New York City is abuzz after kicking off the first of the major fashion weeks (featuring ready-to-wear collections for spring/summer '08), and the enthusiasm seems to have rippled our way. A cluster of fashion events is going down this week in Portland—albeit a distinctly mellower schedule of runway to-dos. While it should be noted that Portland has carved out a place for itself on the greater fashion circuit, with Portland Fashion Week picking up the baton after LA's fashion week concludes next month, Portland's typical runway event is more party than industry. In contrast to traditional shows, for which designers spend extravagantly to present their collections to editors, buyers, and clients, here you will more than likely pay an admission, with the understanding that a fashion show is entertainment, or at least spectacle.
This week, you can get a good look at the fall offerings of seven boutiques along N Mississippi at Flourish, a fashion show taking place as part of the monthly Mississippi Social event. With the diverse lineup of stores, chances are high that you'll find something that suits your style. Presenting are Phlox (a very feminine boutique, carrying lines like Corey Lynn Calter, Tibi, and Three Dots), Gypsy Chic (bohemian, international pieces made for the backpacking world traveler), Sameunderneath (sharp, casual streetwear for men and women), Pin Me Apparel (a mix of classic and trendy womenswear and accessories; Pin Me always has a treasure trove of comfortable and flattering pieces), Blue (an eclectic mix of casual Ts and sneakers, plus some vintage and local lines), Amalee (a gratifyingly inexpensive selection of on-trend womenswear), and Black Wagon (kids' clothes for cool parents). Accompanied by Mr. Mu Mu acting as DJ, and the Mercury's own Wm. Steven Humphrey acting as emcee, the event's proceeds go to the Historic Mississippi Business Association and Albina Youth Opportunity School. (Corner of N Mississippi & Beech, Thurs Sept 13, 6 pm, $2 suggested donation)
Meanwhile, Lindsay Garcia and Heidi Parsitt of Ziva Salon have put together a fashion show to benefit local conservation organization Ecotrust they're calling the Eco Style Fashion Show. Using it as an opportunity to show off their hairstyling skills, Ziva will feature removable extensions dyed with natural temporary hair dye on models sporting looks from the ubiquitous Sameunderneath, Someone Clothing, and Le Rouge, as well as Art Institute of Portland graduate Diana Pingul. Aside from Sameunderneath's bamboo fiber clothing, sustainable catered food, and the natural hair dye, the production isn't super sustainable, but it should bring in a good haul for the environmental champion it benefits. Oh, and another motivation? Your ticket price includes a $50 gift certificate to the salon! (Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center, 721 NW 9th, 2nd Floor, Sun Sept 16, 6 pm show, doors and refreshments, 5 pm, $25)
The third and final show happening this week is the Mario's Fashion Gala (833 SW Broadway). Benefiting the Portland Art Museum, this is your chance to see the big names in fashion on a catwalk without leaving town. The production values and hobnobbing opportunities come at a price, however. (Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, Wed Sept 19, 6:30 pm, $175-275)
Off the runways, Bishops is celebrating the opening of its brand-new salon (with nail services and a cocktail bar!). It's a White Party, with attendees encouraged to come dressed in white, and serving white food and drinks—this is definitely a place and a party to check out. (Bishops, 1011 NW Everett, Thurs Sept 13, 7-10 pm; w/afterparty at the Chesterfield, 1101 E Burnside)
Finally, if you're looking to snap up some end of summer deals, do not miss the annual PDX Collective Warehouse Sale. Participating boutiques will be offering 50-70 percent off, so get there early, because it's going to be a madhouse. Two stores located in Hood River (Parts + Labour and Jewelry by Cari) join locals Shoefly, Nolita, Physical Element, Bubble Boutique, Pin Me Apparel, Phlox, and Moxie. Happy hunting. (Apotheke, 1314 NW Glisan, #2A, Sat Sept 15, 11 am-6 pm)
Keeping busy in the boonies: firstname.lastname@example.org