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STITCH Returns to The Catwalk in Portland

The Maine Crafts Association's fashion show features seven designers, ages 25 to 70.

Photograph courtesy of Kyle Dubay | Maine Crafts Association
By Adrienne Perron

It’s not always easy for a Maine couturier to show off work here — the state is long on craft fairs and galleries but short on venues for artists who focus on wearables. That’s why the Maine Crafts Association hosted its first STITCH fashion show in 2019, to give Maine designers a runway and a place to network with other designers from around the state. The pandemic nixed the event’s sophomore outing, but STITCH is back this month for another strut down the catwalk, featuring seven designers, ages 25 to 70, whose creations range from kidswear to clogs.

“The fashion scene in Portland is growing a ton right now,” says Olivia Dwyer, one of this year’s STITCH artists. The 25-year-old started pursuing fashion as a Maine College of Art freshman. Just a few years later, she has her own line, Olivia Halo Designs, and is the show’s only returning designer from 2019. “This is one of the few events geared towards doing this for Maine designers,” she says. “There are so many people here making cool clothing but not much of an incentive for people to stay in the state.”

New this year is a “style market,” with STITCH designers and others selling garments, jewelry, and additional accessories. MCA director Sadie Bliss says she hopes the event, a fundraiser for the organization, not only attracts fashion fans but also helps create new ones.

“Even someone who doesn’t have an interest in fashion or emerging artists would enjoy this show,” she says. “It’s lively and beautiful yet accessible and laid-back. It’s a great way for people to get introduced to this world.”

STITCH 2021, previously planned on September 9, 5–8 p.m., at the Urban Farm Fermentory, has been postponed until June 16, 2022.