Come out, come out, wherever you are.
Winter is being defeated by spring. Stores are stocking new spring items, and there are some fashion shows you should check out to help you get excited about barbecues and bars with patios—or more precisely, what you'll wear to them.
On Thursday, there will be a showcase of design talent called "House-Wears," which will veer from the traditional runway setup by including a living room set on the stage, part of an overall "classic American home" theme, which may extend to drink specials (Mai tais? Manhattans?), and an emphasis on clothing you can wear off the runway.
Excitingly, the show features some newcomers to the Portland design scene, including Diana Lang and her Pompbylou (bright colors, Edwardian stripes, and a technique akin to upholstering); Kay Lyn, who finds inspiration in the music she deejays (DJ Kay Lyn, naturally); Ommatic by Lizz (influenced by industrial sewing—her day job is constructing sailboat covers); and Nora, who, intriguingly, is going to show sweatshirts that are cheerleader-meets-crossing-guard. There will also be familiar locals like darBeka, teamed up with gesundheit, Anne Bonney, and Makool. The uniting presence here is that all the designers are pulling from the past, some literally, through use of vintage or recycled materials, and some by pattern and design references. Thus, the potential for it being a little too, uh, "Oregon Style" is there, but offset by the smell of fresh blood... (Thurs April 27, 8 pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, $5, with trunk show and dance party to follow)
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Elizabeth Dye has come to the very astute decision that we all need to be having more fun. So the debut of her spring/summer line, entitled "Arch Rivals," takes its theme by way of lawn games like badminton and croquet. A bit of a departure for the always-(modern)girly Dye, this time around things are sporty and al fresco, including bloomer-esque short-shorts, jumpers, and smocks—all "clothes you can scrap in," as she puts it. And scrap we shall. (Fri April 28, 7:30 pm, The English Dept., 724 NW 23rd, free)
HEY! Are you a designer who wants to be part of a trunk show precluding a ginormous fashion show at the Portland Art Museum May 7? Drop me a line, and I'll put you in contact with the right people: firstname.lastname@example.org