AFTER A BRIEF PERIOD of post-holiday respite, Portland's fashion event calendar is suddenly hopping. February is dotted with exciting runways and installations from some of the city's most talented designers, including not one, but two excellent such events this very week.
Brady Lange has been getting a lot of extra attention this year as a current competitor on the Project Runway spin-off show Under the Gunn. His casual, bright sportswear designs for men and women were already popular before he hit the small screen, but surely his newfound reality fame won't hurt the attendance at this week's official presentation of his spring/summer collection. Those who attended last fall's Portland Fashion Week will recognize the collection, for which he used camo ("as douchey as it can be"), combining it with neon hues and more focused cuts to take it somewhere "still street, but cleaner," an experiment that perhaps most memorably resulted in a camo silk chiffon maxi dress.
Rather than another traditional runway, Lange has chosen to host his new collection as a live-model mixer, with people wearing his clothes among other partygoers at a festive, inclusive free-for-all. Brady Lange spring/summer 2014 presentation, Black Book, 20 NW 3rd, Fri Feb 7, 7-10 pm, FREE
Meanwhile Unmentionable: A Lingerie Exposition is returning for its second year after last year's explosively festive debut. Featuring local lines and shops—Lille, Make It Good, Rachel Rector, Sarah Bibb for Folly, and Mag-Big, to name a few—the high-energy event shines a light on the lesser-seen products available, from everyday skivvies to boudoir one-of-a-kinds; it's what Mag-Big owner/designer and co-founder of Unmentionable (and Mercury contributor) Cassie Ridgway calls the "full spectrum being designed in our city." With a loose Valentine's Day theme, there are also a slew of gift-appropriate vendors, from jewelry makers (Betsy and Iya), to perfumers (Imaginary Authors), to candle makers (Amy Vance).
After last year's turnout could barely be contained in the smaller confines of the Secret Society, Unmentionable is spreading out in the roomier Doug Fir, but trust: You can expect a crowd. Unmentionable, Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, Tues Feb 11, 8 pm, $10-12
• Getting a jump on this week's barrage of Valentine's Day sales is the stellar combo of Portland designer Liza Rietz and OKO shop/gallery, with 20-40 percent off clothing designs and 15 percent off vintage jewelry. You shouldn't even need to hear the words "chocolate" or "champagne" to further tempt you. Liza Rietz, 2774 NW Thurman, Thurs Feb 6, 11 am-8 pm
• Grayling Jewelry is so psyched about their new spring line that they're throwing it a coming-out party with champers, chocolate, and the chance to win nearly $600 in products. Grayling, 3115 NE Sandy, Fri Feb 7, 5-8 pm
• Menswear boutique Winn Perry is celebrating its grand re-opening with drinks and spinning records courtesy of Mr. Mumu—an excellent excuse to check out their new focus if, for some reason, you haven't already. Winn Perry, 209 SW 9th, Sat Feb 8, 7-9 pm
• Brides-to-be and lovers of all-out gown design are in the thick of a favorable season—look for a trickle of bridal events coming down the pike from now until June. This one features Sunjin Lee, Portland's current bridal darling, as well as jewelry from Acanthus. Eve in Eden, 221 NW 11th, Sat Feb 8, noon
• One of the many reasons to love your local business community: The PDX Collective Sale is rolling around again, your periodic chance to score end-of-season mega-deals from a band of 11 shops, including Parallel, Folly, and Solestruck. Go early, play nice. The Cleaners, 403 SW 10th, Sat Feb 8, 10 am-5 pm, Sun Feb 9, 11 am-5 pm
• In other group activities, shops up and down N Mississippi are hosting Small Shops, Big Hearts, another V-Day excuse to explore discounts (and champagne, trunk shows, and tarot readings) at some of the city finest and most beautifully curated spaces. Various locations, N Mississippi, Sat Feb 8 & Sun Feb 9, see individual shops for details
• In keeping with the theme, Tilde is offering 15 percent off storewide in honor of Cupid. Tilde, 7919 SE 13th, Sat Feb 8 & Sun Feb 9
• Palace, too, is throwing a heart-day sale with 20 percent off their selection of jewelry, perfume, hosiery, and lingerie—speaking of which, the event will also introduce Lonely Hearts lingerie to the shop, plus Portland Apothecary will be on hand with pre-arranged gift bundles. Palace, 828 SE 34th, Sun Feb 9, 11 am-7 pm