Oh hell yes: Last Saturday's first official day of spring was a triumph of sunshine and balmy temps that bode extremely well for the next few months. And while the frugal, sensible thing to do right now is to scour through the sales bins of your favorite shops for cold-weather wear on deep discount (I feel no shame for pawing through the clearance racks like a squirrel looking for nuts), it's also hard to resist the siren song of the new spring and summer wares that are starting to appear as reinforcements. I'm personally obsessed with bustier tops, alone or as the bodice of a dress—look for local label Reif's version at Frank James (729 E Burnside, #103), or Pendleton/Opening Ceremony and Lover versions at Frances May (1013 SW Washington). It's also time again to consider the best options for men and summer footwear. Last year the closest I heard to a consensus was that espadrilles were the most comfortably ventilated, dignified alternative to flip-flops, but let's see if 2010 has any better ideas.
Portland designers are releasing their new work for the season too. Adam Arnold's well-attended grand opening studio party paused momentarily for a quick and impromptu runway show of his latest designs, including a bright, childlike print dress and satin knickers for women, and a Canadian tuxedo for the guys (pulled apart from the pants, the motorcycle-cut jacket in a perfect denim-blue fade is begging to be worn into the ground).
This Thursday evening, Barbara Seipp is hosting the launch of her new collection of Isaac Hers womenswear, "In Full Bloom." As the proprietor of Phlox (3962 N Mississippi), Seipp has a bird's eye view of what women look for when they shop for a dress, and she channels that into her clothing. For spring/summer 2010, she experimented by collaborating with a co-designer, Carly Phelps (although she returned to her solo work for the upcoming fall pieces). The result is a collection inspired by "the ethereal and musky beauty of the forest floor," of mainly dresses in blue, gray, red, and purple—simple silhouettes that flatter your shape and lend themselves to the effortless summer standby uniform of a dress, sandals, minimal accessories, and SPF. For the launch, where the collection will be available for first-crack purchasing, Linger & Quiet's Genevieve Dellinger will DJ the soundtrack to your adult beverage-assisted perusal. (Phlox, 3962 N Mississippi, Thurs March 25, 6-9 pm, free)
One final note as you start planning your warm-weather calendars: The Mercury's annual fashion show is on, and will take place on Friday, May 7, at the Bossanova Ballroom (722 E Burnside). We are very excited to provide a forum for new work from Portland designers including Janeane Marie, Reif, Dawn Sharp, Im:mortal, and many more. Look for all the details in upcoming issues of the Mercury and on MOD.