CURL YOUR HAIR and press your party pants, because this weekend abounds with two can't-miss fashion shows! First up is the debut of Adam Arnold's spring 2011 line for men and women. Always a landmark on Portland's fashion calendar, this collection was inspired by Arnold's reunion with a bolt of fabric circa 1986. Back then, as a 13-year-old writing letters expressing his desire to work for Esprit (they wrote back!) and obsessed with United Colors of Benetton ads, Arnold made himself a pair of pleated pants with the material, and now he's using that "excitement about clothing and colors" as a jumping-off point for a collection in which he's experimenting with looser fits, and "more skin than I ever have in my life."
The show, in which models will walk up and down the long worktable at which everything was made, will be soundtracked by an original track composed by DJ Beyondadoubt, with the Proper's Galen Amussen collaborating on hair and makeup, and accessories designed by Simon Lyle out of scrap metal. As always, Arnold's no-shoes studio party calls for festive hosiery, and the afterparty is set to take place at Arnold's new favorite watering hole: The H.P. Lovecraft-themed horror bar down the street named, appropriately enough, the Lovecraft. Adam Arnold Spring Show, Adam Arnold Studio, 338 SE MLK, Fri March 25, 7 pm, free
Downtown on Saturday night, at the newly reopened Portland Design Collective, Dawn Sharp, Heather Treadway, Pure Jewelry, and the Los Angeles line Vessels will present on the runway. "It was much inspired by Shakers," says Sharp of her fall 2011 line. "I kinda got turned on to them recently, and was reading and watching what I could. They believed in living each day as if it were your last, and yet doing every job as if you had a thousand years to complete it, thus giving details their due attention... The color scheme black, olive green, and almond, which is very muted for my usual taste, but the pieces make up a really concise family and the styles support each other. I'm really thrilled to present it live!"
Treadway, meanwhile, is deepening her specialization as a cape maker, with this batch borrowing from the concept of "the body as house. The cape is basically a tent worn over all other clothing, sometimes reaching the floor. I love the idea of thinking of yourself as your domicile, also the archetype of the gypsy, traveler, and nomad come to mind." Her capes will be accompanied by earthy, forest-inspired Pure Jewelry designed by Annie Montgomery. Not to be missed! A Fashion Show/Case, Portland Design Collective, 902 SW Morrison, Sat March 26, 8 pm, free