ROUNDING OUT what has been a long and stimulating summer for Fashioning Cascadia—the Museum of Contemporary Craft's exhibit focusing on apparel—comes Drew Cameron, the last of the show's artists-in-residence. Cameron's work, as co-founder of the Combat Paper Project, has less to do with "fashion," in the usual sense of the word, than any of his predecessors.
One of the museum's strengths is its ability to facilitate an approach to objects from a variety of perspectives, and one of the recurring threads in the Fashioning discussion is how clothing becomes imbued with the experiences of the wearer. For Cameron, this relationship between wearer and worn is particularly poignant when applied to the uniforms of soldiers.
"The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat, and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms," wrote Cameron in 2007, the year after he returned from his own service in the Army. "The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful, is our inspiration."
With co-founder Drew Matott, Cameron began Combat Paper to teach veterans how to transform their uniforms into handmade paper, shredding the garments and beating them into a fibrous pulp. Based in San Francisco, Combat has three other "affiliate paper mills" in the States, and they've traveled to give workshops as far away as Northern Ireland and Kosovo.
In addition to the therapeutic potential of repurposing military uniforms into a means of self-expression, Combat Paper's mission is also to facilitate a "much-needed" conversation between veterans and civilians. Which may explain why Cameron's making an appearance at a craft museum exhibit that has been largely concerned with the economies of manufacturing, consumption, and the aesthetics of utilitarianism.
As with previous participants, Cameron will present an artist's talk, which promises to be a fascinating look at his experiences as a combat veteran and activist. Additionally, those who wish to delve deeper can join him for a two-day workshop during which they will transform garments into paper as well as learn the art of pulp printing, in which mesh stencils are used to print the paper as it is dried, fusing the image and material. More casually, the public is invited to drop in anytime during Cameron's residency with an article of clothing, help break it down, tell its story, and allow it to become part of a collection of "portraits."
Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis, Drew Cameron residency now through Aug 21; artist's talk Thurs Aug 14, 6:30 pm, free; continuing education workshop Fri Aug 22-Sat Aug 23, mocc.pnca.edu for complete info
• Una owner Giovanna Parolari is positively smitten by the work of Portland ceramicist Brad Mildrexler, and "beyond excited" to launch a show of his work at her shop. As one of the city's most highly regarded tastemakers, her recommendations ought to be considered. Una, 922 SE Ankeny, Thurs Aug 14, 5-8 pm
• One of the coolest shops for kids' fashion, Black Wagon, is celebrating an impressive eight years of business with snow cones (containing New Deal boozes for the adults), giveaways, and more. Black Wagon, 3964 N Mississippi, Thurs Aug 14, 6-9 pm
• Bet you didn't see this coming: Starting this week and through September 26, downtown's John Fluevog store will host free Friday morning Pilates classes with the Art of Movement's Ameena Lacey. Now you can truly combine your love of fitness with your love of shoes. Be sure to RSVP at the store before you go, as space is limited. John Fluevog, 1224 SW Stark, Fridays, 9:45-10:45 am, free w/RSVP, through Sept 26
• Summer is for outdoor activities, for which some clothes are better than others. The Salute to Summer party and fashion show brought together by Next Adventure and Deschutes Brewery focuses on outerwear looks for 2015, plus party favors like an "extreme" photo booth and free custom pint glasses for the first 200 guests. Grand Central, SE 8th & Morrison, Fri Aug 15, 9:30 pm
• Nationale is hosting a pop-up shop featuring the Brooklyn-based Massif Central, which produces limited-edition silk scarves by contemporary artists whose works is typically removed from an apparel context. This week marks the opening reception, but the collection will be featured at the shop/gallery through August 23. Nationale, 811 E Burnside, Sat Aug 16, 6-8 pm
• Destiny's Style vintage market pops up every Sunday in front of Valentines, representing a coalition of vendors (Milk Money, Drank Sinatra, World Clique, Zero Wave, Moonfossil, Thread and Roses). They specialize in '80s and '90s gear, plus there are a smattering of new wares, such as jewelry by 3 Caves. Valentines, 232 SW Ankeny, Sundays, 2-6:30 pm