‘Varsha’ by Indian-origin designer Varsha Agarwal, was selected both as the ‘Runner Up’ by the judges and as ‘Fan Favourite’, a new instant vote by the nearly 600 attendees in the audience at Independent Designer Runway Show (IDRS) during the 10th anniversary of Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection. Agarwal will receive 1,000 dollars (over Rs 66,000) for ‘Fan Favourite’ and 2,500 dollars (over Rs 1,65,000) for ‘Runner Up’ award in prize money.
The personality and elegance of ‘Varsha’ won the hearts of the audience and judges. “Judges do not always select a runner up,” said Jennifer Leavitt, Vice President of marketing for The Bellevue Collection, adding, “The work of all of the designers made their selection of one winner exceptionally difficult, but the selection of Varsha and her collection that brings style back to the workplace was mutual for both the audience and our judges.”
Local designer, Phuong Minh Nguyen of Dream Dresses by PMN, was chosen as the winner of IDRS. Nguyen and Agarwal were two of eight local designers selected to compete in a six month long mentorship program and runway show, coached along the way by a panel of local fashion leaders who offered their guidance and insight at several check-in points along the way.
The panel had Marj Turner of Fashion Group International, Seattle Met Magazine Style Editor Amanda Zurita, Bruce Pflaumer of Michael Bruce Image Consulting and Patricia Wolfkill, a 20-year veteran of the fashion industry. In addition to the panel, Terry Morgan of TCM Models and Talent lent her insight in runway show styling and production to the designers.