Portland's annual speedball of stylish rockers and edgy designers—formerly known as Doom Town—returned to PDX this past weekend. After four years at the Crystal Ballroom, the newly coined DT5 (the Crystal owns the Doom Town name—presumably, it's planning a similar event featuring jam bands hawking Gapwear) found a far more appropriate ballroom blocks away. The Fez's architectural constraints might limit sightlines for performance/catwalking, but at least celebrants can smoke and drink and dance and nod off on the floor-spanning ottomans. 'Tis rock and fashion, after all.
fashion critic Elianna Bar-el, who noted “an abundance of big hair and constant side-boob cleavage,” joins Jay Horton for a chronological rundown of this music 'n' fashion sammy.
local glam-rockers the Family Gun
Striking theatric rock poses throughout his band's set, Michael Maker of the Family Gun was equally rock and shockingly glam—dramatic eyeliner, signature bared chest and wild hair.
A fey predator embodying all that was essential to rock idols past—preening self-awareness, studied effortlessness, tumescent fragility—Michael Maker (also of the Makers) was born to the rock stage. And after only a few performances with the Family Gun, the R&B garage revue (formerly local supergroup the Champagne Cowboys) already swaggers with impeccably tight patterns. The just-written material's not yet as captivating as their singer's loose-hipped gyrations—but that's a lot to ask of any song.
The fashion show proper
Elianna: Flood Clothing
's offerings were like Fame
on crack: Detailed strands of frayed fabric made for crazy-cool halter tops, which paired with sheer-colored tights and legs that went on for days. No. 1 hit of the night? A bright purple tube-top jumpsuit with piano key decals dancing up the left leg (see above).
Dress to Kill
rocked patchwork corsets and ruffled satin shorts for the ladies and crotch-hugging cropped ‘n' suspendered plaid pants for the men.
's homegrown designs were straight out of a '50s rockabilly kitchen, with reimagined aprons strutting alongside polka-dot satin halter frocks and a whole lot of rolled bangs.
Low-rise tutus are the new mini thanks to Cano Apparel
. But the same designer's lilac jackets with gold lamé accents looked like they could have sprung off the super-sale racks at Forever 21.
got the audience all hot and bothered with models wearing only skimpy underthings. Like tatted-up Bettie Page-style pinups, they worked lacy lingerie, bib tanks and frilly boy shorts.
Advertising wildly divergent outfits I haven't the capacity to describe (they were pretty), a succession of young women (they were pretty, too) of varying heights and aesthetics marched rhythmically down the catwalk. DJ Gregarious, himself resplendent in striped velour trousers, assembled glam anthems (The Sweet's “Fox On The Run,” Gary Glitter's “Leader Of The Gang”) and near-hits of tuneful feminine disaffection (April March's “Chick Habit,” Girlschool's “Yeah Right”) toward a vibrant medley of strut-along chic. Music to watch painfully shod girls by, indeed.
bubblegum rockers the Soda Pop Kids
The Soda Pop Kids' Jonny P Jewels spasmed his way across the stage, unencumbered by triple-studded belts, taut jeans and combustible hair. His excessive style was sidelined only by guitarist Diet D!—a fascinating vision, dapper in a head-to-toe white suit, save for cherry suspenders and bow-tie.
For all their albums' tenement-Spector balladry and glam-fringed floor fillers, the Soda Pop Kids' live show indulges in straight-up rock. Riffs grow nastier, orchestration's stripped, and vocalist Jonny P Jewels employs both a well-timed yelp and surprising showmanship. Despite lockstep riffage, the band members madly danced (and apparently dressed) without noticing one another. But Jewels instantly understood the jerry-rigged catwalk's potential, landing a twirling leap four feet from the stage just as a climactic beat crashed home. Some people, as they say, don't do fashion. Some people are
Image: Ab Fab: Michael Maker works it with new band the Family Gun.
by benjamin reed.