With the holidays over, the retail world is entering its slow period. New arrivals are coming into the stores at a mere trickle. The good news for shoppers, though, is that virtually every store is having a big sale. A casual jaunt down NW 23rd reveals a hefty sale at Elizabeth Street (635 NW 23rd), a healthier-than-usual amount of sale items at Seaplane (827 NW 23rd), and prices being slashed at The English Dept (724 NW 23rd)—where, according to co-founder Joy Cohen, one corner of the retail world is in full swing: bridal wear. It seems quite a few local couples decided to get hitched over the holidays, and are heading to this savvy boutique to find unfussy, chic trappings for the big day—mazel tov. Meanwhile the store is in the midst of planning for a runway show of their bridal looks, scheduled at the end of this month.

On the other side of town, Una (2802 SE Ankeny) is harboring one of Portland's best-kept secrets: three lovely, wool jersey dresses in black and forest green by Daniel McCall. Previously, McCall has dabbled in retail, with his last shop, No. 28, residing subtly in Morgan's Alley. Now Una is the only place in town where his minimalist, sensual designs can be found, and the dresses are soon to be joined by skirts he designed as a spin on a vintage Christian Dior design.

In fact, McCall says that all of his clothing draws from historical reference points. The dresses have a time-transcending air to them, with the closeness of the fit calling to mind the dress of a modern dancer. His style's deceptive simplicity is grounded in a labor-intensive process, and his pieces exist only in limited runs. (He is helped by assistant Jill Gregory.)

And, on the topic of transcending time, Denwave (811 E Burnside) kicked off their first monthly vintage sale last Friday, which will go down the first Friday of every month from here out. Mix and match vintage pieces with new designs in the store, such as the Berlin-based ADD line. While the female counterpart will be arriving at the store in a bit, ADD's men's line is available now. Big ups to Denwave for being one of the few stores seeking out interesting, underground lines of menswear in town, a distinction that will be celebrated in a menswear-only runway show later this spring. Finally, check out the newly opened Bombshell Vintage in the neighboring suite formerly occupied by Yes—it's vintage clothing without the clutter. Imagine that.

More cold means more clothes: marjorie@portlandmercury.com