As I mentioned in last week's Sold Out column [Jan 17], the Museum of Contemporary Craft is currently hosting two interesting jewelry shows, Framing: The Art of Jewelry and Touching Warms the Art. This week, local apparel designers are presenting a runway show of apparel responding to the Touching exhibit, titled "Action/Re-Action."
The lineup of participating designers is formidable: Holly Stalder, Adam Arnold, April Melnick (of Antidomestic), Emily Katz, Emily Ryan, Genevieve Dellinger, Liza Rietz, Leanne Marshall (of Leanimal), Julia Barbee (of Frocky Jack Morgan), Kate Towers, Elizabeth Dye, and Gretchen Jones (of Moth Love) are all on the roster of participants. Appropriately enough, the show is presented in conjunction with UltraPDX, and curated by editor and founder Lisa Radon, whose online publication's primary preoccupation is "those points of intersection between the applied arts and fine art."
Giving the designers a long leash, they were asked to create a look that could either be worn with a particular piece in the exhibit, simply inspired by the chosen piece, a response to the show in general, or simply the product of a meditation on jewelry—a format so nebulous that were it placed in the hands of designers less proficient, may have been dangerously aimless territory. However, given the past work of those involved, I'm optimistic about the results, all the more so because the show takes place with one foot solidly in the realm of visual art—relieved of some of the pressure that comes with ensuring a piece is wearable and part of a marketable collection. This gives the participants free reign to be creative, and gives the audience a chance to witness a little local couture.
With only 12 designers, and one piece submitted by each, the show will be brief, but dense with ideas and experimentation. (Action/Re-Action, The Lab at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis, Wed Jan 30, 7 pm, $10)
Looking to the future, don't forget to send in your submission to the jury for the next Mercury fashion show on April 20 at the Wonder Ballroom! Send in a portfolio introducing yourself as a designer, and your methods and influences, plus examples of your work, in photographs or samples. Be creative—the show is set up so that participating designers will have a standing installation, as well as a runway show. It's a great opportunity to get your designs the attention they deserve. Send in your portfolios to the Portland Mercury c/o Marjorie Skinner, 605 NE 21st, Ste. 200, Portland, OR 97232 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of February.