Rock music and fashion are like the peanut butter and chocolate of pop culture, even though the combination has been done to death. In Portland, the predominant stereotypes about fleece and hiking boots are being given chase by newer stereotypes about hipsters, indie rock, and all the fashion and haircuts that that implies, so it seems like as good a place as any to sustain a long-running rock 'n' roll fashion show. And that's just what Doom Town has accomplished. Although its name has changed (this year it's going by DT5) as well as the location (from the Crystal Ballroom to the Fez), its producers, Elizabeth Mollo and Erin Cry, are keeping the same torch alight for the fifth year, showcasing up and coming designers and bands in a high-energy party atmosphere.
The DT5 scene is a nice counterpoint to increasingly serious and (for lack of a better term) legitimate local fashion events, most notably Portland Fashion Week. It's looser, less concerned with season-driven design, and most of the models aren't the typical model breed in terms of body type. Plus, naturally, they tend to have some variation on the rocker look, ensuring more tattoos, piercings, and unnatural hairdos than the fashion flock is generally accustomed to. Despite its relative casualness, the event has been inevitably getting better with age, as its designers and producers develop and become more polished.
Many of the lines involved are annual participants in the event, and nearly all of them are based in Portland: Revolver Revolver Clothing (Cry's own line), Disorder Clothing (Mollo's line), Flood Clothing, Carolyn Hart, Clair, Diana Pingul, and Cano are all alumni, while Band of Purple, Amy Elizabeth Couture, Erhart, Dress to Kill (Eugene), and Detox Designs (California) are all making their DT premiere.
And then of course, there's the music. The Soda Pop Kids and the Family Gun (featuring Michael Maker of the Makers) will be performing, and DJ Gregarious will provide the runway music as well as his signature "Shut Up and Dance" '80s music after-party. There will also be a hefty number of visual artists representing: Spring Break, Francis Magpie, Crack La Rock, Michael J. Demeo, and Gabe Gregg.
With the event gaining prominence at the same time that it's shifting to a smaller location, selling out is probable, so get your tickets early. And, maybe some earplugs. (Fez Ballroom, 316 SW 11th, Fri Feb 29, 8 pm, $10)