Designers bringing Couve Couture back for spring

Local runway show invites up-and-comers to compete for a space, adds a VIP party

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian features news coordinator



If you go

What: Couve Couture’s Spring Fashion Show.

When: 6 p.m. April 13, tickets on sale March 15.

Where: Gravitate Building, 1012 Washington St., Vancouver.

Cost: $25 for all ages, general admission; $50 for VIP seating that includes the 21 and older after-party. Pre-sale VIP tickets available through Beigeblond and Most Everything Vintage.


Buoyed by the success of its fall show, Couve Couture has another show in the works, set for 6 p.m. April 13. The ensemble of local designers, models, hair stylists and make-up artists has its eyes set on attracting more than 600 attendees.

Producers Brett Allred and Katie Carbjal of Beigeblond, with Alisa Tetreault of Most Everything Vintage, are matching their ambitions with a larger venue, securing the remodeled Koplan Furniture building, now owned by the design firm Gravitate, which will be a premiere sponsor of the spring event.

"We're shooting for the event of the year," Tetreault said. "We learned that Vancouver is excited for these types of events, which gives us extra fuel."

Couve Couture is also a showcase for those involved behind the scenes, with local businesses already chipping in to support. Gravitate will show its design chops by helping market the event, said Tetreault.

Feedback from the fall show will influence the design of the spring showcase, from bringing in local catering to offering up a VIP after-party.

"People wanted more, they wanted to see more of the collections," Tetreault said. "(The crowd) wanted to soak in the moment." The unfinished space at Gravitate will allow the Couve Couture team to create a longer runway, expanding designers' collections, with 75 to 100 models participating.

Familiar fashion faces will return for the spring show. Seth Aaron, Project Runway's Season 7 winner, Sweet Spot Skirts by Stephanie Lynn, previous local designer contest winner Cathy Rae Kudla, and Tetreault's Most Everything Vintage will all show new collections. The show's producers also will launch the designs of two local up-and-comers.

Couve Couture's local designer contest will give two Clark County clothing designers a space to display their creativity on the runway. Interested designers must submit a picture and biography of themselves, along with a picture of their design on a model or dress form by March 1 via email to or

Applicants should choose looks that best represent their design aesthetic, suggested Tetreault. "We will call in those that we think are in the top," Tetreault said. Top applicants will be asked to the Designer Auditions on March 3, where Seth Aaron will judge four of their designs on models.

"We looking for the same caliber of what we had in the last show," Tetreault said. "We've also started sending letters to the public schools in town, to anyone who has that creative designing ability. We want to give them that chance."

For those who just enjoy watching fabrics and shapes float down the runway, spring show attendees will be treated to pastels, patterns and lighter fabrics.

Seth Aaron will change up the lengths of his collections, from fall's trench coats to spring skirts, to better fit with the season. Tetreault is looking forward to seeing what 1960s-inspired designs Cathy Rae Kudla will create for the spring. Keeping to her vintage brand, Tetreault will be exploring reclaimed clothing, restructuring clothing that many would consider unwearable to make it runway-worthy.

"If the dress could speak, it would be so excited to be worn again," she said. "It's been a pleasure. The show last October, it was a 'Pinch me!' moment. And as the spring show comes together, I'm humbled and honored to be part of something so great. It really been a pleasure to put these together," Tetreault said, "and showcasing the greatness of Vancouver."

Ashley Swanson: 360-735-4556;;