The Debut of Portland Garment Factory’s HouseLine
By MARJORIE SKINNER | OCT 25, 2011
The women of the Portland Garment Factory have a knack for spotting needs within the community. Three years ago founder Britt Howard took note of the fact that Portland’s independent designers were struggling to find consistent, high quality production for small runs of their work, and stepped in to found a company that specializes in just that. Now, with partner Rosemary Robinson, Howard is taking it further with their co-designed HouseLine, a clothing line designed to be foundation garments with which you can wear your crazier investment pieces, but that still fulfill many of the qualities we aspire to in our wardrobes in that they are locally produced, often in small runs.
Honestly referring to the pieces as foundational seems a little modest. Saturday’s runway debut proved that the clothing could stand up in its own right, though both its Fall and Spring renditions contained pieces that are easily recognizable as ones you’d wear to death—the result of Howard and Robinson’s own wardrobe frustrations.
To me the standouts for fall were a variety of circle skirts, a belted poncho sweater (hello, perfect airplane friend), a simple textured knit dress that would lay a cozy foundation for infinite layering combos, a pair of tomboyish high waisted trousers, and a nubby little puff-sleeve cocktail number awaiting its accessories.