The sixth annual Mercury-produced fashion show is upon us! This Friday at the Bossanova, 12 Portland designers will show new work on the runway. Liza Rietz, Julia Blackburn (Dust), Heather Treadway, Rio Wrenn (R.A.W.), Adam Arnold, Janeane Marie, RUKI by Melanie Parr, Andy Lifschutz, Dawn Sharp, Barbara Seipp (Isaac Hers), Lindsey Reif, and Chelsea Erhart make up a terrific, diverse representation of what's happening here. There are seasoned artists who've shown work in Portland many times as well as new talent, and there's everything from lingerie to jewelry to streetwear.
The designers participating this year also represent myriad ways in which people might approach having an apparel business here, a city far from fashion's capitals, yet a destination for those seeking to build their careers on their own terms. Many of these designers' roots are in visual arts; some are taking wholesale orders and some produce only one of a kind; some of them show spring in spring and some of them operate along the conventional one-season-ahead fashion calendar. Some of them disregard the convention of seasonal collections altogether. Rather than try to manufacture a forced unifying theme, Open Season has become a celebration of this diversity, and the freedom that these artists represent.
In honor of the event we've put together these photos styled with clothing from many of the designers who will be presenting at the show, all of which are currently available—some of my favorite picks for spring and summer, with a few added touches. Like guns. Lots and lots of guns. We're declaring open season on Portland fashion. Let's go nuts.