Archive for June, 2013

WCEP Sponsors Inaugural Summer Style in the Pearl Fashion Show

By: Kayse Dahl

The Pearl District is arguably the neatest nook in Portland, and the home of West Coast Event Productions and their venue, Pure Space. Always striving to help ensure The Pearl remains the best place to shop, eat, and socialize in the city, it is only natural that West Coast Event Productions would support the first Pearl District Business Association  (PDBA) fashion show, Summer Style in the Pearl, and only natural that the PDBA would choose Pure Space as the iconic venue to host the show and shopping experience.

“It’s the most beautiful venue in the city,” said Summer Style in the Pearl Event Producer, Jillian Rabe, when asked why choose Pure Space “The convenience and flexibility of Pure Space, and the fact that the venue is connected with West Coast Event Productions puts everything right at your fingertips. It’s every event planners dream.”

Summer Style in the Pearl will feature looks from various boutiques within the trendy district and the Portland area over a two-night span. Both evenings will include a fashion show, and the opportunity to purchase looks straight from the runway following the show.

Come attend the show where the location is as trendy as the fashion. Tickets are now on sale. Follow along with Summer Style in Pearl on Facebook for the latest updates and news, and stay tuned for photos and a play-by-play of the event shortly following.

Wedding Trends to Watch For as the Season Swings into Full Gear

By: Kayse Dahl

As you begin planning your wedding, or gearing up to attend one this summer, be on the lookout for these new trends. Along with your wedding gift and congratulations, you may want to pack frosting and a sleeping bag, or think about incorporating these ideas into your nuptials!

 Frosting-less Wedding Cakes

“Less is more” is an idealism attached to many event planning strategies, and lately this has included weddings. Understated elegance is now a common thread being applied to every element of the big day—cutting the extravagant to show case raw exquisite taste, down to the cake! According to The Daily Meal, frosting-less wedding cakes are beginning to emerge as more weddings aim to capture a naturally sophisticated and rustic look. Celebrities including Hilary Duff and Victoria Beckham chose to forgo the frosting on their wedding cake, would you?

Are Natural Weddings Cakes the Next Big Trend?



 Camp-Out, Glamp-Out Weddings

“Glamping”, meaning glamorous camping, has become a trendy theme for various types of event, though most recently, some weddings have begun to take the theme quite literally—inviting guests to sleep over among mother nature’s wonders in glamorous tents.  Aside from tents, other common camping commodities like bonfires and s’mores are being incorporated for true camping enthusiast brides and grooms, though this theme can certainly be accomplished in a less literal, more refined manner by choosing natural wood and neutral colors in the decor selection, so camping is rather insinuated. Creating centerpieces with wood accents and wild flowers is a great “glamping” addition that does not overstate the camping aspect of the theme.

See photos from the Oregon Zoo where WCEP assisted April Severson in a “Glamping” themed event pictured right.


Something Blue, Something New, Something Shiny

We’ve been dotting about Chandeliers since our recent gala at the Gerting Theatre in May, when Joe Garcia and the West Coast team custom designed a showstopping chandelier that wowed the crowd attending the masquerade gala for which the chandelier was constructed.  Chandeliers are multifaceted, serving two vital purposes crucial to both lighting, and overall décor. Not only does a chandelier assist in creating the desired ambiance, but the versatility and creative design possibilities are endless; which is likely why event planners and brides have historically taken advantage of the versatile fixture. Nothing makes a more elegant and glamorous statement than a chandelier. Chandeliers are also an element worth considering when executing the trendy “glamping” theme. A simple addition, Chandeliers create a timeless look for any wedding. Whether Gothic and dramatic, or modern and sleek, they are always a sparkly addition.

Bridal Guide: Top Wedding Trends for 2013

“Glamping” with April Severson at the Oregon Zoo

Photos Courtesy of Harold Hutchinson Photography, HHclick

On Saturday, June 8th, 40 plus event planners and hospitality professionals from around the nation visited the Oregon Zoo as a potential travel destination as part of an Oregon Zoo and Travel Portland effort to increase tourism in the area through the Elevate Your Experience tour. The tour featured different locations and attractions in the area to host industry professionals, and highlight what Portland has to offer as a destination.

“The Zoo was looking to position their facilities as a unique, creative, and flexible venue for corporate gatherings to show it’s versatility” said April Severson, event planner and CEO of April Severson Events, of the Zoo’s intention to attract visitors to the site as an optimal venue with expansive potential.

A West Coast client for over ten years, Severson has trusted WCEP to help ensure her client’s vision is perfectly executed and inspired. Severson’s recent event with frequent client, the Oregon Zoo, was no exception.

Severson, along with West Coast Event Production’s account managers and designers Joe Garcia, Elizabeth Garcia, and Megan Davis, helped to develop an event theme to compliment the Oregon Zoo’s goal of creating a unique image of the site that integrated the raw nature and beauty of the wild outdoors, while planting the seed that the zoo was capable of sophistication. With the goal in mind, Severson, devised the theme of “glamping”—a hot button term used to describe glamorous camping. Seldom associated, glamorous camping served as the perfect theme to showcase the zoo as a unique and diverse site, as not often do people consider the zoo as a destination aside from youth and family focused activities.

Severson and West Coast accomplished the “glamping” theme by striking the right balance of incorporating elegant and sophisticated detail with elements of nature. West Coast Event Productions provided various aspects to convey Severson’s “glamping” concept, including a 40 by 40 foot white tent, with chiffon room dividers and plush lounge seating areas where event and hospitality professionals relaxed and enjoyed local Northwest inspired cuisine prepared by Chef Paul Bosch. Each course was paired with a specialty salt from The Meadows—a gourmet sea salt, chocolate, and specialty shop.

Shades of purple and indigo peppered the tent area as an accent to enhance the natural colors of the outdoor space. West Coast Event Productions created custom centerpieces that encapsulated the theme with natural greenery amongst purple meadow flowers—helping bring the décor down to earth among the luxurious chiffon and plush seating that put the “glam” in “glamping”. Severson also made use of WCEP’s natural wood bar. Originally made for the 2012 Olympic tryouts at the University of Oregon, the natural wood bar is popular among many clients for a range of occasions from elegant galas to casual outdoor events.

With the creativity and experience of April Severson Events and West Coast Event Productions, The Oregon Zoo certainly made an impression, as the zoo has already experienced further interest from event planners and industry professionals who went “glamping” at the exotic locale.

“Our clients were completely knocked out by the event” said Severson, “It (the “Glamping” event) surpassed their expectations.”

Severson brings unmatched energy, spirit, creativity and expertise to each and every event Severson produces, which is largely why West Coast Event Productions values collaboration with Severson and as always, enjoyed working with April Severson Events to glamorize this camping experience at the Oregon Zoo.

The concept of “glamping” can translate into any event, and is great theme for an upscale outdoor event, that simultaneously strives for a casual vibe that captures the beauty of a natural environment. Consider inviting your wedding, corporate, or any guest to go “glamping” at your event, and see what glamorous and earthy additions West Coast has to offer.

Find additional inspiration from Biz Bash: 12 Chic Summer Event Idea Inspired by “Glamping”

By: Kayse Dahl

The Art Institute of Portland Senior Collection Fashion Show

The esteemed Art Institute of Portland (AI) hosted the “Drawing the Line” Fashion Show at Pure Space Saturday, June 1st. Featuring collections from graduating seniors, the show is perpetually described as one of the most dynamic in the city. This year’s theme “Drawing the Line” incorporated work from the Art Institute’s animation department, in addition to the Graphic Design, Culinary, Advertising, Fashion Marketing, Design Management, Photography, and Digital Film & Video departments. The concept of “Drawing the Line” was inspired by the notion that fashion touches all aspects of life. The collaboration between the fashion and the animation students manifested into intricate paper dresses that were displayed on mannequins down the center of the runway—place savers for what would later be a trail for models adorned with original designs by AI designers. The purpose of the annual show is not only to introduce graduating designers, soon to be recognized as influential and prominent figures in the local industry, but also to support the Art Institute’s Creative Scholarship program through a silent auction.

Planning for the annual fashion show begins six to nine months in advance, as the production requires significant detail and consideration from both the Art Institute, and West Coast Event Productions.  Image magnification, extensive staging, piping, draping, meticulous sound, lighting, and audio visual components, were all executed by West Coast Event Productions, who has been part of AI’s senior collection show for a number of years.

“All elements of a fashion show really go hand in hand” said Art Institute Student Producer, MaryAnn Escutia, when asked which aspects were most pertinent to making the event a success. “If we didn’t have the right music paired with it (the fashion show), it won’t present well. If we don’t have the right lights, the garments won’t show well. If the setting isn’t just right with decor and coverage, then we don’t present ourselves well. Everything has to work together in order to be just right” Escutia continued, which is why West Coast works meticulously to ensure delivery of the best quality sound, lighting, and production possible to show case the talented students work.

West Coast’s successful execution of the annual event has brought the Art Institute back to Pure Space for the past three consecutive years. In addition to West Coast’s exceptional Audio Visual and lighting technicians and equipment, the Art Institute identifies Pure Space as an ideal venue for the Fashion Show, further supporting their consistent decision to collaborate with West Coast for the significant event.

“Pure Space offers us the versatility for the layout that we want, and the beauty of the space speaks for itself. It is the right size for our show and the amount of guests we have. It gives us the availability to separate our event just perfectly—with the show downstairs, and the silent auction and VIP upstairs on the mezzanine. Above all, the atmosphere is what I love about Pure Space” said Escutia, describing the venue. “It creates this energy that is so captivating and welcoming. It gives us that feeling of being with 1,000 of our closest friends in a relaxed setting. Other venues provide corporate settings and don’t give us the energy that a show like ours deserves. The space is big enough to fit everyone comfortably, and small enough to bring us all together. It truly is my favorite venue for this show.”

Like the Art Institute’s aspiring designers’ page, Pure Space started as a clean slate. Preparations for the intricate and sizable production began Thursday, prior to the event, when crews began setting lighting to ensure the most favorable ambiance possible to showcase the designers’ pieces as they flowed down the center runway. While strategic, lighting remained modest compared to the majority of events at Pure Space that take advantage of the venue’s amazing lighting equipment and capabilities. House lights gleamed, in addition to carefully set bulbs positioned to illuminate the models and the pieces by creating an enhancing shadow effect. Décor was kept minimal aside from the pieces created by the fashion and animation students that extended the length of the runway before the show began.

Image Magnification played an integral role in the show. With the runway positioned down the center of the space with guests seated on either side, I mag projections allowed the audience to view the looks coming down the runway not only from a side profile, but on-coming frontals as well. A camera positioned at the end of the runway filmed the models as they sashayed down the runway—feeding the image on screens directly in front of each audience on both sides.  This ensured the audience was able to evaluate and take in each collection and movement of the pieces from all angles and perspectives.

The 700 guests enjoyed cocktails and nibbles, while mingling upstairs on the mezzanine in the silent auction and VIP area. Many of the guests were Art Institute of Portland alumni, while others were Portland fashionistas, and industry professionals eager to see the looks. Three student designers were awarded for their collections by a panel of notable judges, though all designers that presented deserve recognition. Each collection offered innovative and fabulous pieces guests would have loved to take home to their closets.

West Coast Event Productions has unconditionally enjoyed working with the Art Institute of Portland, and housing the fashion that results from the spectacularly talented students that hone their skills at AI each year. Given the collections witnessed at “Drawing the Line”, future fashion shows are sure to ensue from these young designers, and West Coast welcomes them to show case their collections where it all began, at Pure Space.

To see more fashion from “Drawing the Line”, visit #VerizonStyle on Twitter to see what guests’ tweeted as their favorite looks from the evening.

More from the Fashion Show- 

Portland Fashion Week at “Drawing the Line”

Photos Courtesy of The Art Institute of Portland