on my own.” Sage’s first collection that she designed is named, The Crystal Collection, for her love of crystals, comprised of six women’s ballgowns that speak elegance but with power. She has learned all of them and their respective properties from her mom and is surrounded by them on a daily basis in her home.
Kian of Kian M is compelled by fashion in its many different forms. Growing up in Vancouver, Washington and hanging out in his mom’s hair salon, he has been inspired by the beauty and creativity surrounding him. He was only 9 years old when he sewed his first Halloween costume due to his fascination of design. This 13-year-old is self taught and his passion for sewing allows him to transform fabric into an art form. “It is very satisfying to transform a beautiful fabric into wearable art,” says Kian. Kian is constantly exploring and developing new visions for his work in the fashion industry and with this type of creativity, he will be one of those who will succeed in this very competitive field.
Rachel Rischiotto of Butterfliez and Diamondz is a 17 year old high school junior, already designing beautiful outfits! Rachel was also born with Arthrogryposis, which severely affects her joints and causes her to have to use a wheelchair and a walker. She is also a leukemia survivor!!! She started designing in sixth grade and while she cannot cut or sew, she can draw, and her design sketches are absolutely beautiful. Michelle Lesniak is her favorite designer and all of her inspirations came from her grandma’s garden. While she doesn’t have a website yet, you can find her on Instagram, @AngelGlam101.
Lisa Marie of Enchanted Custom Corsets and Bridal Apparel, learned how to sew in first grade, when she made a quilt from scraps collected by her teacher. She continued to sew by hand until she acquired a sewing machine at the ripe old age of 20. After obtaining a BS in Bioresource Research, she finally admitted that she is an artist at heart and an engineer by design, and chose to pursue a career that embraced both (seemingly opposite) aspects of her personality. Through personal experience, she knew that finding corsets that are comfortable and fit well is almost impossible, and so decided to specialize in custom corsets, made for the unique body of one person and one person only – the client who ordered it! Utilizing her background in engineering and problem solving, combined with a generous portion of creativity and people skills, she has made hundreds of fully custom corsets and wedding ensembles, and participated in several fashion shows. Lisa Marie insists that Enchanted designs be both comfortable and beautiful, and believes that dressing with elegance does not have to be overly time consuming. Her goal is to dispel the popular myth that corsets are uncomfortable, and inspire people everywhere to take pride in their daily apparel, to show their individuality while sharing the ever changing art of fashion. With over 35 years of experience, Lisa Marie has a gift for helping her clients find a design that suits them, so they can go forth with confidence and grace. For Lisa Marie, every day is a special occasion, and you are the star of the party!
V.I.P. of V.I.P. is a 14 year old emerging designer who showcased her read-to-wear collection with an avant-garde twist. Born in the heart of Hollywood, California, V.I.P. showed the love of art, both dramatic and fine, at a very early age. She was drawing dresses as soon as she could hold a crayon and began acting at the ripe old age of 5. Having costume designers, create one of a kind pieces for her, fed her interest even more. Now, as a budding artist and actress (V.I.P. starred as YOUNG MEDUSA for Marvel’s film and TV show “Inhumans“), it came very natural to her to combine both loves to become a designer.
Elizabeth Carpenter of TrasnfuZe is a Los Angeles-based Stuntwoman/Aerialist/Acrobat, and is the founder of her company TransfuZe – fuzing fitness, fashion and fun! She spent many years swinging from trees, leaping off buildings, performing all over the world, and always wishing she had a universal set of clothes that she could wear for all occasions. From working out to sipping coffee with friends, from attending business meetings to yoga class….hence transfuZe was born! Elisabeth showcased her designs of leggings on the dancers from the show’s Sponsor, Dance Fusion Northwest, who performed the opening act at the runway show.
Last but not least, Desi brought our her Perfume Bottle-inspired collection. While she was in fashion design school, she had sketched out all the designs and decided it was time to get them on the runway. Her attention to detail and her artistic work was impeccable.
Stay tuned for next year’s Paint the Runway Purple – surprises await!
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.