Native Fashion Now, the exhibition at Portland Art Museum that showcases apparel and accessories from contemporary Native American designers, ends September 4. So if you haven’t gone yet, I suggest you go now, or forever be the moron that lives with unbearable regret. PAM has hosted several lectures in conjunction with the exhibit, and will end the run with a bang with a two-part lecture series titled Critical Conversations: Native Fashion and Appropriation.
According to PAM, the conversation series “will bring together different regional design voices to offer personal reflections on what terms like ‘Native-inspired’ mean within the Northwest and larger fashion world.” Part I will take place on Thursday, August 25, and include Portland Monthly Style Editor Eden Dawn, Nike N7 Fund General Manager Sam McCracken, and other special guests. Part II will take place on Thursday, September 1, with guests Louie Gong and Sarah Agaton Howse of Eighth Generation.
A quick bit of background on each of these companies: The Nike N7 Fund began in 2000 by selling Nike products directly to Native American tribes to support health promotion and disease prevention programs. Seven years later, Nike designers started to collaborate with community and tribal leaders to develop footwear for the Native American community. In 2009, N7 expanded to include a collection that’s available for purchase by anyone. All proceeds from the sales of N7 products go to youth programs in Native communities across the country.
Eighth Generation is out of Seattle and is the first Native-owned company to produce wool blankets. It was founded in 2008 by Gong, a Native artist, activist, and educator, when he started customizing shoes in his living room, and has since expanded to include clothing, jewelry, and home décor.
In other words, these people know their shit—and you should go and hear what they have to say.
Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, Thurs Aug 25 & Thurs Sept 1, 6:30 pm, $19.99 (includes museum admission)
Fade to Light: A Multidimensional Fashion Event is a semi-annual fashion show encouraging designers to think outside the box with their runway presentations. This summer edition will feature new collections from Adelheid Bergin, MOORE, Sara Bergman, Veil and Valor, Wendy Ohlendorf, West Daily, and SEARCH3R, a special collaborative collection designed by Altar Houseline, Michelle Lesniak, and Wolf Child. (Full disclosure, I’m the executive producer of this event.)
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, Wed Aug 24, 8 pm, $10-75, all ages
The curated Urban Air Market is returning to Portland for the third year with their outdoor marketplace focused on sustainable design. The venue has changed from Zidell Yards to a spot in the Pearl District, and the event boasts more than 70 designers, musicians, and artists from the Portland area, with some representing Washington and California. A peek at their list of vendors brought up names I’m not familiar with—but it looks like a great way to check out independent makers and artists who work beyond the boundaries of Portland.
NW 13th & Hoyt, Sun Aug 28, 11 am-6 pm, free
Portland designers collaborating with local dance companies is nothing new. Adam Arnold created costumes for Oregon Ballet Theatre’s The Lost Dance in 2012, and Mercury fashion columnist Cassie Ridgway of Altar Houseline recently made costumes for NW Dance Project. She’s continuing that relationship by curating a group of designers for Collection, a fundraiser for NW Dance Project featuring 11 looks worn by the dancers. Makers include Amelia, Sarah Bibb for Folly, Hovden Formal Farm Wear, Michelle Lesniak, MOORE, Piper Dalton, Rogue:Minx, Sonia Kasparian, Tellurian Fieldwear, West Daily, and of course Altar Houseline. Dancers will perform and interpret the aesthetics and music of each designer against the backdrop of the Hotel Modera’s living wall, with food and wine supplied by Nel Centro. The price is steep, but half of the ticket cost is tax-deductible, and the opportunity to see a group of talented designers collaborate with a dance company on this scale doesn’t come around often.
Nel Centro at Hotel Modera, 1408 SW 6th, Sat Sept 10, 5:30 pm, $100
These are just a few of the events happening in the coming weeks, and tons more will pop up, so as always, be sure to visit portlandmercury.com for complete weekly style event updates. Got a fashion event? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.