BRADY LANGE
RAY GORDON

IT'S AN ANNUAL tradition to ask the people who make Portland's style world tick what their takeaways from the past year were—and stay tuned for next week, when they'll weigh in on what they're hoping for and predicting in 2014 (including the things they never want to see again). But for now, thoughts (and a few criticisms) on 2013:

Rick Owens' Paris Fashion Week show celebrating diversity in size and race on the runway was the highlight of the [2013] shows for me. I love the fact that he also challenged the conventional notions of the fashion show repertoire by incorporating step dancing, resulting in a performance-art piece rather than another boring runway show. My favorite trends were luxe fabrics like velvet and embroidered materials; sheer tops over beautiful lingerie; Downton Abbey-inspired styles; and cobalt everything. In TV and film I was inspired by: Before Midnight, Top of the Lake, David Lynch on Louie, and American Horror Story: Coven (guilty pleasure). In books: Emily Dickinson's The Gorgeous Nothings, The Paris Wife, and Beautiful Ruins.

In events: Salon International de la Lingerie's 50th anniversary party, the Midnight Party art exhibit at the Walker, Orly Genger's fiber installation in Madison Square Park, the David Bowie is exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum (wish I could've attended this one), and the anticipation of Prada's vintage-inspired collection for Dover Street Market in New York.—Sarah Wizemann, owner, Lille Boutique, lilleboutique.com

My takeaway from 2013 is [awe of] the amount of artists, musicians, designers, brands, and creatives who have chosen to stay in Portland and work hard to expose the amazing young culture that is brewing here. Rather than chase major audiences in "meccas" like New York City and LA, these people—many younger than me—want to bring eyes and ears back to the Northwest because they believe the city is cool enough to deserve nationwide exposure.—Mark McGinnis, designer, The Incorporated, theincorporatedclothing.com

Favorites of the year: silk, love, leather, gratuitous use of the word "twerking," buying things, being cozy and casual—best year ever.—Caesy Oney, owner/creative director, Draught Dry Goods, draughtdrygoods.com

My favorite style moment of this year was—and I know I am completely biased here—the Bryce Black segment in the August edition of Fade to Light. Not just because the fashion was super fun, but because of the [dancing]. When they revealed themselves as dancers and not models and started to work the runway, the amazing energy it brought to the room was palpable. I have never seen anything like it!—Elizabeth Mollo, fashion show producer and Mercury contributor, elizabethmollo.com

I was really inspired by the James Turrell exhibition at [Los Angeles County Museum of Art]. It was one of the few shows I've been to where you feel like you can spend the time to fully immerse yourself in the piece. To be completely surrounded by light was somewhat disorienting, but it forced me to quiet down and completely surrender to my senses without analyzing. It was a very meditative and introspective experience for me.—Heather Sielaff, perfumer, OLO Fragrance, olofragrance.com

[In 2013 I was] inspired by humanity in general. How people think, why they make the things they do, and what they're not considering. Why are things different than they were 20, 50, 100 years ago? What does progress really mean? I think solving a problem isn't as simple as looking at what other people are making. Great design happens when the underlying issues are examined more closely.—Sam Huff, creative director/co-founder, Cascadian Fabrications, Inc., tannergoods.com

I found the Future Beauty exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum to be incredibly inspiring (as I am sure many designers did). It is one of a handful of experiences this past year that has me really wanting to push my own work in a much more forward direction.—John Blasioli, designer, johnblasioli.com

I was mostly inspired by cross-genre artists and designers this year. People who transition between their artistry and performance like Emily Baker having Sword + Fern, but also working with [partner and musician] Kerby [Ferris] as Lavender Mirror. And seeing venues like Disjecta introducing the idea of food and eating as art this month—these trends are exciting to me.—Julia Barbee, designer, artist, perfumer, juliabarbee.com

I'm over the religious/sacrilegious motifs.—Brady Lange, designer, bradylange.com

2013 was a year of change, and changes for the better in the fashion industry. Locally Portlanders saw a year that was satisfying to many fashion enthusiasts—from the opening of multiple retailers to an unprecedented experience at FashioNXT. Globally, signs of changes were enhanced as the world economy reels out of recession, which was also felt locally. Here are my specific highlights Locally, FashioNXT, the premier fashion event in Portland, after being featured in Time magazine at the end of 2012, saw an unprecedented level of participation, buzz, and accolades, demonstrating Portland's appreciation of real quality in a fashion-show experience. Along with being the highest-profile gathering of Project Runway stars in [the] real world, it carved its niche in a big picture and consequential way in the industry. FashioNXT 2013 featured the first-ever live interactive display of smart eyewear on any major runway in the world, as Project Runway winner Michelle Lesniak showed to an audience of industry pioneers from Silicon Valley and Silicon Forest to Japan, New York, Los Angeles, and the Philippines, how Brilliant Service eyewear can understand hand gestures and perform functions.  FashioNXT for the first time formally connected a Portland fashion event to a major foreign country, as the US-Philippines Society working with Embassy of the Philippines in the US featured globally known Filipino designers like Francis Libiran on the runway, to enhance the image of the Philippines in the US. Globally, the minimum wages of garments workers in Bangladesh, the second-largest garments manufacturer in the world, [have] gone up 80 percent, making it more on par with other countries in the region's economies.—Tito Chowdhury, executive producer, FashioNXT, fashionxt.net

Is it just me or did it seem like every rad girl you know got a motorcycle this year? It felt that way to me. Maybe they didn't just get them, but I just met them! Over the summer, I had the pleasure of styling a few of these rad girls for Wildfang in a piece we called "Wildfangs Ride." Jenny Czinder, Michelle Lewis, and Erin Kirby are three badass biker chicks who ride Harleys and look good doing it. But there's more than a handful of these girls around Portland, and if they're not on bikes they're in muscle cars. And need I remind you that the tomboy brand Wildfang opened a brick and mortar (only five months after launching the online store), made a line of wovens, and a line of exclusive tanks, tees, crews, and hoodies. It was certainly a good year for them but also for all tomboys. Once again, fashion designers tried to make creepers happen. And while it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, no one really seems to be biting. I'm much more happy—no, ecstatic—about the "Lita" trend dissolving. Also happy that we're seeing more comfortable footwear like brogues and loafers really shining—even Madewell put their models in checkerboard Vans for their fall 2013 lookbook!—Marissa Sullivan, blogger, portlandspretty.com