It's the fifth year that the Mercury has produced a spring fashion show in Portland. In that time, the popularity and prominence of making and wearing locally designed and produced fashion have notably proliferated. It seems, in fact, impossible to arrange a single production that represents the full scope of the community, so varied the ambitions and business practices within it.
With Forecast, we simply wanted to provide a forum for some of our favorite and most independent designers to show their work to a wide audience. All too often, a designer is forced to produce their own show on top of designing and executing an entire collection of clothing, and we wanted to relieve some of that burden and allow them more time to concentrate on the work they do best.
The lineup consists primarily of people who embody the unique ideals of Portland entrepreneurship. In almost all cases the clothing in this showcase has been designed and produced entirely within the city limits, and much of what you will see is one of a kind. There will be representation from people who were instrumental in putting Portland on the fashion map, as well as fresh lines making their debut. Additionally, there is a separate installation to display the work of local accessory designers in a setting where the detail and workmanship of their pieces can be appreciated up close.
Kicking off the runway show is a showcase for emerging designers, chosen by a jury (myself, designer Adam Arnold, writer and co-producer Brett Glass, and Pamela Baker-Miller, co-producer and owner of the Frances May boutique). These are pieces from designers on the rise: Lindsey Reif's Reif line of streetwear for men and women; innovative menswear by Adam Andreas; sophisticated womenswear from Isaac Hers by Barbara Seipp (also of Phlox boutique); Muntedkowhai statement jewelry by Puiyi Tiffany Pang; and textile designs by Dana Bruington—together, the five of them represent the diversity of burgeoning design talent in our area.
Also showing collections are local legends like Adam Arnold, Elizabeth Dye, Emily Katz, Holly Stalder, Julia Barbee's Frocky Jack Morgan, Kate Towers, Liza Rietz, and Emily Ryan. Joining them are newer, buzzed-about lines like Julia Blackburn's Dust, Sarah Wizemann's Gatsby lingerie, La Merde, John Blasioli, and Gretchen Jones' MothLove. Forecast also has the distinction of marking the runway debut of Nathaniel Shapiro and Carly Mick's Smith and Bybee collection of men's workwear, and Gretchen Jones' new line with partner Jordan Domont, Hunt & Gather.
Our accessory showcase is equally outstanding, including jewelry from Emily Baker, Anna Korte's AK Vintage, and Sara Dudzinsky's Better Late Than Never; leather goods from Jesse Champlin's Rush Accessories and Tanner Goods; hats from Jayme Hansen and Nichole Eatman's Cloud Society; and scarves from Jason Kinney's Pauper Voile.
The photos on these pages feature designs from many of Forecast's participants, and we hope you'll come to the event to see more. The talent and diversity in Portland's design community is exceptional, and the Mercury is proud to support and honor it. Truly an immense collective effort, Forecast would not have been possible without the devotion of the individuals and businesses that pitched in to make this a top-notch production.Hair and make-up by Kristin Goodman. Modeling by Rachel Williams. Photographs by Tim Gunther.