IT'S FRUSTRATING—certainly not as easy as it should be—to find garments that will truly last. Coats and hats are one thing, but dresses, tops, pants... it's hard to avoid a shelf life.
When people talk about Jesse Kamm and her eponymous line of womenswear, they use terms like "trendless" and "ageless"; it's clothing that moves with you through seasons and years. They're a reflection of the Los Angeles designer's values, design and otherwise. Her style is warm, receptive to unaltered natural elements, and simple, verging on spare. When interviewed about her own collecting habits, Kamm reveals an approach that's almost entirely flea market-based, and while the irony of being an environmentally aware person producing consumable items doesn't escape her, there's a softening in the idea that up until the garments leave her hands she's imbued them with the intention of longevity.
This can read as uninteresting at first glance. A Kamm garment should be given a chance on the body. The garments are loose and can sometimes be worn in subtly different ways, taking their shape from the wearer. Pieces often look dramatically different from one woman to another.
This week, Kamm, whose work has been stocked at Frances May since 2011, is making her first visit to Portland, for a trunk show of pieces from the spring/summer 2015 collection, including exclusive new colorways. Frances May, 1003 SW Washington, Thurs May 14, 5-8 pm
Save room for the REIFhaus trunk show, too! The newest batch from one of the city's most beloved designers, a collection called "Palmera," is heavy on lightweight denim and linen for the spring and summer season in "versatile separates, easy rompers, and perfect summer dresses."
Milk Milk Lemonade—headquarters of OLO Fragrance and home to sundry apothecary and design curios—will host shopping through the weekend, but be sure to hit the kickoff party to hobnob with designer Lindsey Reif, who can walk you through the collection with a personal touch. Milk Milk Lemonade, 1407 SE Belmont, opening party Fri May 15, 6-9 pm, Fri May 15-Sat May 16, 11 am-6 pm, Sun May 17, 11 am-4 pm