Recap: Bellevue Fashion Week’s Collective Runway Show

Bellevue Fashion Week. Photo by Vivian Hsu.

Bellevue Fashion Week’s 75th anniversary did not disappoint. The city celebrated with two shows on October 8th and 9th, respectively, and the 9th’s Collective Runway Show impressed the crowd with a runway setup that rivaled Manhattan. From a short black-and-white intro film to the perfectly timed up-tempo music and the glow of fancy lights, the show spared no expense.  

Instead of the more avant-garde haute couture of some other shows that is also fun to look at but wholly impractical, the evening featured wearable fall pieces from the Bellevue Collection that were mostly classic—double breasted wool coats and berets befitting a Parisian ingenue; tailored chemises for the workplace or out to dinner; oversized wool sweaters that gave off the effortlessly chic vibe and the like. Collections from near (Nordstrom started here in Seattle in 1901) and far (like New Zealand menswear brand Rodd & Gunn or U.K.-based luxury brand Ted Baker) provided the elegant wardrobe. 

Bellevue models wore sleek, transparent face masks—a testament to our pandemic reality and the realization that fashion, like everything else, was impacted by COVID. The crowd likewise donned our own facial coverings for the evening—though ours weren’t nearly as flattering as the ones worn by the models (props to the person who designed the masks!). 

100% of proceeds from this year’s show went straight to Dress for Success Seattle. This  generous contribution benefits a nonprofit that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, development tools, and professional attire to thrive in work and in life. A woman from the Philippines shared her success story with fashion show guests, and the proceeds from this year’s show will undoubtedly help others. 

The Kate Spade collection brought Saturday’s show to a close against a backdrop of black-and-white images showing the city of Bellevue from decades ago. Incredible that our neighbor on the Eastside celebrated their 75th year of fashion.