What to Wear: Design Week Portland

I’m often asked by my customers if I’m a designer or whether I’ve made any of the goods I carry.  The truth is, while I’m not a maker, I  recognize good design and appreciate how beauty, art and design are fundamental to living a rich, satisfying life.  

That’s why I’m so excited to be part of this year’s Design Week Portland by hosting an open house in SE. I hope people who haven’t been in before will stop by, and for my returning customers to see my merchandise in a new context, as a platform for showcasing amazing design from all over the world. Without these designers and fabricators and creatives, I wouldn’t have a shop and I wouldn’t get to experience the joy I feel from watching my customers discover something they think is truly beautiful.

This year’s Design Week is chock-full of programming with multiple events every day. A friend who’s attending came to me in a panic asking for help with her wardrobe. I always advocate planning ahead especially when you’re over-scheduled, so you’ve got one less thing to worry about.  So with that in mind, here’s my dossier for her and anyone else looking for ideas:

1)      Design Week Opening Party - This is a nighttime party that kicks off the entire program. It’s a fun, laid-back event full of like-minded design fans so you should wear something that stands out but isn’t high maintenance so you can move about and take part in all of the installations. My pick: Luis denim flight suit. It’s stylish, comfortable and bridges the gap between form and function.  Just leave plenty of time for the bathroom line!

The heels are definitely optional; the flight suit looks equally good with mules, clogs or Nike Airs


2)      Piers Fawkes: The Future of Retail  – This evening speaker session is close to my heart, but would be equally insightful for anyone interested in trend forecasting and consumer behavior. For this, I’d recommend looking polished, since it’s a great networking opportunity. My pick: stylish black pants, like these from Emerson Fry, that are flattering and offer a progressive take on a classic silhouette. Pair them with a muscle tee from La Causa to avoid looking stuffy.


3)      Product Design with Wacom and Pensole – This event is one of many interactive sessions where presentations are followed by audience participation. Ease and comfort is key, so you can focus on the business at hand, which in this case is a mini design competition. My pick: loose-fitting everyday pants from Mary Meyer paired with a Luis denim boxy shirt.  


Of course the weather here in April can be frenetic so always layer up. I bring my poncho with me everywhere I go but you could just as easily use a scarf as wrap when the AC is on full blast.


Don’t forget our Open House on Wednesday, April 20. All DWP attendees receive 15% off their purchase that day. 

Dominga Ramirez