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PPCW’s fashion show Dress/Undress tonight! Interview with Equal Access Fund’s Nicole Boyer

Bryce Blak's Studio SKB will be one of the featured designers

Planned Parenthood‘s Equal Access Fund aims to provide helps gynecological exams for women and transmen who aren’t covered by state pregnancy-prevention funding but meet the same economic requirements. Dress/Undress is a fashion show to raise money for the fund. The show takes place tonight at the Fez, emceed by Sossity Chiricuzio, fashion re-designer, sex radical activist and producer/host of Dirty Queer.

We took a minute to sit down with EAF volunteer Nicole Boyer to talk about tonight’s event.

What’s your name and what’s your involvement with the PPCW Equal Access Fund?

My name is Nicole Boyer, and I am PPCW’s Volunteer Programs Coordinator as well as a member of our LGBTQI Committee. I’ve been involved with PPCW for 4 years now, and am passionate about spreading the word about our diverse services and patient population. I and many other PPCW staff contribute $ to the Equal Access Fund from each and every paycheck because we feel so strongly about increasing services for our local LGBTQI community.

What made you think of a fashion show as a fundraiser? Do you think a fashion show is even more likely to be interesting to an LGBT crowd?

I’ve been trying to dream up a way to pair my love for fashion with fundraising for underserved populations for quite a while now. After participating in many local runway shows and PPCW fundraising events, it seemed a natural next step! Luckily, many of PPCW’s vibrant staff and were also excited to get on board, because I could never have done it alone. Thanks to involvement from Dress/Undress MC, Sossity Chiricuzio, (hostess of DirtyQueer) and several outstanding queer designers, our event has particular appeal to Portland’s LGBTQI crowd.

What comes with VIP access?

VIP ticketholders will enjoy fast-track entry to the Fez Ballroom on Wednesday night, as well as exclusive seating right beside the catwalk! This allows for an up-close look at the gorgeous models and garments of Dress/Undress’ focal point; the runway show.

How did you choose the designers? Who are you most excited to see?

Initially I reached out to a variety of friends behind reputable fashion labels here in town. Being PPCW’s first event of this nature, I sought to capture a full range of Portland’s design scene, from vintage resale to emerging designers and well-established brands. Our event showcase includes collections from Benjamin Blak, Golden Rule, Heather Treadway, Idom, Midge, Project Runway’s Bryce Black for Studio SKB, and Yo Vintage! Also represented are jewelry designers Kat Seale, Sword+Fern, RillRill, and the Metal Institution. Since I am usually stuck backstage at shows, I’m honestly excited to experience ALL of the fall collections! I’ll admit that right now I’m most anxious to see Benjamin Blak’s line, thanks to hints of grandeur dropped by his fabulous stylist, Trenten Ingles….

Where did the models come from? Any of them from PPCW?

The majority of Dress/Undress models were actually found via word of mouth. From the get-go, I wanted to exhibit a wider range of body types than normally found on the catwalk, in an effort to represent a more accurate image of the diverse population Planned Parenthood supports. I hope next year’s event can push this envelope even further! And yes, several of our models are regular PPCW volunteers or staff.

What else will Dress/Undress feature besides the main runway show? What are some of the raffle prizes?

Dress/Undress has a variety of exciting elements to offer! In addition to the runway show, guests will enjoy cocktails and a dance party with DJ Lincolnup. They’ll also get to shop exclusive designer merchandise and our silent auction, receive custom nail art, and enter to win some fabulous raffle prizes. The prizes are top secret, but include both overnight ‘getaway’ packages and local Portland cuisine! Guests can also expect surprises from our fabulous emcee, Sossity Chiricuzio, and our outstanding lineup of designers!

Anything else you would like qPDX readers to know?

I want qPDX readers to know that all of PPCW’s Call Center and Health Center staff receive training on how to be respectful and non-judgmental with LGBTQI patients. Our services are available to EVERYONE, and we strive to offer healthcare services and education in a safe, welcoming atmosphere.

As for our Dress/Undress event, VIP tickets have already sold out, so don’t wait any longer to buy your tickets! They’re just $10 at www.ppcw.org (or the door if you don’t mind waiting in line…) can’t wait to see you all there!

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