THE RESULTS ARE IN. After poring over the submissions for this year's Mercury Open Season fashion show—our eighth annual!—the lineup has been determined. We strive for diversity with this showcase of Portland design talent—the event takes its name from the fact that we don't require participants to show a spring or fall collection, allowing us to include designers who work on a variety of production schedules. This year we'll be presenting apparel, handbags, and jewelry, and mixing long-established names on the scene with new (or new to Portland) projects.
Dawn Sharp, Sara Bergman, Reif, and Isaac Hers will be familiar name to anyone who saw last year's shows, and we're very excited to be able to work with them again in presenting their new collections. Julia Barbee also returns to the fold after several years, some of them spent in Los Angeles. As you may recall, Barbee (then designing under the name Frocky Jack Morgan) wowed audiences at the show back in 2007, with a stunning display in which the model sat perched at the top of a tall ladder with a massive skirt cascading down all the way to the floor. Of late Barbee's been concentrating more on the accessories in her repertoire, including dramatic rings, belts, and headpieces—expect her to lend some theatricality to the runway.
Another trusted name we're thrilled to include is Haunt, the collective comprising longtime Portland design legend Holly Stalder and Rachael Donaldson of Demimonde Jewelry (Laura Irwin also joins them at their shop of the same name). We'll also be introducing you to some talent you may never have seen before, like the dramatic jewelry designed by Jesseca McCloskey for her Jesseca Anne line (she formerly designed as Paper Treasure), and the work of From the Reliquary, which is inspired by "relics from long-buried eras." It's also a strong year for leather designs, and the show will feature work from handbag line Martine as well as Siljan, the in-house accessory line from the people who opened an online shop and studio of the same name this past year, specializing in Scandinavian designs.
Finally, we are very excited to feature Shadow Sisters, another collective from artist and musician Sarah Gottesdiener, Galerie Salome art director Laura Das Liebe, and musician and fashion student Nancy Shevlin. Save the date! It all goes down on Saturday, May 12 at Sandbox Studio, and you won't want to miss it.