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Sunday, April 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

Gianna Morrill’s fashions can take abuse with flair

Clothing designer and Spokane native Gianna Morrill will be participating in the upcoming Runway Renegades fashion show during the Garland Street Fair, Aug. 11. (Dan Pelle)
Clothing designer and Spokane native Gianna Morrill will be participating in the upcoming Runway Renegades fashion show during the Garland Street Fair, Aug. 11. (Dan Pelle)
Jennifer Larue

Some kind of covert operation has been taking place at Gianna Morrill’s South Hill home over the past few months as she prepares for the Runway Renegade fashion show next Saturday after the 10th annual Garland Street Fair ends and the block party begins.

“We’ve been keeping it under wraps,” she said. “Let’s just say it’s different from my usual designs. It’s a concept collection with a twist on empowerment.” This is her first collaboration with her boyfriend Casey Reynolds.

Morrill’s designs are far from usual. Her pieces are made of mostly recycled materials for city fairies, tea-party goers and night-lurkers. Fun and frilly, her designs contain a hint of romance, a pinch of fairy dust, and a dash of industrial in the sense that stains and rips need not be avoided.

“My clothing is meant to degrade and be mended. It doesn’t matter if it gets a tear or a stain. Sewing and patching it only adds to the charm. It’s meant to change and grow with the wearer. The clothing isn’t meant to be perfect, it is made like a puzzle with reclaimed materials, pieces lost and forgotten, and treasures from the city,” Morrill said.

Morrill, 22, is a Spokane native. She attended Lewis and Clark High School where she took a lot of art classes while expressing herself through fashion; basic black adorned with Victorian things, skulls, wings, bright colors and patterns, and Japanese influences. With parents who are forward-thinking artists, she never lacked inspiration. “I was taught when I was little that creating was something that we were meant to do,” Morrill said.

Last year, Morrill earned a graphic/Web design degree from Spokane Falls Community College. Early last year, she started playing around with fashion, designing and making a few pieces. It wasn’t long before a dozen of her designs hit the runway during a Baroque Network event and Runway Renegades annual show and her fashion business was born. Called Kuriio, a combination of curious and kawaii, the Japanese word for “cute,” the business spotlights the uncommon. “I love figuring out how to mesh things that don’t seem to belong together,” she said.

She, along with a half-dozen other designers, will dress models who have been prepared by local hair stylists and makeup artists while accessory designers add bling and photographers click away. In its fifth year, Runway Renegades will hit the catwalk at 8 p.m. At 2 p.m., young models will show off fashion for boys and girls for the first Lil’ Renegades show.

The Garland Street Fair (just east of Monroe Street on Garland) is a community event with a Judy Garland and “Wizard of Oz” theme. The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will include food, music, entertainment, arts and crafts, and local merchants and vendors. The fair will be followed by a block party from 6 to 10 p.m. which will include more music and fashion.

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