In many ways, summer is the most expressive and energetic season for Portland’s design companies. Pops of vibrant color and more adventurous silhouettes go part-and-parcel with the climate of our region, and summer-specific dresses open up a lot of opportunities for designers to experiment. This week’s lineup of lookbook releases doesn’t disappoint, especially in the categories of color, silhouette, and a consistent use of... fruit!
Celebrating her 10-year anniversary this month, Sarah Bibb from Folly released a lookbook shot by photographer Myles Katherine, featuring a bright citrus and pink color story along with a touch of moodiness exhibited by soft lavender and floral motifs. The spirit of Bibb’s company has always been inextricably linked with her vivacious and humorous personality—and for such elegant clothing, her social media campaigns are always fun and effortlessly charming. Making it 10 years is a serious accomplishment in this business, and it’s especially impressive to see Bibb continually reinvent her line in a way that’s true to her loyal fans, while pushing the print and color story into more adventurous realms. I’m also really loving the lookbook’s lemon cameo.
Fruit vibes also make a welcome appearance in One Imaginary Girl’s lookbook (again, shot by Myles Katherine), which features a bold, summery watermelon wedge. The lookbook shares with Folly’s an instrumental element that can’t be ignored: makeup by Gina Campbell of The Bird Bones. This artist’s Instagram is a wealth of inspiration and takes a visionary approach to makeup. Last year I urged Mercury readers to check Campbell out, and since then, she’s continued to push the medium in absolutely beautiful ways. It truly ups the game for independent designers in Portland when we see this kind of styling, hair, and makeup.
Next up: Northwest Portland-based brick-and-mortar houseline Betsy and Iya. This company blends refinement and modernity for a trend-setting, dynamic styling sensibility—and they do it every... damn... year. Nicholas Peter Wilson shot their newest lookbook, titled “Inti,” and the photos capture a stunningly tranquil desert landscape that’s lovely and evocative. As for the collection itself, Betsy and Iya have achieved a new level of metalsmithing that involves custom stone cutting and inlay, once again proving how this company breaks new ground with every collection.
The final lookbook in this roundup is from one of my personal favorite Portland-based companies, West Daily, designed and manufactured by Jason Calderon. Offering versatile looks for men and women, they take special care to be forthright about their process and their focus on sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices. Utilizing organic textiles and natural dye processes, this most recent collection blends modernity with eco-consciousness. Most impressive are the Calderon-designed jackets that are incredibly refined and beautifully tailored.