HARD TO BELIEVE that this will be the sixth year of Content at the Ace Hotel. Back before she won Project Runway in 2010, moved to New York, moved back from New York, designed for Pendleton, and quit Pendleton, Gretchen Jones helped cook up a scheme that became a model for the annual event.
Originally conceived to spotlight Portland's emerging designers of apparel and accessory brands, Content is a curated series of live art/fashion installations that transform an entire floor of rooms in the downtown hotel. It's a night of revelry and multimedia inspiration from more than 20 of the city's young creative brands (some of their work is pictured here). Over the years, it's taken on a life of its own under the Ace's custodianship, growing in scope to include pattern and floral designers, ceramicists, perfumers, and more. The Ace opened up participation with an public call for proposals this year, bringing in unexpected twists, like a room featuring a recently arrived hair sculptor from New York City (Joanne Petit-Frere) whose work is like nothing you've seen before at this event. Or, how about a collaboration between artist Damien Gilley and the cannabis-infused ice cream company Drip Ice Cream?
As different as this year's Content may be, some things will stay the same: The event will have an accompanying pop-up shop in the adjacent Cleaners event space, helmed by Sarah Radcliffe of Yo Vintage!. Content, Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark, Sat Nov 14, 5-10 pm, $15-20
The day after Content marks the return of a much different event, the fourth annual Portland Fashion and Style Awards. (That's a technical number. The PFSAs have been under current management for three years, who don't claim the first year's event on their website.) As a well-intentioned event aimed at spreading good vibes and appreciation among the communities of Portland's fashion and style industries, it's been called out for being out of touch with its nominations—probably most loudly by me, which is why I felt like I couldn't refuse when I was asked to weigh in as one of this year's judges.
Though it wasn't as hands-on as I'd hoped—I would have appreciated a dialogue among judges and the chance to argue a case for our nominations, and there are still some misspellings and inconsistencies in the mix—it's a sincere effort to promote morale in a sometimes catty scene, so take it for what it's worth (a chance to dress up like it's prom night, if nothing else). Portland Fashion and Style Awards, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, Sun Nov 15, 5 pm, $35-150