The past year in the local fashion event industry has been playing out like a game of musical chairs, and not to be left out, the Portland Fashion & Style Awards—which I criticized at length for being awesomely out of touch when it debuted last year—has also fallen into new hands. Steve and Anne Akre and producer Jaileene Eubanks have declared their commitment to "bringing in qualified fashion industry judges... and a qualified fashion industry advisory board team."
But the new web site still gives me major sads:
Click over to read more about this event's attempts to achieve relevance in 2013.
I was a little bummed when Red Cap—the queer bar across the street from the Ace/Clyde Common—went out of business, and I didn't blink an eye when Aura slipped permanently into my well of unconsciousness. Now that both are gone, it's been officially revealed (-ish) what will be taking its place: Union Way is set to be a compound of shopping, eating and drinking that will either certify the West End of downtown's crushing dominance or be the breaking point at which it becomes clear that this city can't support our own grand ambition. Either way, this description is pretty exciting:
Portland calls for a new kind of shopping experience. Its climate and culture lead us to an urban indoor/outdoor space for eating, drinking, and shopping. Union Way finds its origins in the streets and alleyways of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and serves as a counterpoint to the typical urban retail block or the suburban festival marketplace. The public promenade draws people through the building, which is bookended by Powell’s Books, a major retail destination and The Ace Hotel, an iconic contemporary hotel. Union Way houses a collection of carefully curated shops and restaurants providing an authentic and unique shopping experience while adding energy and momentum to the West End neighborhood. Since the Alley is a private walkway through the block, new types of ways to eat, drink and shop will emerge and end in an exciting symbiosis between merchants and their customers.
The photos published in the Daily Journal of Commerce help paint a picture of what the finalized space will look like and at least one of the restaurants involved, Micah Camden's Boxer Ramen, has been confirmed. As for retail, the unconfirmed rumor has it that Steven Alan is coming to town, but I'll believe it when I see it (or when they respond to my emails, which they so far have not). Another clue: Steven Alan is one of only 11 things that Union Way "likes" on Facebook. Yep. If that indicates what I think it does you might also want to keep an eye on Bridgeport vegan restaurant Morso and San Francisco clothing store Self Edge, since everything else on their "like" list already exists in the surrounding neighborhood.
The big bummer about working on Open Season shows is how jealous I am of everyone who can simply enjoy them without having to deal with language-garbling headsets and endless rolls of utility tape. Audrey Goldfarb is a serial attendee of local fashion events, as well as a documentarian of sorts—she once made a truly amazing film about herself that topped two hours and included copious party crashing and Pabst consumption as well as some rather surprising family dynamics. She makes shorter episodes of various things on her blog, including this freshly edited diary of her experience of last week's shows. Vicarious!
Those of us who took the whole ride through this year's four-night series of Open Season fashion shows are probably still convalescing—I know I am, and so is Marissa Sullivan, whose last recap of each night of shows over on MOD is a tiiiny bit delayed. But while it's still top of mind I wanted to get in a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came, selling out every single night (holy crap)!
It takes a village to accomplish these shows, and most of the people who busted their asses to make this happen did so as volunteers. It literally would not have happened without them, and it really would not have happened without the (mostly) local businesses who stepped in as sponsors: Eastside Distilling, Bishops Barbershops, Gilt, Imelda's & Louie's, Viso, Crossroads Trading Company, and 220 Salon all deserve huge props for pitching in, not to mention the venues, designers, models, hair and makeup stylists, co-producers, rope light/pipe 'n' drape/riser installers, flag makers, musicians and DJs, ticket takers, dressers... you get the idea.
It tends to keep a low profile, but never forget: Odessa is—and has been for longer than most—one of the most sophisticated boutiques in the city. They recently put together a lookbook for the spring season featuring stunning new pieces from Tsumori Chisato and Isabel Marant, modeled by their own Bree Goertzen (remember Fleshtone? She was one of the backup dancers, and has also been featured in those awesome Miracles Club videos).
And, objectively speaking, you cannot tell me that this sweater won't improve my life:
Check out the whole thing on their tumblr.
Yes, I just combined a fashion show with a Harry Potter reference. This is how you know I am tired.
But fuck tired! Tonight we're capping of Open Season's successful run of happy hour fashion shows with a secret new collaboration between two heavy hitters on the local scene, called Immaculate Martin. Even I don't know exactly what to expect, but I'm vibing that it's going to be a little irreverent, a little non-traditional, and in the spirit of fun. Clearly others are feeling the same way (or just can't resist their curiosity), because online tickets sold out this morning. But don't freak out! There will be a limited amount of tickets being sold for $7 at the door, and we'll do our best to get as many people in as the fire marshal allows.
That said, doors open at 6 at tonight's venue, Dig A Pony, and while the show won't start until 7, you'll want to get there early to nab a good spot and ticket if you waited too long! Also, stick around for a set from the awesome DJ Cooky Parker and live that "Thursday is the new Friday" dream. We'll sleep when we're dead.
We've had two successful nights of Open Season fashion shows, so why stop now? Nope, not gonna!
Tonight features some of the city's heaviest hitters in Pendleton's The Portland Collection, designed by Rachel Turk, Nathaniel Crissman, and John Blasioli. In case you've been living under a fashionless rock, when Pendleton tapped these local designers—riding the crest of a resurgence in popularity and projects with everyone from Opening Ceremony to Adidas—to translate the historic company's aesthetic for the Rachel Comey and A.P.C. set, it... went really well. Their first collection was hotly anticipated and received with international adoration. Now on their third, I feel like they're getting better and better, and we are so stoked to be hosting the fall collection debut.
Continuing our venue roving, tonight we'll be set up at Rontoms (21+, doors at 6, show at 7 or so—word to the wise: come on the earlier side to get a good spot/drink/ticket. Pre-sale is sold out but there will be a limited number of tickets being sold at the door.) This is also the only show for which there will be live music—in the form of the beloved Lovers! And, the show will be immediately followed by a set from DJ Flash Gordon. And another pair of drink specials using Eastside Distilling's Portland Potato Vodka and Burnside Bourbon. Says Ron of the 'toms, "We will be doing a Moscow Mule with the vodka (muddled lime & ginger, vodka and ginger beer) and a Sour Cherry Old Fashioned with the whiskey (whiskey, kirsch, sugar, and sour cherry garnish)." So there you go.
This evening at Produce Row (21+, doors at 6, show at 7-ish, with plenty of time to get your weeknight beauty rest—or not) we are presenting two up-and-comers on the scene: Lindsey Reif is nipping at the heels of longer-established designers in town, and quickly becoming one of the savviest design talents in the city. Joining her is Brady Lange, who's been haunting the design community for years, but only last summer launched the first of his bright, versatile, sassy collections. This one's going to be fun.
Oh! And there are fashionable drink specials going as well: 1) Fierce Voodoo: Portland Potato Vodka, mango juice, fresh mint, lime, sugar and soda, served on the rocks in a pint. 2) New Fashioned: Burnside Bourbon, St Germain, Amaretto, Dandelion Bitters and Lemon Peel, served on the rocks in a bucket. Now you know!
Open Season, the four-evening series of fashion shows featuring some of the most exciting design talent in town, kicks off tonight with three of the city's heavy hitters: Holly Stalder, Emily Ryan, and Liza Rietz. Additionally, you'll also get to see jewelry from Sword + Fern and bags by Seaecho paired with Stalder's looks, and BOET jewelry buddied up with Rietz's.
Plus! As you may know, Rietz is also a talented musician—you probably know her best for her work in Tu Fawning along with Toussaint Perrault (also from Babydollars), who has composed an original soundtrack for tonight's runway show. Rietz says, "It is bad ass! Something different and exciting for runway!"
Sounds good to me. Doors at the White Owl Social Club open at 6 this evening, with showtime scheduled at 7. There are still some tickets left–-buy now and you won't have to take your chances at the door!
Next week's series of Open Season fashion shows feature some of the most important and exciting apparel designers working and producing in the city. However! It's also taking place at what are probably four of your favorite places to hang out in on any given beautiful day in late spring/early summer or whatever we are calling this meteorological stroke of luck (global warming?). The shows are scheduled early so you can be bright-eyed and bushy tailed on weekday mornings for that big PowerPoint presentation. (Doors are at 6, shows at 7, and you'll be tucked in and snoozing before 9.)
OR, you are mightier than weekday mornings, and you're down to be out a bit later, in which case the venues are all planning post-show shindigs:
Monday, May 13 after Holly Stalder/Emily Ryan/Liza Rietz at the White Owl Social Club, DJ Maxamillion will take over. On Tuesday at Produce Row, Reif and Brady Lange will be followed by the Supper Set with DJ Rev Shines, an all-vinyl mix of soul, jazz, and rare grooves. On Wednesday, Pendleton's The Portland Collection takes over at Rontoms, followed by... nothing. Because have you seen their patio?! And the weather?! And finally on Thursday after Immaculate Martin at Dig A Pony, DJ Cooky Parker will cap off the whole shebang.
Tickets each night are a nominal $5, and they're on sale and going fast!
On Monday, the first in a four-evening series of Open Season fashion shows featuring some of the greatest designers in the city will kick off (I know, weekdays, but they're early shows, with doors at 6, show at 7-ish each night), and we're giving away a pair of passes good for each night of the shows! To win 'em, email me by 4 pm and I'll choose a winner at random. In the meantime you can find out more about the shows here, including lots of great photos by Ray Gordon. And hey, if you don't win? Tickets are just five bucks!
If you haven't already seen it, check out this week's pretty picture-filled feature on the designers of next week's Open Season series of fashion shows, shot by local badass Ray Gordon. And! Don't forget to pick up your tickets—each night of the shows are a mere $5, so don't sleep till it's too late!
With or without your approval, they are going with the whole "West End" re-brand of that 10th Ave-centric stretch of downtown, and thus this weekend's events are dubbed the "West End Weekend." If you're okay with that, and/or you're looking to acquire a mother's day/wedding gift/selfish score of the artisanal variety that comes with a free glass of champagne, come hither to MOD for the full exposition.
While I've had my head wrapped up in Open Season, Mercury's four-night series of fashion shows happening next week, there's another show that should be on the radar of those with vested (pun!) interest in new developments in local design. While our show features some of the best and well-established talent in town (seriously, our designers are ballers), Portland Sewing's annual Fashion Forward graduate show (along with the Art Institute's June 1 graduate show) offer an annual late-spring crop of mostly unheard-of new talent. Click over to MOD to find out more about the eight designers making their post-graduate debut this Saturday at White Horse Studios.
Monday kicks off four days of fashion shows at the series that is the new incarnation of the Mercury's Open Season. We have some of the city's top design talent participating, including Tuesday night's lineup of Reif and Brady Lange.
Now we can add one more name to the list: Jewelry designer Coco Cardenas, who recently returned to Portland after trying San Francisco on for size. Reif and Cardenas have collaborated before, and in earlier days in New York Cardenas worked closely making jewelry for Heatherette. Check out the rest of the schedule below, and grab those tickets (a mere five bucks per night) over here.
As you may have heard, Portland continued its uncanny televised streak a couple weeks ago by having yet another apparel design representative win Project Runway, which—while there's no getting around the fact that it's reality TV, and all that comes with that—does necessitate an actual skill. Prior hometown winners have taken the money and run to New York to establish themselves in a bigger market, but I think it's interesting that Michelle Lesniak Franklin has chosen instead to invest her money in the local economy, with plans to hire in-house production workers and commitments to participate in at least three upcoming fashion shows in the next six months.
In this week's paper I interviewed Michelle about the mind tricks of reality TV (which she dealt with remarkably well) and plans for further design domination. You may not have heard of her prior to the show's season but get ready for her name to come up often.
Can't make every night of this year's Open Season series of fashion shows? Tickets for individual nights just went on sale. Pick and choose, choosy!
It ain't easy to make this year's four-day series of Open Season fashion shows even more exciting than their all-star lineup already is, but Pendleton's The Portland Collection has scored a nice little feather for their cap: Joining them for their presentation of the new Fall 2013 collection on Wednesday, May 15 at Rontoms (6 pm) will be the live accompaniment of none other than kickass Portland band Lovers.
This year's series takes place at some of the loveliest inner southeast venues, but they're relatively small, so don't dillydally on picking up advance passes while they're still here!
So maybe my excitement led me to get a little out of hand with the subject tags of this post, but that's only because Sword + Fern—the gem of a shop helmed by Emily Baker, who makes jewelry but also stocks local apothecary, art, clothing, vintage nicknacks, books, and more—just keeps becoming a better and more rounded nexus of all these things.
After closing for a few months for renovations, Sword + Fern will be back in the First Friday swing of it this week, debuting the first in their new series of curatorial collaborations/art installations, "DISCOVERe'verer," with Plane/Air, to be followed by a roster of participants that includes Claudia Meza, Anna Korte, Helmy Membreno, Valentine Freeman, and more. Plus they've just announced that S+F will be the pickup spot for produce from Thistle Top Farm, and a forthcoming clothing line collaboration with Portland Garment Factory(!!). Swing by this Friday from 6-9 for a look at the reconfigured space and a high five for Baker's expanded venture.
The new Portland Fashion Week—not the one that former producer Tito Chowdhury built up before starting his own FASHIONxt alternative event, but a new beast being helmed by original founder Tod Foulk and his new partners (yes this is all terribly confusing indeed)—has finally announced its location.
Its website has long touted that it was bringing PFW back to the heart of the city "where it belongs"—presumably a dig at the previous incarnation and FASHIONxt's longtime home on the shipyards. For a while the talk was that it would be located somewhere on the waterfront, but today the announced that it will be... at the convention center, where, as a certain colleague put it, "fun goes to die." Burn! But really, if they dress it up enough, this could be okay. It certainly is in the heart of the city, positioned near the confluence of its quadrants.
All in all, though, PFW 2.0 is still a mystery. The application process to show at the event is still open, so it's anybody's guess whose talent is actually going to be showcased. PFWs of the past sometimes struggled to fill its time slots with qualified designers, bringing down overall standards of curatorial quality control, and now that, with FASHIONxt and PFW, there are two large fall fashion events, it raises the question of how many good designers there will be to go around. It may help that PFW is not charging designers a production fee. They are also inviting retailers to participate, which—while my pride in Portland retail is well documented—seems a less vital thing to showcase. Either way, the proof will be in the pudding.
And then it was over:
Let's recap this shiz over on MOD.
The Mercury ninth annual Open Season showcase of Portland fashion is coming up next month, a four-night series of intimate shows featuring local badasses like Holly Stalder, Emily Ryan, Liza Rietz, Reif, Brady Lange, Pendleton's the Portland Collection, and a top secret, brand new collaborative project called Immaculate Martin!
In this week's Sold Out, I finally got to profile one of the Portland designers who originally got me interested in the independent apparel design scene here: Claire La Faye. Prominent at Seaplane and its events, La Faye's party dresses were the stuff of fantasy: romantic and unpredictable, feminine and just the right note of funky—not silly, but unexpected. She did a long stretch in Los Angeles shortly after I began covering the scene here, where she dressed a slew of celebrities for the red carpet, including a stint as Courtney Love's personal designer. Now back in Portland and concentrating exclusively on bridal wear, which takes her design signatures to next-level degrees of creative freedom, Haunt is hosting her on Saturday for a trunk show event, thus giving me the excuse to do the profile of her I've always wanted to. There's an itty bitty version in the print edition to make room for the photos, but check out the online extend-o version for the full scoop.
The Mercury's annual fashion show Open Season is the style event of the year, and always super packed! And this year we're switching things up to create something of a mini-fashion week with four smaller events over four nights at various SE Portland hotspots! We're calling it Open Season: Fashion Lives Fast—and here's the lineup!
Monday, May 13
Holly Stalder, Liza Rietz, and Emily Ryan
THE WHITE OWL SOCIAL CLUB (1305 SE 8th)
Tuesday, May 14
Reif and Brady Lange
PRODUCE ROW (204 SE Oak)
Wednesday, May 15
Pendleton’s The Portland Collection
RONTOMS (600 E Burnside)
Thursday, May 16
Surprise Collection: Immaculate Martin
DIG A PONY (736 SE Grand)
Guys! This is gonna be sooo good. But since these are smaller venues, I strongly advise you to get your advance 4-night pass to all the events RIGHT NOW—because it's very doubtful you'll be able to squeeze in later due to the popularity of this event. GET YOUR ADVANCE PASSES HERE—AND WHAT?? THEY'RE ONLY $20. I love that!
Greetings from lovely Vancouver, British Columbia!
I'm here for the city's Eco Fashion Week, founded six seasons ago by Myriam Laroche with the goal of "informing and inspiring the fashion-conscious, and sustainable-minded, alike, in a way that harmonizes beauty and the environment. After all, innovation in fashion—the future of chic—is inextricably linked to innovation in, well, sustainability."
For as huge an industry as it is, apparel production is behind the curve in terms of having a unified blueprint for how it will evolve in response to the soundly proven evidence that its current state of consumption (mass produced fast fashion) and production (unethical labor practices, a huge carbon footprint) is on course for disaster. When the idea of "green fashion" had its big moment some years ago, it never quite beat its rap for being slightly uncool and faddish, but that's insane: An industry that bases its whole identity on being one step ahead of the game has a responsibility to innovate, and to make the way into the future attractive and desirable. It's the whole point.
Click over to MOD for the whole scheme.
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