Try as one might to stay neutral in a city full of so many talented independent designers, it’s hard to not have some favorites. Monday night’s inauguration to Open Season with designers Holly Stalder, Emily Ryan, Liza Rietz proved that.

The three longtime Portland ladies (to whom new designers in town owe several hand-calligraphed thank you notes for establishing a fashion scene here) each sent beautiful collections of dresses and separates down the makeshift runway at the White Owl Social Club.

Stalder strayed from her recent focus on bridal to share a blue collection that hit a perfect balance between boho and romantic. Ryan’s knack for interesting, but not overdone, embellishments—like the fringe touch on a knee length marbled number—keeps the eye from straying. Finally, Rietz incorporated her signature use of origami influence with paneling and seaming detail to create clean, modern silhouettes pushing the elegant looks to a wider market. 

All in all, designers like these keep me thrilled about writing fashion in our fair city.

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