LET'S START with the least mysterious happenings first: Britt Howard, founder of the Portland Garment Factory (PGF), has announced a rebranding and reorganization of the factory's in-house clothing line. Co-designed by Howard and PGF partner Rosemary Brensen, the HouseLine collection achieved international cult popularity. Retooled under the name Howard, this is Britt's own line of womenswear, and it promises many of the same design principles: "A woman can take the longest step in it, she can romp around, play, get wrinkly... That moment when attitude, body language, and expression merge with the clothes—this is the essence."
It's mildly mysterious who goes online to nominate the salons, stylists, boutiques, and designers for the Portland Fashion & Style Awards' people's choice nominations (it takes a minute!), but thanks to whoever nominated the Mercury under "Best Fashion Publication." Other nominations of note: FashioNXT's Tito Chowdhury for "Best Fashion Show Producer," Amelia for "Best Boutique (NE)," and Seth Aaron for "Best Male Fashion Designer." I've been critical of the awards in the past, so this year I've been enlisted to help with the judging... stay tuned for the release of the judges' nominees, with winners announced at the annual ceremony, taking place November 15.
This week's biggest mystery is Portland Fashion Week's strategy of withholding information about its designer lineup, releasing it online just before press time—familiar names on the roster are few and far between, and include Betty Jean Couture and Ellington Handbags. Perhaps there's a clue embedded in the statement they attached to a recent Facebook post: "Portland Fashion Week prefers to showcase emerging and nascent fashion designers and giving them a start as opposed to showcasing established talent just to look better ourselves." Portland Fashion Week, 3333 NW Industrial, Thurs Oct 1-Sun Oct 4, 9 pm, $25-125 daily
• Orox Leather Co. is celebrating the third anniversary of their brick 'n' mortar operation, with free leather coasters (while they last), drinks, music, and a raffle for either a Dopp kit bag or purse. Orox Leather Co., 450 NW Couch, Thurs Oct 1, 5-9 pm
• The new West End location of Wildfang officially celebrates its opening, with Natasha Kmeto on DJ duty, a goodie bag gift with purchases made during the event (featuring products from RVCA and Herschel Supply Co., among others, as well as a copy of Kmeto's new Inevitable album), and dranks from PBR and Union Wine. Wildfang, 404 SW 10th, Thurs Oct 1, 7-10 pm
• WeMake Celebrates is an annual fundraiser for the nonprofit WeMake, which has raised $30,000 for arts and music education so far. They have brought in a ton of interesting participants as keynote speakers and workshop leaders for the two-day event. These include: Australian commercial illustrator Gemma O'Brien, whose typography clients include Heinz, Smirnoff, and the New York Times; OMFGCO's Jeremy Pelley and Fritz Mesenbrink (Ace Hotel, Stumptown, Google); and New York's Memories of a Girl I Never Knew designer/art director/Instagram artist Timothy Goodman. Plus, appearing on the conference's maker panel are Sam Huff of Tanner Goods and Mazama, Phloem Studio furniture designer Ben Klebba, betsy & iya jewelry mogul Betsy Cross, and Lisa Jones of Pigeon Toe Ceramics. The Armory, 128 NW 11th, Fri Oct 2 & Sat Oct 3, $250, wemakepdx.com