In the dog days of summer, it's hard to get Portlanders to do anything serious. After months of drizzle, all you want to do is flop down at the river, and not wear anything you couldn't go running through a sprinkler in. It is appropriate, then, that we find ourselves confronted with Rock the Runways, one of these rock party/fashion show fusions that have become so prolific. Indeed, show organizer Tod Foulk explains the choice of rock 'n' roll as theme as, "just because it's so fun, and nobody will take it as seriously as some other runway shows."

That may be, but the show, which actually incorporates three separate runway events, does include a serious representation from one of fashion's most ghettoized contingents: plus-size fashions. Organized by Skorch magazine, the first of the three runway events is VIP only, and features an international roster of designers making clothing for women size 12 and up, as well as a lineup of models that includes Diana Zalewski of America's Next Top Model—Cycle Eight, Ivory May, known as an international plus-size supermodel, and Rasha Spindel Chapman, who appeared on the couples' edition of The Biggest Loser. Designers are represented from as far away as England (Anna Scholz) and Canada (Fashion Overdose), as well as local company Curvy Girl Clothing.

Jessica Reese, who co-founded the Vancouver-based Skorch in January along with partner Carrie Woomer, says they are able to command heavy hitters in the industry partly because of a lack of competition—MODE magazine, the only widely popular Vogue-like magazine aimed at plus-size women, went under shortly after 9/11, leaving its audience without a replacement. Skorch is one of just a handful of internet publications helping to meet the demand. (The Venue, 2808 NE MLK, Fri July 20, Skorch show 8 pm, $35—includes dinner, drinks, and dessert; general admission shows at 9 & 10 pm, $20 or $15 with can of food)

Meanwhile, Dragonlily (1740 SE Hawthorne) is holding a trunk show featuring new designs from eco-friendly, local Tinctoria and San Francisco's Cara Ucci. Also enjoy 15 percent off the entire store, free wine and chocolate, tarot readings, and head, neck, and shoulder massages. (Thurs July 19, 5:30-8:30 pm, RSVP at 234-LILY)

See you at the river: