BY THE TIME this issue hits the streets, the Mercury's 11th annual Open Season fashion series will be halfway over! Altar got things started on a sweltering Monday evening with their largest collection yet. Presented in four sections, the 41-look presentation moved through the summer and fall seasons, and included a capsule of their new foray into swimwear as well as a collaboration with textile artist Rio Wrenn of R.A.W., whose natural dyes and rusting techniques dovetailed beautifully with Altar's rocker-babe, boho edginess.
As a relatively new re-brand from designer Cassie Ridgway (now designing with partner Rachel Marie), who first made a name with the shop and in-house clothing line Mag-Big, the Altar woman continues to define herself as a customer with a fearless willingness to wear black year round, and a penchant for layering and floating, sexy sheer fabrics. Ridgway's always placed an importance on prints, and here we see the selection moving into moody floral, pops of red, and graphic motifs reminiscent of the album art for Unknown Pleasures. New experiments were also introduced, including a party-ready (or hey, why not the office?) flirtation with tulle and fringe, as well as a few variations on go-to black trousers.
As I write this, we prepare for a Tuesday night featuring the latest work from men's and womenswear designer Brady Lange, who's known for injecting whimsy and humor into impeccably constructed, casual streetwear (see his record of perfectly cut jeans and moto jackets in splashy pinks and cat-lady upholstery fabric). Be sure to check out blogtown.portlandmercury.com for photos of that sure-to-be-a-blast presentation.
Meanwhile, if you're reading this on Wednesday, you still have two evenings of opportunity to check out what some of the city's most interesting apparel talents are up to. Designers Lindsey Reif and Adam Arnold are set to finish out the second half: The Reif presentation will showcase looks for both the summer and fall, as well as pieces from the REIFBasik line of layering, lounge, and underpinning garments. Meanwhile, it's always a stimulating surprise to see what the artistic mind of Adam Arnold comes up with—expect nothing short of a psychedelic, unforgettable experience... at the Canton Grill, no less! Reif, Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, Wed June 17, 6 pm, $6-9; Adam Arnold, Canton Grill, 2610 SE 82nd, Thurs June 18, 6:30 pm, $6-9