There's been rain, sun, and hail today—and all before lunchtime. As April rages on with its disorienting mash-up of drenching showers and sneak previews of summer, a new line inspired by the Portland rain emerges to fill a gap in the market. N°20 Rainwear is the inaugural collaboration between New York-based designer Mary Ping of Slow and Steady Wins the Race and the co-owners of Portland's Stand Up Comedy boutique, Rachel Silberstein and Diana Kim.
"It was a matter of not being able to find really nice-looking rainwear," Silberstein explains of the impetus. "We need it so badly here!" It's true that if you are amenable to rocking a sporty or fisher/hunter brand of chic then the options of rainwear are vast—but N°20 brings a new alternative to the table for women and men with its collection of ponchos, jackets, polyurethane-coated linen basics, and water-resistant shoes, one with an edgy credibility and conceptually modern eye.
Silberstein and Kim have carried Slow and Steady since they first opened shop, and the project also involves another favorite at the store, jeweler Arielle de Pinto, whose signature delicate strands of crocheted metals will be incorporated as drawstrings on some of N°20's limited-edition ponchos. (Adorable aside: Each of the line's ponchos is named for a waterfall in the Columbia Gorge.) With considerable cultural cachet on both coasts, N°20's initial run (produced in New York for starters, but there are plots afoot to continue production in Portland) will be available not only at Stand Up Comedy (where local shoppers will also be able to score store exclusives) but also at Opening Ceremony (New York and LA), Creatures of Comfort (LA), and 10 Corso Como (Seoul).
Thursday marks the official launch. In addition to the ponchos and shoes that will be available for purchase (every piece comes in three colors: red, black, and khaki), partygoers can also place pre-orders on pieces that will be worn by models milling in the crowd, and enjoy the piano playing of Luke Wyland from the gorgeously experimental Portland band Au. Suddenly the prospect of a little more rain seems much less of a bummer.... (Fourteen30 Contemporary, 1430 SE 3rd, Thurs April 16, 8-10 pm, RSVP 233-3382 or email@example.com)
More local fashion to be found at mod.portlandmercury.com!