THE MUSEUM of Contemporary Craft's Fashioning Cascadia exhibit is the gift that keeps on giving. In addition to the backbone of its contents, which present a moving picture of the modern history and challenges of apparel design and manufacture in the Pacific Northwest, there are additional contributions from a series of world-class artists and academics visiting from outside the community.
This week brings a visit from San Francisco artist Stephanie Syjuco, whose current work in fashion involves the history and use of dazzle camouflage—the WWI-era practice of painting confusing graphic patterns on battleships to throw off enemy aim—as it relates to present-day surveillance technology and fashion. Next week she'll be hosting a two-day workshop for those with the time and inclination: Participants will use remnants of mass-produced textiles to re-imagine ethnic prints, designing and sewing garments intended to confuse the eye, and then they'll be captured in a final photo shoot.
If the workshop seems like too much of a commitment, Syjuco will also be laying out some of these concepts in a free lecture at the museum on Thursday. If earlier programming is any indication, you can expect to have your mind slightly blown for the occasion, which also happens to be perfectly timed to coincide with the current mania for pattern mixing. CraftPerspectives Artist Talk: Stephanie Syjuco, Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis, Thurs June 12, 6:30-8 pm, free; Dazzle Camouflage Workshop: Design, Sew, and Disguise, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Fri June 20-Sat Jun 21, 10 am-5 pm, $175 (plus $75 lab fee), registration at pnca.edu
Meanwhile, there are some big changes underway yet again in Portland's vintage clothing scene. Eden and its attached bridal salon Eve in Eden have announced that they are closing at the end of this month. Owner Cindy Rokoff is taking a job at Swift in lieu of running the shop, which in addition to vintage clothing has been keeping magpies gawking with an impressive array of apothecary products, books, jewelry, art, antiques, and more, and will be dearly missed. Days later it was announced that Lulu's Vintage is also pulling up Portland stakes after first landing on SW Morrison way back in 2001. The shop has since moved to W Burnside, and will remain online, but its brick 'n' mortar location will reopen way the heck up in Spokane, Washington.
Luckily, new shops in Portland tend to open in more abundance than ones that close, and designer Michelle Lesniak's open house and trunk show (see "This Week's Style Events," this page, for details) seems to be an indication of her intention to open as a retailer this fall, though Lesniak is cagey about specifics. Another silver lining, too: Eden and Lulu's are having mega-sales until the doors are closed. Eden, 221 NW 11th, edenportland.com; Lulu's Vintage, 916 W Burnside, lulusvintage.com
• Summer sales are beginning in earnest. It's like the stores are getting hot and literally shedding their layers. A few that have caught our eye in the past week with their price slashing are Lille Boutique, which is discounting all their shoes for the month of June, as well as broad markdowns at Machus and Una. Keep your eyes peeled at your favorite haunts; chances are they're doing a little summer shedding, too. Lille Boutique, 1007 E Burnside, lilleboutique.com; Machus, 542 E Burnside, machusonline.com; Una, 922 SE Ankeny, unanegozio.com
• Michelle Lesniak is hosting an open studio, where visitors can buy direct from the designer (including unreleased items), peep her library of past collections (including the NY Fashion Week collection from her win on Project Runway), and get advice on fit and fashion straight from the source. 1123 SE Market, Fri June 13 & Sat June 14, 2-9 pm
• It feels good to be appreciated, and Shop Adorn goes out of its way to make their customers feel loved. The fourth annual Customer Appreciation Night features giveaways, deals, and summer cocktails. Shop Adorn, 4120 NE Fremont, Fri June 13, 6-9 pm