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November 1st, 2007

Portland Fashion Week, Take Two: The Collections

There have been multiple times when I have been proud to be part of the ever-expanding fashion scene conceived on the beautiful streets of Portland, Ore.   Not only is this a great city with artsy flair, but our independence when it comes to this particular expression is as inspiring as it is unique.  Needless to say, “The Collections” showcase at Portland Fashion Week did not let me down.

There were 10 local designers who composed "The Collections" list for the evening, which showed everything from wedding gowns to men’s sweater vests and women’s suspenders to hats.  Emily Ryan started out the evening with her nature-inspired spring line.  Her ‘Honeycomb’ and ‘Anemone’ dresses were seemingly plucked from the rocks and trees they were found on and transformed into fabric form.  Yes, these should top your ‘must-see’ list.

Kate Towers’ designs were as elegant as they were easy on the eye.  I loved how she mastered a simple design, and then through her modulations and applications, made her clothes anything but simple.  Her ‘Glass Slipper’ dress for example had gorgeous layers of chiffon topped with stunning accents across the collar, bringing ones attention to the beauty of a woman’s shoulders and visage.  Cinderella couldn’t hold a candle.

I loved everything about Dayna Pinkham’s (of Pinkham Millinery) show.  From the hats to the attitude that each walk carried, it was a display of daily life with the catwalk as her medium and her hats to accent the mood.  This was by far the most fun showing of the night, not to mention her great hats!  Now I just have to go to her store to see what hats I need to embellish my daily character.

Liza Reitz played with a more tailored masculine look, but coupled with the feminine physique it was hard to believe her line was inspired by our male counter-parts.  As Liza said of her early twentieth century inspirations; “Garments weren’t hugging, they were sculptures in themselves, housing the woman’s body.”  As seen with her wide leg pants and bell sleeve top scarcely covered by her fitted lady vest, Liza is definitely personifying her vision.

A Broken Spoke showcased sweater vests for the boys (YES!!!).  I love this look for our men.  It can be classy and funky—bringing form to the masculine body by using a simple layer; an accent that only develops the coveted masculinity of his design.  He paired a deep V-neck sweater vest with a white shirt and tie on top of linen shorts—classic (not to mention adorable in a naughty way), and great for spring and fall. There was also a boxy sweater vest that cut horizontally across the chest. This particular vest revealed stitching to create a subtle patchwork feel where you could see the different pieces of the same fabric being sewn together. The designer played with asymmetry in his jackets that had off-centered zippers and accent buttons in the oddest and most alluring of places.  All I know is that it is too bad that I am a single lady because I would style my boy with the fab finds from A Broken Spoke.

I could go on and on about all of the artists featured in “The Collections” night at PFW, as they were all amazing. But alas, I do have a job to attend to and some shopping to do, so I will cut it short, (or shorter than I could, shall I say).  You can find a complete listing of the night’s designers at the PFW website.  Furthermore, if there are artists that you are particularly curious about, please drop us a line.  One thing I am certain of is those of us at shoeflyer are more than happy to share our opinion!


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