There was a time when “Northwest style” meant fleece, jeans and rain jackets. But over the last decade or so, the same creativity and DIY ethic that have long made Portland a leader in craft beer, food and shoes (Nike, anyone?) have also put the city on the fashion map. Just consider the fact that only New York and Los Angeles have sent more contestants to Project Runway — and no city has produced more winners.
Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft examines the intersection of fashion and craft with Fashioning Cascadia: The Social Life of the Garment, an exhibition running from spring through the fall fashion season (May 9–Oct. 11, 2014).
Fashioning Cascadia not only considers the creative design process, but also explores the supply chains that are necessary to produce clothing, and its use and re-use. It introduces the idea of “slow fashion,” similar to the slow food movement in its local sourcing of materials and responsible production of garments. Eight Northwest fashion designers and collectives are showcased in the exhibit: Adam Arnold, Michael Cepress, Anna Cohen and Imperial Stock Ranch, Michelle Lesniak, Carole McClellan, The Portland Collection by Pendleton Woolen Mills, Liza Rietz and Anna Telcs. Michelle Lesniak was the winner of Project Runway, Season 11.
Beyond gallery installations, the exhibition will also feature artists-in-residence, hands-on workshops and the PDX Garment Map — a map of Portland’s apparel production resources and boutiques where clothing is made on-site. Apparel by some of the designers featured in Fashioning Cascadia will be available for purchase in the museum’s gallery store.