Nicolle Camarata is the irrepressible, wide-smiling radio and Fox television personality of Nicolle Shops Portland, a cheerful bounce through Camarata's favorite boutiques.
This year marks the second Nicolle Shops Portland runway event, a charitable occasion with proceeds and auction earnings going to recipients like the Oregon Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Society. VIPs who pay $40 a head will be able to drink at a hosted ice bar featuring a high-heel ice sculpture, sit in choice seats during the runway show, and nab what are reported to be generous gift bags.
Naturally, the event itself is to be emceed by Camarata, who will showcase 10 of her favorite discoveries from the past year. Some of these are clothing lines, such as Cave Clothing, Loyaltee and Amai Unmei, a line that garnered attention at Portland Fashion Week for its sunny spring dress coats.
Also featured will be stores like Soho Boutique, Under U 4 Men, and Oh Baby, A "best interview" acknowledgement will also be given to St. Cupcake, and the video footage from the cupcake shop's appearance on Camarata's show will be featured. Meanwhile, on-site shopping will be available to those inspired by what will surely be Camarata's enthusiastic presentation. (w/Throwback Suburbia; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, Wed Feb 27, 7:30 pm $12-40, nicolleshopsportland.com)
Meanwhile, boutiques across town are in the midst of remodels, expansions, moves, and in a few cases, closings. As part of the shuffle of businesses on SE Hawthorne, Mink is moving into the former space of the defunct Le Rouge (3418 SE Hawthorne), Naked City is squeezing itself into a smaller space in the same location (3730 SE Hawthorne), and their neighbors down the street at Local35 (3556 SE Hawthorne) are enjoying the loftier expanse of the store's ceiling after closing briefly to knock out the lower-hanging drop down that used to hover over the front of the store. And, in economically insecure times, Mabel & Zora (1468 NE Alberta) are proving their ability to weather the storm of competition among similarly minded new retail endeavors by opening a second location in the Pearl District, one that promises a somewhat posher inventory, in the space formally occupied by Le Train Bleu (748 NW 11th). LTB, in turn, is consolidating its retail space with the headquarters out of which they operate their brisk online business (1905 NW 26th). Garment (4136 SE Hawthorne), however, is closed.