16 Alaskan designers are joining forces to put on a fundraising fashion show.

2022 fashion show will be used once

The Trend Alaska Fashion Show in 2019 started with humble aspirations – showcase Alaskan designers and gather fashion enthusiasts for a little fun. Now in its third year, the event not only showcases the work of 16 designers, but also expects to raise more than $150,000 for Alaska nonprofits.

“I thought it would be really fun to do a fashion show because we don’t really have anything in Anchorage because we didn’t have it in 2018, 2019,” said show founder Carol Fraser. There are many wearable art fashion shows in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, but nothing in Anchorage.

This year’s show will be held Saturday from 6-10 pm at Everett Air Cargo, 6100 Boeing Ave. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Every Woman Knows – Alaska, a non-profit organization that provides resources to help women fight ovarian cancer.

Fundraising is a mainstay of the event – ​​last year’s edition raised $125,000 for VOA Alaska. But it’s also a chance to be seen by some of the state’s top designers.

The designs feature everything from hand-knitted pieces to loungewear to wearable art and traditional Alaskan clothing.

“It’s a New York City quality,” Fraser said. “Just amazing designs. There’s so much talent in the state.”

Fraser, who works in the tourism industry, and some friends came up with the idea and worked to launch the first event in 2019, benefiting the nonprofit Alaska Travel Industry Association. He raised $30,000.

Shows that were derailed by Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, but returned last year, with the Trend Alaska committee focusing on a nonprofit that benefits youth and their families. With an all-female board, Fraser said it was a natural fit to work with LEWK this year, hoping to raise up to $160,000-$180,000 this year.

“I called them and fell in love with[the organization]they’re incredible people,” she said. “It’s more than a fashion show. We can help people and change people’s lives.

Tiffany Briggs, LEWK board member, said the partnership is a boon for fashion enthusiasts and women’s health advocates.

“This is a legitimate fashion show here in Alaska,” she said. “Just the reach for us (is huge). We’re a women’s nonprofit and getting our name out there in communities that don’t generally hear about us is huge for us.”

Briggs Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, she started volunteering in 2016 and joined the board in 2020. After her initial surgery, she underwent extensive treatment, eventually undergoing another surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy.

But she had her last chemo session on April 20, 2016 and has had no evidence of cancer since. Cervical cancer can be difficult to detect, so vigilance is key.

“We really have to be our own advocates, we have to listen to our bodies,” she said. “They give us these subtle clues and we have to stick to our guns. If we sense something is not right – it’s not normal for us, press on.

Last year’s theme was post-apocalyptic trends and this year’s is “Taking Up Alaska,” with the Everest Airlift in mind. Fraser said attendees are asked to wear white in honor of the aviation theme, which, incidentally, is one of the five colors that represent ovarian cancer.

Graphics with five colors representing different types of cervical cancer

Fairbanks designer Sarah Dexter is one of 16 at work Saturday. She creates small collections to suit customers. She works mostly with womenswear and knits.

Her collection at the show featured lots of shimmer and shine as well as lace knits with a sheer base. She also does some amazing work on traditional costumes.

“I have a hoodie and hoodie jumpsuit with puffy sleeves and a ‘snow pea,’ a cross between a pea coat and a snow skirt,” she says.

Designers are not only diverse in their craft, but also geographically diverse. There are representatives from Sitka, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Kenai, Soldotna, Palmer, Fairbanks and Kotzebue, as well as Anchorage.

“When we first started, the Southeast was tough because there’s so much design talent,” Fraser said. We began looking geographically to ensure that the entire state was represented.

Linda Leary operates FisheWear out of Anchorage. Her leg designs were an instant hit with Alaskans and went on to branch out into other apparel and active gear like dry bags, backpacks and fishing packs.

“We’re trying to create products that women can wear that are functional and have some technical capabilities and make them feel competent so they can get out on the water and have fun,” she says.

She attended the first Trend Alaska show and met some new designers, including one who shared space in the Midtown complex.

“Alaska is very entrepreneurial,” she said. “They’re all trying to make the most of it.”

Fraser said the show will close with an interpretive dance featuring cancer survivors representing the five types of cancer. She said hearing the stories of survivors gave the show new meaning.

“We are all emotionally involved in making this a success for the women who have just died or are fighting it,” she said. “Because now it’s a mission rather than an event.”

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