Meet our 2015 Designers

What an incredible line-up of designers for Couve Couture Fashion Show April 18, 2015

Couve Couture has become such a great forum for SW Washington based designers to showcase their talents. This year we are excited to expand our borders with four incredible designers from Seattle, Portland and Salem.

Meet our Alumni Designers~

Seth Aarom Promo pic
Seth Aaron
– Vancouver’s own. Seth was winner of the TV show Project Runway season 7 and just recently won Project Runway All Stars. Seth was also the head casting judge, filling in for Tim Gunn, for the show’s 9th season. He was voted MY TV 2010’s ‘Best Male Reality Star.’
In 2010 he launched a high-fashion collection of ipad cases, in partner with Maroo. Seth is also providing ongoing commentary for Lifetime, Marie Claire, E! and Style. Seth’s ready-to-wear collections have a distinctively rebellious, futuristic funk featuring a palette of mostly black and white with splashes of primary yellow and red. Angular, pointed architectural forms and slanted front closures add a healthy dose of ultra modern flavor. Seth’s construction is impeccable, especially in the tapering of his form flattering jackets. To purchase clothing or learn more about Seth and his designs you can visit his website: & on Facebook.
It has been such an honor to have Seth Aaron be a part of each of our Couve Couture Fashion Shows. He is an inspiration to many up-and-comer designers for both the young and not-so-young apparel creator.

Lydia Wagner promo pic
Lydia Wagner
– Lydia grew up among New England’s beautiful fall colors and harsh winters. Today, she draws much of her inspiration from the classic movies and the beautiful, rural country she grew up in, as well as the chic, effortless style of her sister. Lydia also developed a love for dance and became fascinated with the way gesture and fabric interacts. In combination with her love of classic silhouettes, ethereal fabrics, and minimal styling, her designs exude an effortless, feminine, and timeless air.
She made her way to the northwest in 2007 to study apparel design at the Art Institute of Portland and met a Vancouver boy who liked her argyle socks and married him. Lydia graduated in the Spring of 2012 and is attempting to make a foray into the world of fashion while continuing her day job at Fabric Depot.  To do this, Lydia is continuing to develop her skills and learn new techniques. This will be her fourth Couve Couture fashion show.


CC 15 Nike Pappas promo 22014 Couve Couture Scholarship Recipient: Nike Pappas
“My name is Nike Pappas and I’m a 20 year old self-taught designer. I started designing because of my senior project in high school. I focused on Coco Chanel and how she changed or impacted many things in the fashion community. I then went on to designer a collection of 5 little black dresses for my project.  I always loved fashion and designing from a young age and you would often see me drawing and designing on little slips of paper or on a napkin at a restaurant. I took what I knew about both art and fashion and applied it to my designs. I currently look at trends throughout the world, primarily in Europe, and use small things that inspire me or draw me in and use those things to enhance my designs. As for my future in the fashion industry it’s up in the air right now. I’m currently studying Architecture at Portland State University, and plan to continue on and get my Masters in Architecture. Although fashion design and architecture are two very different areas of study, in a way they are very similar, and I am finding myself applying design aspects from architecture into my collection or other designs.”

Kate Beeman Promo pic
Kate Beeman

‘Hi I’m Kate Beeman and my fashion label is called Origin. I started designing in the summer of 2013 for a rockstar friend of mine out of the $1 a yard Walmart fabric bins. I was her traveling Au Pair for her 3 year old son while she opened a string of arena shows for MB20 and the Goos. It was 3 AM and she liked the lace I cut a hole in and seamed for the stage, so we took over the whole fabric station, snagged a mirror and started designing a line of stage wear for her next tour. I figured if they liked the lace with a hole cut in the middle how much worse could I get if I tried a little harder. Since I have gotten a lot of attention from my Instagram @be_origin and Facebook and have been invited to a steady flow of runway shows ever since. From RAW to Couve Couture, Film meets Fashion (John Freeman Story benefit), and Paul Mitchell’s fashion expo in the Pioneer Courthouse Square. It’s also been such a pleasure working with the array of extremely talented artists, other designers, jewelry designers, videographers, photographers, models, and MUAH’s for the various projects I did or was pulled into. My work would be nothing without those who’ve supported me, thanks to all who have come along the ride and for your interest in my designs.

You can find out more about Kate’s work at:

Shell Bell Vanity Promo pic

Shelley Beauchaine of  Shell Bell Vanity ~

“For me, fashion is about having a conversation with the past and a visionary eye on the future. In the future of fashion I see women wanting to have a more emotional and spiritual connection to the clothing and accessories they wear. They will probably have less in their closets but be able to connect more to what they put into their wardrobes and on their bodies. I am hoping to speak into women lives through my passion in fashion. My designs have recently been labeled signature one-of-a-kind masterpieces. The true ‘masterpiece’ is YOU… the beautifully created one-of-a-kind woman.”
“I put my heart and soul into each creation. When you wear an original SHELL BELL VANITY, stay mindful to not lose sight that you are a beautiful and uniquely created.”
For this years Couve Couture Spring Fashion Show, the runway will showcase pieces from her European inspired collection: ‘The Royals, Illumination (from the Great Cathedrals of Europe), ‘Byzantine’ and ‘Renaissance.’ Shelly is already creating pieces ‘Gatsby’ and ‘Fantasy’ pieces which will be available Fall 2015.
Shell Bell Vanity will be seeking partners in hope to be a global label that supports a non-profit for women stepping out of oppressive and abusive marriages and relationships. The non-profit would assist and partner with women as they evolve into healthy, fulfilling new lives.
You can follow Shell Bell Vanity on Facebook

Desi Designs promo
Desi Allinger-Nelson of Desi Designs

“I’ve always been an artistic, creative, and imaginative person ever since I can remember.  I was exposed to costume and theatrics at the age of three when my mom put me in tap and ballet classes to rid me of my shyness (I was a student at the Claudette Walker School of Dance in Vancouver).  At the age of 12, my mom gave me her Pfaff sewing machine and I began sewing pajamas, pillows, and then Halloween costumes.  My mom sewed me the most beautiful dresses, skirts, and blouses I wore to school.  I liked wearing something no one else had.  As a young adult in the 80s, I began sewing all of my own clothes from purchased patterns and was very creative with fabric combinations.  Geometric shapes and prints were very popular then.  I began Desi Designs in 1986 when I completed the beadwork on my custom-designed wedding dress and friends began asking me to make their wedding gowns.  From 1986 – 1992, I sewed not only wedding dresses but a huge amount of bridesmaid, mother-of-the-bride, flower girl, prom, and homecoming dresses, just to name a few.  I was working full-time at Intel Corporation, raising two boys under the age of three, and constantly sewing in between.  I finally had to turn work away and one day, I just packed up my sewing machine and said, “I’m done!”  I couldn’t take the all-nighters anymore.  I only brought my machine out to sew Christmas outfits and Halloween costumes for my boys.  Despite all of the sewing, I did not know how to make my own patterns from designs I thought of in my head and I didn’t know how to draw croquis that looked fashionable.  My drawings of clothes were flat and were minus a head, feet, and hands.  Through circumstance later in my life, I was divorced and raising teen-age boys and had to supplement my income.  I decided to make an idea I had back in the early 90s become reality so I could supplement my income.  I decided to make First Communion dresses under the Desi Designs label – to me, they were just little wedding dresses and I did miss make the feminine garments with beadwork that sparkled.  I was at a crossroads with my career – I had been working for the Federal government by this time and my children were ready to head off to college.  I didn’t want to work in an office forever so, with the encouragement and support of my husband, John, who was my fiancé at the time, he helped me with my decision to go back to school and get my degree in what I always wanted to do – and that is to design fashion, learn how to make my own patterns, learn how to draw fashion, and to improve my sewing skills.
I considered myself a true classic – think Old Hollywood glamour meets 21st century fashion.  A timeless silhouette updated for modern appeal.  A bold but polished style that turns heads and speaks to uncommon sophistication.  Desi Designs is ready-to-wear couture.
I want to have Desi Designs become a corporation where I can create jobs and employ people.  Not only a flagship company but a few boutiques would be nice too.  I have such a vision for the ideal workplace.  One way I hope to achieve this is becoming a contestant on Project Runway and winning.  I want to continue showcasing in runway shows both for charity and for Desi Designs.  I want to appear in all the major city fashion week events, i.e., New York, Milan, London but also local shows such as Fade to Light,  FashionNxt, Portland Fashion Week.  I plan on doing whatever hard work and sleepless nights it take to get me there.  I want to be the next Christian, Betsey, Alexander, Oscar, or John of the 21st century.    I feel that I’m on my way.  I am honored to be showcasing my Marie-Antoinette-Masquerade-Ball inspiration collection name “Miss Desi 1 through 12” for Couve Couture; a couture line of fashion that is just a bit more fun than serious plus elegance with a bit of a twist.  Miss Desi is considered an upcycle project made from a combination of men’s discarded neckties and luxurious fabrics.  After Couve Couture, I will be heading off in May to Sydney, Australia for my first international runway show featuring my Tie Line and Tickle Time collection for RAW Natural Born Artist where I became a member last summer. I will be debuting the romantic lingerie in full figure sizes.  Desi Designs will be hosting a fundraising event in Camas on April 26 named Desi Designs Digs the Down Under Masquerade Ball that includes a buffet dinner, silent auction, raffle prizes, pop-up shops, and dancing.  As soon as my feet touch the ground, I immediately turn around and will be heading to Seattle for Seattle Fashion Week.  My Tie Line collection will be debuting on Thursday, June 11 unveiling a “Seattle Superbowl Surprise”.  Between all the fashion shows, I will be concentrating on production of the collections and finding boutique owners to carry my lines.  I need to make money!
I am currently working on a men’s outerwear collection to be debut for RAW Natural Born Artist on October 1in Portland, Oregon and volunteering for Portland Fashion and Style Awards for their three big events this year.
I graduated Cum Laude from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California in May 2014 receiving my AA degree in Fashion Design.  I also teach sewing and drawing to children from elementary to high school after school in my studio at home.”
Web:   Desi Designs – Home   e-mail:  Twitter:  Desi Allinger (@Desidesigns) | Twitter
Pinterest:   Desi Allinger-Nelson (desiallinger)   Instagram:   Desi (@dlallinger) • Instagram photos and videos

CC 15 Wendy O poster
Portland Special Guest Designer:  Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf
Philosophy: Details, craftsmanship, experimentation and history: these values are the driving force behind Wendy’s multimedia approach to apparel design. Her experience as artist, interior designer, business owner and (somewhat) reformed punk-rocker combine to influence the point-of-view behind the clothing and accessories that are Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf.
A collector at heart, Wendy’s love of fashion history and vintage clothing instilled in her the importance of detail and craftsmanship. While attending the Art Institute of Tampa she focused on architecture, earning a degree in Interior Design, which illustrated the importance of quality workmanship in order to create the finest works possible. Continually striving to top her best has carried over into all methods of expression including apparel design.
In the mid-90s, Wendy opened a shop in Portland featuring over 20 local designers. It was there, in the back workroom, that her love for apparel design grew and became the art form she now focuses on. Her current downtown Portland Showroom, Boulevard de Magenta, is where you will find her creating designs for her current collection as well as a loyal and diverse clientele.
Wendy’s design philosophy, whether it be for clothing, sculpture, painting, or interior design, is ethical and historical. Her apparel showcases vintage textiles, which in addition to being gorgeous, also have narrative appeal. Fabrics carry with them nostalgic stories and experiences and are just waiting to be reinvented in ways that enchant the wearer to follow their hearts to new adventures.
A self-taught fashion designer; Wendy has utilized her love of vintage apparel, her architectural and fine art background to create a unique collection. One that expresses a combination of modern chic, vintage romanticism, and a futuristic edge into a style all her own.
Wendy invites you to her flagship studio and showroom, Boulevard de Magenta, so you too can experience her signature process and discover the magic in your style. Studio and Flagship Showroom 632 SW Pine Street, Portland, Oregon 97205. Phone: 971.277.3927

Twitter: @MagentaPDX
Instagram: @wendyo

Drew Dyrdahl promo pic

Seattle Special Guest Designer: Drew Dyrdahl
Drew’s collection is a spectacular vision of ethereal, steam-punk couture. His creative vision seems to come from another era. In fact, some of his work was inspired from gowns worn by his mother and grandmother.

The beauty of each and every look is simply breathtaking. Down to the last detail of corseting and fluidity of fabrics. He drapes women in a timeless, alternate era glory. His menswear is dashingly hip.

Drew Dyrdahl creates ART. We are so excited to have him grace us with his passionate line.

You can follow Drew on Facebook

Oscar Dominick Promo pic
Salem Special Guest Designer: Oscar Dominick
“I have always been creative since I was very young. From painting to building to inventions, I have always been an artist. I first had the opportunity to design when I was in community college. An ex girlfriend of mine insisted I be part of this “Eco Fashion Show,” So I entered and won the contest. I then saw how well everyone responded to the show and decided to take it a little further and went on to be part of 8 more shows that year. I enjoy the craft of construction and innovation. I went on to Los Angeles and graduated from FIDM (the fashion institute of design and merchandise). Since then I have had the opportunity to work and style celebrities like George Lopez and Kevin Michael.I’m now owner of and have had the opportunity to show in Los Angeles Fashion week and Portland Fashion week, launched 2 collections and hoping to show fall 2015 his Spring Summer 2016 collection.
Im a strong believer that nothing is impossible… if you set your mind to it, everything is possible. I know Im not as big as other designer brands, yet, but that’s okay, I found happiness in my craft. My family and friends are very supportive which makes it easy for me to keep going.
When I inspire myself, I always find a muse. One day I can fall in love with a girl and the next a simple shape or shadow. I get inspired by my life events as well as culture. Being Mexican, growing up I was exposed to artistry, history and  and other artistic crafts. Over all I strive for a strong look with a hint of grunge: I’m a 90’s kid. The whole Pearl Jam slash Nirvana era really speaks to me. My style is chic, edgy, and bold.
I strive for success but ultimately happiness. As I’m writing this, I want a brand, I want to sell to high-end boutiques, I want to meet new people thru my craft and ultimately carry a prestigious brand… But this doesn’t mean I’ll do this forever. Life is beautiful and we should always be open to new opportunities.
I started designing when I was in my first year of college. Officially graduated from school in 2010. I launched in 2012 and have had he opportunity to work with great people and learn from my experiences. I love to work with new talent and look out for everything that is new and fashion forward.”

Instagram: @oscar_dominick
Twitter: @oscardominick


Michelle Dorman Photography

Michelle Dorman Photography, Model: Anita Mwiruki, Dog Team: Tracy Brogoitti, MUA: Sable Desiree Hair: Shontia Delpin

Youth Designer: Kate Miles of Kate’s Couture
“My name is Kate Miles and I am 15 years old. I was brought up on our farm/ranch in Silver Lake, OR which lies about 80 miles off the end of the Earth. It was a two-hour drive into town, and we never had television or Internet. This conceived an inventive spark in me that led me to where I am today. I always had to come up with ways to make my own fun and how to get by with what I already had to work with, and that is one of my favorite blessings. Growing up on our family farm gave me a passion for Mother Nature’s color palette, and has inspired my own greatly.

My grandmother is the 4-H sewing leader in our little community in Central OR, so she had me at her sewing machine in a booster seat as early as four. I remember that I had to get a stool, pile some books on it, put my booster in my seat, and then proceed to my project. I was very active in 4-H sewing in elementary school, which gave me a lot of the basic clothing skills that I now use every day.

I was six years old when I created my first dress. The fabric was a forget me not blue polyester satin, the skirt was full, the sleeves capped, and my client was Lady Arora, my blonde 18in doll. That was the first dress I designed and sewed, making a few simple changes to the pattern my grandma gave me.  I was so proud of my creation that from then on I was completely hooked on fashion design.

Knowing how to make time for each of my several “hats” is a constant battle for me. Designer cap, cowgirl cap, teenager cap, college student cap, and the ever growing pile of others really can be overwhelming, but as long as I have my daughter of Christ hat on at all times everything just seems to flow into place and all even out in the end.

Every day when my head pops off the pillow I know a new adventure is about to unfold. I get the privilege of meeting other people with passions similar to mine that understand how my brain is wired. I must say that at the end of the day, the most satisfaction comes with creating a garment that a woman can step into and feel beautiful and confident in within its seams.
Color and texture has always been a whole other language to me. I read them like poetry. Drape and movement speak to me, and the dress just takes shape in my mind. Ideas lie in everything from a brick wall to a flower in my garden. Sometimes I will sketch it out, but usually I just pick up my scissors and go for it. My designs are always a juxtaposition of vintage with a modern edge. I love taking the delicate fabrics and laces from old garments and paring them with newer and bolder aspects to create something timeless, but exciting.

I have been blessed with several fun opportunities. Winning a contest such as “emerging Designer” for Portland fashion week is one of those amazing honors. I have also gotten to apprentice with the past set stylist for Matilda Jane Clothing and co-design/make the costumes for a marketing video by BUCK Studios. I cannot begin to express how excited I am to be able to get this boost so early in my career!

I love the life I have been blessed with. I love that I can get on a horse and go move cows one day, getting completely covered in dust and mud, and then turn around the next day and go play fashion designer in our state’s largest city. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to grow up on a farm, but to still get to experience the excitement and energy of the city.
Although I like to think plans are overrated, I have several dreams and ideas. I am going to go to art school to major in fashion design. I’m looking into FIT, NY and FIDM, LA. From there I want to go into either haute couture or costume design. I just want to make pretty things. At the end of my fashion run, I can see myself going back home to the farm to start a new adventure. But like I said, plans are as easily broken as made, so I like to live a flexible life taking one day at a time.”






Are you a SW Washington Apparel Designer? If you know someone who is, please share us! Each year we hold auditions for up-and-coming, local, high-fashion apparel designers.
Designer Auditions are held fall/winter for the upcoming show. Time and location will be given to approved submissions. Winners of the Local Designer Contest, determined by designer panel, will be announced on-line shortly after the auditions. Designers entering submissions must be a resident of SW Washington.
For clothing designers looking to submit an entry for Couve Couture 2016, please e-mail a promo picture of yourself, brief bio and a picture of a model/dress form wearing one of your designs. If your entry is chosen for auditions, you will need to show your collection of at least four articles of clothing. One outfit should be worn on a model keeping in mind the complete look with hair, make-up and accessories.
Please e-mail entry to: or

2 thoughts on “Meet our 2015 Designers

  1. Superb blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go
    for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Bless you!

    • Thank you. I really like using wordpress, not only for its affordability but also for its usability. It is a great way to get started and allows the creator to have complete control with content; words and pictures.
      Good luck!

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