Seven-hundred-and-fifty people filled four floors of the Armory to capacity on Sunday, April 26, for Forecast—the fifth annual Mercury-sponsored fashion show. An enormous endeavor that showcased over 20 apparel and accessory designers from Portland, the show represented a huge range of looks for both men and women. With models traversing through a gauntlet of two choreographed elevators, three floors, and a long staircase just to complete one turn on the runway, it's a success in itself that not one model took a spill or missed their mark.
If any trends emerged from longtime fixtures (Elizabeth Dye, Emily Ryan, Adam Arnold, Holly Stalder, Kate Towers, Liza Rietz, Frocky Jack Morgan, Emily Katz) and the relatively new names in design (Dust, MothLove, John Blasioli, Gatsby, Smith and Bybee, La Merde, Hunt & Gather) it was an affection for muted, dusty colors and stripes (see photos at right).
The show also served to introduce some up-and-coming designers who had been selected by the Forecast jury from an open submission process: Adam Andreas' innovative menswear; Reif's scout-themed looks for men and women; Muntedkowhai's statement-making crocheted jewelry; Isaac Hers' tailored, ladylike womenswear; and textile designer Dana Bruington's bright, inventive prints—which were also employed by Adam Arnold for his portion of the show.
Speaking of which, Arnold—as usual—took the cake for the most bizarre presentation of the evening. How to explain: He sent out a single model in a papier-mâché egg-shaped car decorated with shards of mirrors. When she emerged, she was wearing an astonishing three-piece suit in one of Bruington's psychedelic prints, her eyes blacked out with creepy contact lenses and raccoon eye makeup, and a white wig. Then she sat cross-legged on the runway's platform eating a hardboiled egg with a spoon. "It just popped into my head," Arnold offered by way of explanation. Which explains a lot, actually.
In the gallery downstairs, accessories by Emily Baker, AK Vintage, Better Late Than Never, Rush Accessories, Tanner Goods, Cloud Society, and Pauper Voile hung decoratively from floor-to-ceiling ladders as partygoers bopped in between them and stopped in for free photo-booth snaps from Portland photographer (and Adam Arnold studio-mate) Christy Klep's Original Photo Booth.
As a co-producer of the event along with the inimitable Connie Wohn, Pamela Baker-Miller, and Brett Glass, I'd like to thank everyone from the Art Institute who volunteered to help us backstage, as well as the models and stylists whose poise and attention to detail was invaluable to the success of this production, emcee Wm. Steven Humphrey, DJ Beyonda, and video projectionist Travis Huntington. I hope it opened some eyes to the quality and quantity of amazing work being produced right here in our backyard. Let's do it again next year!
See more coverage of the event on mod.portlandmercury.com.