The year-end issue of the Mercury (AKA The List Issue) would not be complete without the best and worst in Portland fashion. It was quite a landmark year here, with international press coverage of Portland Fashion Week, not to mention frequent nods to our designers and boutiques from the New York Times, Vogue, Nylon, and many more. It was also the year in which we saw an unprecedented rise in the number of new stores, which seemed to spring up every other week. Meanwhile, young designers who had come here to blossom began to make their way into the local consciousness, thriving in a design community that holds mutual support as one of its core fundamentals.
To wrap things up, I asked some of my favorite Portland tastemakers to weigh in on 2007—the good and bad—but before I hand it over to them, I'd like to submit my own brief assessment. My "best of 2007" moments: the return of the female waist; Adam Arnold's intimate fall runway show; Leanne Marshall's (of Leanimal) choice of Battles as runway music during Portland Fashion Week; the preponderance of orange; the arrival of Moth Love, Stand Up Comedy, IDOM, and Lille Boutique; the designer hoodie movement; living on the front lines of sustainable design; and the studio/retail hybrid space of Liza Rietz and a broken spoke.
The worst: the feeling that 2007 may turn out to have been too much growth, and too much attention at once.
Resolution: to support the stores, designs, and styles I believe in, with both word and wallet. (Also, to find the perfect corset belt.)
• Gray: "I'm in love with it... who isn't? There's a shade out there for every aspect of your wardrobe."—Gretchen Jones, designer, Moth Love
BEST NEW STORE
• Stand Up Comedy (811 E Burnside, Ste. 119): "Our new friends on E Burnside!"—Genevieve Dellinger, eponymous designer and co-owner of Denwave
BEST NOT-NEW STORE
• Una (2802 SE Ankeny): "A gem of a store tucked away and full of treasures."—Julia Barbee, designer, Frocky Jack Morgan
BEST LOCALLY DESIGNED PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE
• Adam Arnold's Geodesic Dome Dress (adam-arnold.com): "That took science, math, and one huge chunk of time to accomplish!"—Gretchen Jones
MOST STYLISH FILM
• Control: "Particularly the tucked-in gray shirts and loose trench coats on Sam Riley... timeless."—Genevieve Dellinger
• Ese Carnal (esecarnal.com): "My favorite designer for the year!"—Julia Barbee
• "Prada-style tights. (Who doesn't love a layered stirrup tight? Who!?) High waists, butt cracks may never see the light again, or for at least seven more years."—Gretchen Jones
• "The return of the wide leg and wedge heels. And the return of jeans that have what I call a 'sensible' or 'reasonable' rise in the back, but aren't super high. I love suspenders."—Katy Kippen, co-owner, Nolita
• "Sexy and feminine versions of stodgy '80s classics (i.e., high-waisted pants, batwings [sleeves], below-the-knee length skirts. Increasing volume, all around!"—Genevieve Dellinger
• "Lolita must die, at least for now... Just because baby dolls were in doesn't mean all women should try to be 12 again, so as 2007 closes I'm glad to see a refinement on the 'girly' happening again."—Gretchen Jones
• "Next year let's have some decaffeinated water at the fashion shows, please!"—Katy Kippen
• "The continuing evolution and popularity of the scarf." —Genevieve Dellinger
• "My favorite jewelry is Hazel Cox [of Denwave]"—Katy Kippen
BEST RUNWAY MOMENTS
• "Bald heads [at Adam Arnold's spring show], Kate Towers' bridal gown and Pinkham [Millinery] at Portland Fashion Week, Flutter's night for Frocky Jack Morgan."—Gretchen Jones
• "The pop-up men's hat from Dayna Pinkham at the Collections [during Portland Fashion Week]. Genius."—Katy Kippen