TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Get everything mended and dry-cleaned. Maybe trim your hair. Okay, are you ready for Portland Fashion Week? Because it's coming, whether you like it or not. And in as much as this little town can muster, that means a mini-maelstrom of fashion events to be crammed into the next week and beyond. And while I may be one of the only people in town for whom this time of year more or less utterly consumes their schedule, anyone with a passing interest in the local industry (and local industry in general) would do well to keep aware of the upcoming proceedings.

Kicking off on Wednesday, October 7, and running through October 11, this year's schedule includes a healthy number of companies from outside Portland, with lines from Sweden, New Zealand, France, and Pakistan representing alongside Pacific Northwesterners. There are a few returning stars from years past, perhaps most notably Anna Cohen, who is returning with the Imperial Collection after a brief hiatus from the industry. Headlining the final night's showcase of sustainably focused designs, the line's production was funded in part by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture! There will also be a matinee show dedicated to cycling fashion, called "Ready to Roll," and always welcome new looks from favorites like Idom and a re-vamped Michelle DeCourcy.

Things will get going on Wednesday with a series of active-wear lines to warm things up (pun intended) called "Moving Fashion." Perhaps not the most scintillating premise for a fashion show, true, but I'm generally in favor of the wool designs of Icebreaker, and am anxious to see the Swedish equestrian gear (why not?) on offer from Gersemi. Defyance and Tony Dimitri will hold down the menswear, while Bend's NelliDru Design will make its first formal introduction.

The Mercury will be covering every night of the shows, of course, and you can follow along at mod.portlandmercury.com, where you will find (increasingly unhinged) commentary, in addition to smashing photographs of all the looks by the inimitable Minh Tran. See you at the shows! (Portland Fashion Week runs Oct 7-11 at Vigor Industrial Shipyards, 5555 N Channel. See portlandfashionweek.net for full schedule and event information.)