I’m back with another spring/summer roundup, and truth be told, this is my favorite time of year for lookbooks. That’s because the heart of many/most Portland lookbooks is the perfect dress. Dresses are a keelson of fashion and styling, but they’re also a little less accessible during those winter months (for those who haven’t figured out how to layer, duh). Needless to say, spring/summer is the time when apparel companies in Portland really shine—especially those ready-to-wear designers who are working tirelessly to produce smaller batches of unique garments for all you beautiful babes.
This week’s roundup has a salient color story I’d describe as “ultra-blue” or “ultra-marine.” It’s one of those colors that comes around every six to eight years and scratches an itch we didn’t know we had. It reads as a “neutral fluorescent”—which may be one of the strangest phrases I’ve ever written, but it’s true. This color appears natural to the eye, yet glows with electricity.
Our first ultra-blue dress in this roundup comes from Hubris, the flagship line for Union Rose in Montavilla. This line has been making beautiful staple elements in XS-3XL (with custom-made pieces available outside of that range). Designer Rita Hudson-Evalt has an eye for silhouette, and wearing her clothing doesn’t require much work: Put a Hubris garment on, pair it with a chunky necklace, and voilà! Done! You look beautifully put together. The ultra-blue dress from Hubris has a gorgeously contoured fit with sleeve coverage (my favorite) that looks regal and chic.
The next ultra-blue dress I love is one of the few ready-to-wear looks from bridal designer Stephanie Mai Apparel. While looking through her SS18 lookbook, I was stopped in my tracks by the sudden pop of ultra-blue lace on a deep V-neck bodycon dress that looks sexy and sophisticated. I could see it styled with a blazer for an eye-catching and classic evening look. The sophistication of contouring in the seams is definitely coming through with this design.
Another colorway we’re seeing in full effect is one I’ve also been obsessively sewing with, and have been calling “turmeric” (or in the privacy of our sew room: “Dijon Nasty”). Despite its weirdness, the fashion world is completely in love with this color. Its warmth invokes ’60s mod vibes, paired with a vibrancy that still feels natural and understated. Somehow this color checks all the boxes for those who love yellow, gold, brown, metallic, pastel, and earth tones. It’s doing a lot! Sarah Bibb of Folly has hit us with another classic piece in this sought-after color with one of those “everything” dresses that can be worn all year long in a million ways and not go out of style in our lifetime.
We’ll also be seeing plenty of separates from local companies, and the effortless wearability of elastic-waisted pants will be blending your leisure garb with a more put-together look defined entirely by luscious textiles. May and Mary apparel’s SS18 lookbook hits the mark with a hand-dyed, super luxe modal jogger that can seamlessly transition from day to evening. This is an easy addition to your warmer weather wardrobe because it’s utilitarian to the core, but won’t make you look like you’ve quit trying.
Nothing is complete without styling components. One of the SS18 jewelry lookbooks that caught my eye is from Claire Green Jewelry. Just when I think I’m done with geometric jewelry motifs, a company comes along and makes them more modern, pronounced, minimal, and breathtaking than before. I love what I’m seeing from this line: elements that read like surrealist art with asymmetrical components, and floating shapes affixed to settings in ways that levitate on the wearer. This jewelry designer somehow grasps elements of modernity in a wearable, relatable way. This jewelry will be easy to style, and blends metals so the wearer doesn’t have to “pick a lane” with their tone of jewelry.
That’s it for this week’s roundup, but rest assured I’ll be keeping us in the know all summer long with the latest styles, fresh from the newest Portland lookbooks!