by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Active Entertainment, the group of people that produce the once, monthly Chance Fashion show events in Seattle that, like the name suggests, gives local designers, photographers and models a 'chance' to showcase their art, proudly awarded the best of the best in local Seattle fashion at their annual awards show, January 9, at Melrose Market.
The event, attended by well over 200 people, highlighted some of Chance Fashion's most dedicated participants - including such important backstage support staff as hair and makeup artists as well as the often overlooked but important to the fashion industry photographers that donate their time and talent to ensure the designs and the models wearing them are seen beyond the audience present at each event.
'The evening was filled with familiar faces from the last 6+ years of Chance Fashion events, including many of our previous Artist of the Year Award winners such as Lydia DeLoach, Mac Fashion House, Adriane Morgan, Edwina Brown, Peter Hamilton, Dennis Tudos, Lastwear, and more,' said Chance Fashion officials in a media release to Seattle Gay News. 'Also, our sponsors Tiffany Talent Agency, Social Outreach Seattle, Seattle Social, and What's Up Northwest were in attendance to show their support! And of course, many of our regular participants, fans, and supporters were in attendance to catch the major announcement.'
The thing that sets Chance Fashion and Active Entertainment apart from so many others in the world of fashion and the arts, not to mention companies that produce events, is that they are 100% inclusive of all communities and have successfully created an environment that immediately allows for that inclusion to thrive. The lines of sexual orientation, gender, age, race - all the things that create invisible turned visible barriers for participation and sharing of ideas and art - simply do not exist at Chance Fashion. One gets the sense of real community, friendship, and trust when you are involved with the organization on all levels of participation, however small or deep that involvement may be. It is refreshing.
Chance Fashion is living proof that you get back what you put out in this world. Over the course of nearly one decade of time, the organization has never been better. Their monthly fashion shows, usually held on certain Saturday nights at Neighbours Nightclub (1509 Broadway) and sometimes at others venues such as Trinity nightclub or, like the awards show, at Melrose Market, are well attended. In addition, Chance Fashion promotes philanthropy and advocacy by supporting Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) and the organization's programs and projects - in particular homeless outreach.
Chance awarded a number of people with plaques and verbal recognition at the event. Winners included:
Most Versatile Player of 2015: Dominic Gomez, who started out as an artist drawing sketches of models in designer garments at the events. 'He continues to produce artwork recreating looks, moments and experiences from various events,' Chance officials told SGN. 'He's also showcased at AMDEF, variety shows, had artwork featured with Seattle Fashion Week, and continues to generate new and unique artwork with every passing month.'
Gomez began volunteering to help out in various elements behind the scenes said Chance Fashion.
'He is now the staging and equipment director, one of our marketing directors, a grant writer, and he even works the door at the monthly events,' said Chance Fashion. 'Many of the people who volunteer at Chance have overlapping roles, but Dominic has gotten involved with nearly every aspect of the event where he had a spare hand to lend.'
Winning at Life Award: Juliet Dang, who won 2013 Model of the year from Chance Fashion and has since become active both behind the scenes at Chance, and in the outside Seattle Fashion Community.
'She is one of our resident hosts at Chance, has hosted video interviews for MODE Magazine, and has developed quite a resume as a career model having been in ads for T-Mobile, published in multiple magazine, she acts, and in spite of being a petite model, she's represented numerous of Seattle's favorite Fashion Designers on the runway,' said officials. 'Within the last year or so, she's also been married, traveled to Vietnam, graduated with her PhD in Oral Biology, and contributed to numerous conversations behind the scenes with the Staff to develop and move Chance forward.'
Chance Fashion adds, 'She's also an absolute pleasure to work with, and is constantly contributing a positive energy to everybody around her.'
Behind The Scenes VIP: Russ Garwood, who started out as the Chance Fashion resident host on a reference from one of the organization's sponsors, Tiffany Talent. Since getting involved, he became more active behind the scenes, and now contributes to business development, marketing, technology development, and staff recruitment for the Chance Fashion Team.
'He helped acquire invaluable technological and legal support, and has lead the charge to push Chance Fashion into a new era of professionalism and outreach,' say officials. 'Russ now sits on the Board of Directors as our Vice President, and is constantly contributing countless hours behind the scenes to help Chance evolve.'
The Artists of the Year are personally selected by the Chance Fashion.
'Winners are not selected on traditional fashion industry standards, they are selected based on the influence they've had on the people around them during their participation in Chance Fashion events,' say officials. 'We take into consideration things like a positive attitude, willingness to learn, backstage etiquette, and forward growth as a career artist. But most importantly, it's about being a positive contributor to the community.'
Chance Fashion's Hair Stylist of 2015: Stephanie Philbrick, who's been a vibrant part of Seattle's Fashion scene and gone above and beyond to give back to the community for a number of years.'
Her dedication and passion for the Seattle Fashion industry has allowed her not only to master one craft of the industry, but two,' said Chance officials. 'Stephanie has been a participant and/or audience member of countless Chance Fashion shows in 2015, as well as several other fashion events in the Pacific Northwest. Stephanie can be contacted through her clothing business called 'Find Your Inner Fashion.'
Chance Fashion's Makeup Artist of 2015: Kayla Marie J, who is a recent graduate of the Tint School of Makeup Artistry in Seattle. 'Kayla has become an exceptional Makeup Artist. As a very busy mother of two boys, Kayla has had her hands full with being a full-time mother and a dedicated makeup artist,' said officials. 'Time and time again, Kayla has stepped up to the challenge of creating stunning editorial makeup under the demanding conditions of fashion shows.'
Chance Fashion's Photographer of 2015: MK Studios, which is really photographer Michael Krogemann. According to Chance Fashion, Krogemann has been shooting consistently with Chance for over two years. 'He also happens to be the husband of our 2014 Designer of the Year Heather Krogemann of Alien Earth Designs,' said Chance. 'Having shot nearly every Chance Fashion / Active Entertainment event during that time, as well as many collaborative shoots and projects outside of Chance, Michael also works as a full-time professional photographer, and has consistently provided quality images at a quick turn-around rate.'
Chance Fashion's Male Model of 2015: Brandon Rountree, who officials say 'took Chance Fashion by storm.'
'Brandon has regularly attended photo shoots, participated in events, and attended many events as a guest,' said officials. 'He's also volunteered his time to helping work as an usher / security person, frequently helps setup and take down the staging and equipment for shows, and is constantly going above-and-beyond to help out wherever he can.'
According to officials, Roundtree is a favorite among many designers and photographers because he 'always exhibits a positive attitude towards the staff team and fellow participants, and is constantly learning how to grow his career as a fashion model.'
Chance Fashion's Female Model of 2015: Emily Adams, who has participated in nearly every Chance Fashion event over the last two years.
'She's walked for many variety shows that Active Entertainment produces as well as the annual Art Music Dance Entertainment and Fashion show that Active Entertainment produces to benefit Social Outreach Seattle, and numerous productions outside of the Chance / Active community,' say officials. 'Emily is also a regular attendee of non-fashion events, is constantly introducing new people to the community, and is one of the friendliest models to work with behind the scenes. Her constant effort to learn and develop her skills as a model coupled with her positive, caring demeanor towards those around her makes her a pleasure to work with.'
Chance Fashion's Designer of the Year: BubbleGunk!, by designer Hildi Flores. Hildi has participated in nearly every Chance Fashion event, including the Menswear Show, the organization's segment at Office of Art & Culture Seattle's annual 'Create | City Event' at City Hall, the Full Figured Edition, the Halloween Edition, seven fashion shows in three days during their segment at Conscious Culture Festival, AMDEF 2015, variety shows, music videos, photo shoots and more.
'In every effort, she's exhibited growth, and yielded a positive influence on all those she encounters,' said officials. 'Hildi also launched the Chance Fashion Olympia Chapter in 2015, and intends to produce three Chance events in Olympia in 2016. Just recently, Hildi also took a position as our Olympia Rep on the Board of Directors.'
For more information, including how you can become involved with Chance Fashion or contact the Board of Directors, visit www.chancefashion.org. Seattle Gay News would like to congratulate all the Chance Fashion 2015 Artist of the Year award winners for a job well done and applauds the organization for being an example of inclusion in the arts.
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