Now that's what I like to see. In the midst of instability, Sarah Wallace's Lucia Apparel (424 NW 11th) is coming to the finish line of its first year in business as a storefront. Beyond the triumph of surviving a climate where so many have shut their doors, the fact that the store's first year was so dismal will no doubt serve as a valuable learning experience, if we are to believe that there really is medicine in all suffering. To celebrate, the store—which carries easy-to-wear, demurely feminine, versatile apparel for women of broadly ranging age and size—is staying open late for First Thursday, where the music and wine will flow as shoppers take advantage of sale prices and a raffle for gift certificates to Lucia as well as loot from neighboring boutiques, with five percent of all profits from the week benefiting the American Cancer Society. (Thurs June 4, 4-9 pm)
Wallace is one of the founders of the Filo garment factory (perhaps the most exciting of the smattering of garment production houses springing up in Portland to meet the growing desire to fulfill a locavoric approach to consumption), and her partner May Tee is also having a moment this week. Parallel (1022-A NW Johnson) is breaking in its brand-new location (and its one-year anniversary as well!) with a trunk show of May Tee's latest looks from her eponymous line of architectural-but-subtle, super-sophisticated womenswear—in other words, what you want to wear when you grow up. (Fri June 5, noon-8 pm)
Apparently taking the local fashion scene by storm, both Tee and Wallace were represented at a recent presentation from a group of local industry figures who traveled to the Hunan province of China to spread the cheer of indie Portland design to a culture dominated by mass production. While specifics on how a collaboration between the two communities will play out, plans are in the works for a runway show in Portland of design talent from abroad. Stay tuned for details as things shape up.
In the meantime, those itchin' for a fashion show will have the opportunity to experience one with a—wait for it—swing dance theme. "Swingin' Catwalk" is part dance party, part runway event that is the co-produced brainchild of Portland designer Christa Taylor (Christa-Taylor.com) and Stumptown Dance's Larry Peacock. Based on the inarguable observation that vintage-inspired looks are popular among the swingin' (not that kind!) set, the inaugural event may become a recurring one, in which other PDX designers will have the opportunity to see their work in action as the model/dancers demonstrate their prowess on the floor. (Scottish Rite, 1515 SW Morrison, Sun June 7, 9:30 pm, $12)