To be honest, I do rather miss the drama of driving out to the creepy Swan Island shipyards for FashioNXT each fall, but last year's switch to a giant white tent (complete with the fancy kind of port-o-potties) certainly scores points in the convenience category. This week is also as real-deal as you can find in this city for a large-scale, "fashion week" experience, with shiny production value and an international roster of designers that is, yes, a little rando-seeming, but nonetheless exciting.

Tonight's debut, for instance, is the "China Moment" showcase of designers who hail from the manufacturing mecca of Shenzhen, China. The connection to Portland is still a murky one, but this is the second consecutive year that designers like the cashmere focused Song Hong have participated, so it's officially a relationship.

Further down the pike this week we have the UpNXT emerging designers contest (I'm a longtime judge, and the night also features last year's winner—whose work I adore—Myriam Marcela) tomorrow; a headlining new collection from Michelle Lesniak, whose Great Depression-inspired presentation (file under things that sound like a bad idea yet totally are not) at last year's event blew my mind; and a finale Saturday night featuring a trio of Project Runway vets, perhaps most notably including the widely adored Mondo Guerra.

Michelle Lesniak
  • Jeff Wong
  • Michelle Lesniak

I'll be attending and documenting each nigh of the shows, so check back daily for photos and reports. In the meantime, you can still grab tickets and join in the cabal, as well as check out this week's Sold Out column for more photos of some of my favorites looks from returning designers' collections last year.