There was a time not too long ago when it seemed a little lonely covering Portland fashion. When the local publications made their cuts under recession-induced duress, many of them sacrificed their dedicated coverage of the scene, and many freelancers regrouped and redirected their focus. Karen Vitt has been in and out of Portland fashion for years, covering it for various publications, before finally starting up her own online clearinghouse for shopping and fashion news, the Neat Sheet.
Technically the Neat Sheet has been around for months, but this Friday sees its official launch, with a runway show of the latest looks from Portland boutiques—Popina Swimwear, Mabel and Zora, Parallel, Physical Element, Idom, Moulé, Lizard Lounge, Solestruck, and Oh Baby, plus vendors selling accessories, art, and beauty products. Two to keep an eye out for in particular are the swimwear by Popina and new work by Idom. Popina is gearing up to open a new location in the Pearl District this coming November, after which they will be able to lay claim as the largest women's swimwear store north of Southern California. Meanwhile, Modi Soondarotok of the Idom store and clothing line will be debuting her latest collection of fall/winter 2010 pieces. Previews of which show that her knack for modern, sculptural statement dresses continues to progress, from a simple velvet number in traffic-stopping raspberry to the awesome draping and meticulous construction of pleats and rosettes. (Up in the Air, Hotel deLuxe rooftop, 729 SW 15th, Fri July 9, 6 pm, $10)
This week also sees a visit from native Portlander and current New Yorker Jené DeSpain. Touring behind the launch of her latest jewelry collection, Black Honey, DeSpain will hold court at a trunk show being thrown by Pin Me Apparel, who along with Radish Underground carry DeSpain's work. Of Black Honey, she says, "It is for women who embrace rebellious sexiness and demand jewelry that captures individual expression." Read what she has to say about leaving Portland for America's fashion capital and more on mod.portlandmercury.com. (Jené DeSpain trunk show, Pin Me Apparel, 3705 N Mississippi, Fri July 9, 4-7 pm)