Two steps forward, one step back in this global-warming ravaged world, and yet the march toward summer is undeniable. I can practically smell the sand at the river! Not to mention all the happy hours spent patio-side, miles traveled on bike rides, barbecues, and rooftop fetes—the occasions of summer are limitless.
For fancier affairs, the smart collector will not miss Elizabeth Dye's trunk show this Saturday. The literary-minded designer fills her collections with fanciful bookish inspiration, resulting in pieces that are intelligent, referential (last year's Dickensian pieces come to mind), and un-haltingly feminine. (Sat May 26, 4-7 pm, The English Dept., 724 NW 23rd)
Across the street at Seaplane (827 NW 23rd) are a number of stunning one of a kinds. A lot of girly Kathryn Towers dresses, and on a more casual note, long hoodies from Prairie Underground will take you all the way through winter. But the pièce de résistance is a fantastic black Emily Ryan tent dress—summer funeral, anyone?
Down the road at Souchi (807 NW 23rd), immerse yourself in summer-weight cashmere, plus perfect layering tanks from Christina Lehr. Up on Mississippi, Phlox (3962 N Mississippi) is a go-to destination for grown-up femininity, with summer dresses from Corey Lynn Calter, Tibi, and Fetching. For smaller budgets and everyday wear, Mabel & Zora (1468 NE Alberta) is oozing dresses—my pick is Flux Nouveau, featuring simple cotton tops and Ts in summer colors, and cute, lightweight dresses. Tumbleweed (1804 NE Alberta) strikes the perfect balance of hippie sophisticate with Burning Torch henleys and tunics, and organic cotton pieces from dresses to boy-cut panties from Stewart + Brown.
Speaking of boys, check out Sameunderneath (915 N Shaver) for cool, casual pieces like Ts, shorts, jackets, hoodies, and polo shirts. And my wish for the season is that every Portland man wears a short-sleeved shirt from Adam Arnold—they are to be found at Denwave (811 E Burnside). Meanwhile, women with modern tastes can take their best shot at a Genevieve Dellinger dress—the perfect white mesh-infused one I saw in the window is probably gone by now, as they are flying out of the store as fast as Dellinger can churn them out!
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