I recently got a chance to check out Narrative, a recently opened vintage furniture and home goods store on 13th & Alberta. While this city has no shortage of home goods, affordable offerings are not always a strong point, and finding interesting, unique vintage pieces usually requires an intensive scavenge through large, crammed spaces like House of Vintage or William Temple—a fun adventure when you're in the right mood, but kind of exhausting when you're just trying to decorate your home. Narrative, which is located in a tiny old house that serves as the perfect setting for the merchandise, fills a void as a cute, well curated boutique that carries all kinds of quirky, unusual finds, with a strong focus on affordability. In fact, as owner Clara Soister points out, the small entryway to the shop limits the size of the furnishings the store can carry, making it an ideal destination for those looking to decorate small apartment spaces.
The store has sort of a charming flea market feel, with merchandise ranging from serious furniture pieces like coffee tables and shelving, to more decorative pieces like statuettes and pottery, along with the odd typewriter, adding calculator and rotary phone thrown in to set the nostalgic tone. Soister, who has a background in set design, repaints many of the furniture pieces in unexpected color palates, like a French desk that is pale blue and grey with touches of metallic gold and silver. She also adds a touch of whimsy to some of the pieces by attaching notecards with brief imagined backstories. For example, 1950's ceramic teddy bear with a bizarrely surly looking facial expression comes with the explanation "Teddy stayed a little too long at the race tracks...".
Soister says she was inspired to open the store "after I sat down one day and made a list of things that make me happy," and seeking out unusual treasures at flea markets and estate sales was the first thing on that list. As she puts it, the store is "an outlet for my personal addiction."
Check out some of the goods:
Hey y'all!!! Without making this be a complete plug for my street style blog, Portland's Pretty, I'd like to share with you what I found to be the greatest hits of the night, street style-wise, in what was the kick off to a four-day fashion fest brought to you by The Mercury.
To see the rest of the pretty patrons click here to my blog Portland's Pretty...maybe you made the cut.
This evening at Produce Row (21+, doors at 6, show at 7-ish, with plenty of time to get your weeknight beauty rest—or not) we are presenting two up-and-comers on the scene: Lindsey Reif is nipping at the heels of longer-established designers in town, and quickly becoming one of the savviest design talents in the city. Joining her is Brady Lange, who's been haunting the design community for years, but only last summer launched the first of his bright, versatile, sassy collections. This one's going to be fun.
Oh! And there are fashionable drink specials going as well: 1) Fierce Voodoo: Portland Potato Vodka, mango juice, fresh mint, lime, sugar and soda, served on the rocks in a pint. 2) New Fashioned: Burnside Bourbon, St Germain, Amaretto, Dandelion Bitters and Lemon Peel, served on the rocks in a bucket. Now you know!
Yesterday marked what will be the start of something monumental (I don't overreact) in Portland fashion. Let me step back. I've been in Portland for three years and have attended a ton of fashion shows in town, reviewing them either here on MOD as an intern, or as a freelancer for a number of places. Tonight, though, felt like no other show I've attended. The venue: Outdoors at White Owl Social Club. The crowd: A mix of makers, doers, designers, and regular folk. The music: Moody. The clothes: Spectacular and original. I don't want to sound cheesy, but when the music kicked in, the models started walking out, and a hush fell over the mixed crowd, I truly felt like I was a part of something very special, and I can not wait to see what the next three days bring.
Below are my favorite looks of the night.
More after the jump...
Tucked along the quiet Seaview, WA coast, beneath a canopy of towering Douglas Firs, sits an odd collection of vintage travel trailers. The fleet clusters around a grand, colonial-style lodge with sweeping porches and the landscape is accented by the perpetual, gentle lull of the Pacific. The setting is equal parts ominous and magical.
This humble acre of Peninsula land holds one of the Northwest creative's best kept secrets, The Historic Sou'wester Lodge.
While the lodge has provided a creative oasis for over a century, Portland transplant Thandi Rosenbaum and Kathy Duffy are in the process of creating it as an active host for Northwest culture. Typically, coast culture conjures pastel galleries, bead shops and seashell art. Forget driftwood furniture, forget taffy shops, the Sou'wester breathes new life into Seaview, WA and draws a wide audience from the likes of Portland, Seattle and Olympia.
The summer season holds a grip of promising events. Almost each weekend offers a fantastic show. Personal favorite Little Wings plays this weekend. May 25th showcases Hits of Sunshine, a percussive performance based around Portland artists Heather Treadway, Allan Wilson and Lisa Schonberg's residency in Joshua Tree, CA and Ruby Feathers plays the lodge's first anniversary party on June 1st. Music not your style? August 9-11th marks a Vintage Travel Trailer Rally.
Indeed, in less than a year the Sou'wester has become a gathering place for performers, artists and seekers of creative community. Perhaps its the strange aura of the Washington sea, the cedar and doug fir incense that hangs in the fog, or the quiet, eclectic crowd of lodgers but the Sou'wester conceals an intimate magic in its teak walls and Rosenbaum and Duffy have applied their skilled hands and warm spirit towards harvesting its full potential.
Book now for the summer season. More photos after the jump...
Open Season, the four-evening series of fashion shows featuring some of the most exciting design talent in town, kicks off tonight with three of the city's heavy hitters: Holly Stalder, Emily Ryan, and Liza Rietz. Additionally, you'll also get to see jewelry from Sword + Fern and bags by Seaecho paired with Stalder's looks, and BOET jewelry buddied up with Rietz's.
Plus! As you may know, Rietz is also a talented musician—you probably know her best for her work in Tu Fawning along with Toussaint Perrault (also from Babydollars), who has composed an original soundtrack for tonight's runway show. Rietz says, "It is bad ass! Something different and exciting for runway!"
Sounds good to me. Doors at the White Owl Social Club open at 6 this evening, with showtime scheduled at 7. There are still some tickets left–-buy now and you won't have to take your chances at the door!
Next week's series of Open Season fashion shows feature some of the most important and exciting apparel designers working and producing in the city. However! It's also taking place at what are probably four of your favorite places to hang out in on any given beautiful day in late spring/early summer or whatever we are calling this meteorological stroke of luck (global warming?). The shows are scheduled early so you can be bright-eyed and bushy tailed on weekday mornings for that big PowerPoint presentation. (Doors are at 6, shows at 7, and you'll be tucked in and snoozing before 9.)
OR, you are mightier than weekday mornings, and you're down to be out a bit later, in which case the venues are all planning post-show shindigs:
Monday, May 13 after Holly Stalder/Emily Ryan/Liza Rietz at the White Owl Social Club, DJ Maxamillion will take over. On Tuesday at Produce Row, Reif and Brady Lange will be followed by the Supper Set with DJ Rev Shines, an all-vinyl mix of soul, jazz, and rare grooves. On Wednesday, Pendleton's The Portland Collection takes over at Rontoms, followed by... nothing. Because have you seen their patio?! And the weather?! And finally on Thursday after Immaculate Martin at Dig A Pony, DJ Cooky Parker will cap off the whole shebang.
Tickets each night are a nominal $5, and they're on sale and going fast!
On Monday, the first in a four-evening series of Open Season fashion shows featuring some of the greatest designers in the city will kick off (I know, weekdays, but they're early shows, with doors at 6, show at 7-ish each night), and we're giving away a pair of passes good for each night of the shows! To win 'em, email me by 4 pm and I'll choose a winner at random. In the meantime you can find out more about the shows here, including lots of great photos by Ray Gordon. And hey, if you don't win? Tickets are just five bucks!
Don't have plans for Mother's Day Weekend? Well fear not, because seemingly every boutique in Portland has some sort of event going on celebrating the woman who pushed you out of her vagina. Here's the roundup:
Queen Bee Book Drive + Sale
Queen Bee headquarters will host a Mother's Day Sale and book drive on Friday May 10th from 5-8PM. You can participate in a raffle to benefit the local Children's Book Bank by bringing in new and used children's books, and for every book donated get entered to win prizes including an Edie tote, RP Throw Pillow, Penelope, Snippet, Coin or Justin Case and more. This is part of a bigger event happening on N. Williams and includes ink & peat, Lark Press, Yoga Shala, myoptic, and Lodekka. Each place, including Queen Bee, will be offering drinks and snacks plus 20% off all merchandise.
Mabel & Zora Trunk Show + Sale
Mink Annual Jewelry Sale
Mink is hosting it's annual Mother's Day jewelry sale happening now until May 12th. Take 15% off all jewelry, and while you are there browse their new clothing arrivals.
Citrine Anniversary Sale
While technically not a Mother's Day event, this event can still be included. Citrine is celebrating it's two year anniversary on Friday May 10th from 6-9PM. Enjoy mango mimosas and 20% off everything. (To take advantage of to buy your Mom a gift obviously.)
AND all this stuff on the West End:
It's Woonwinkel's second birthday, help them celebrate on Saturday, May 11th with bubbly, treats, and 20% off.
Tender Loving Empire
Tender Loving Empire is having a sale from now to May 12th and you will receive 10% off one item with the purchase of a Mother's Day card.
Flora is celebrating it's pop up shop with jewelry and art from five local artisans May 10-12th, opening night festivities from 5-8PM will have treats and prizes.
If you haven't already seen it, check out this week's pretty picture-filled feature on the designers of next week's Open Season series of fashion shows, shot by local badass Ray Gordon. And! Don't forget to pick up your tickets—each night of the shows are a mere $5, so don't sleep till it's too late!
The official poster for the St. Johns Bizarre by Meg Hunt couldn't be finer. And I don't mean that in a Bizarro World sorta way.
You know how much I like it when you send me poster recommendations, right?
With or without your approval, they are going with the whole "West End" re-brand of that 10th Ave-centric stretch of downtown, and thus this weekend's events are dubbed the "West End Weekend." In preparation for Mother's Day, summer weddings, and any other occasion for shopping local artisanal goods, Flora is giving over there shop space to five different local artists for a series of vignettes:
Featuring local jewelers Beach Bones, with architectural brass pieces, Lauren Harkness’ luxurious and delicate jewelry, and bringing in some summery pops of color is Deluxe Delovely. Jennifer Finn will be presenting both her paintings and avant garde fiber jewelry (made just for Flora!), while local painter Flora Bowley will be displaying new paintings.
This Friday from 5-8 there will be an opening party with tea, champagne, and snacks, and the installation will be up through Sunday at 5 for those who like to keep their shopping and partying separate.
History means a whole lot to different people. It can be endearing and show character. Others may see history as baggage, especially when most of that history is clouded and undocumented.
But what does this all mean when talking about a home? Like your choice in underwear or your Internet’s browser history, one’s home can be the most personal and historically revealing attribute of a person.
This centennial Victorian in Southeast is waiting to make more history.
At a first glance, 1934 SE Umatilla needs some TLC. It’s a home with delicate details and beauty oozing out of every slab of maple that lines its floors and abundant stained glass windows. Many of its rough characteristics are also what make it a special property: uneven floors, spunky dark wallpaper, and smaller-than-usual rails are all part of its appeal and wonder.
According to the current owners, it was built and completed roughly between 1878 and 1890. A couple of photos of the home hang on the walls of its living and dining rooms from a time when Sellwood was still its own municipality (it was annexed by Portland in 1883—check out the photos).
The owner’s also confirmed that past tenants included the former president of the Portland Blues Society and many famous blues musicians actually played in the house, including Muddy Waters!
“Everyone has different ideas of what they want. You’d have to love this house for all the character and quirkiness that it has,” said Wendy Snyder, head agent for the home. “The owners didn’t want to change or ruin any of the character.”
While I've had my head wrapped up in Open Season, Mercury's four-night series of fashion shows happening next week, there's another show that should be on the radar of those with vested (pun!) interest in new developments in local design. While our show features some of the best and well-established talent in town (seriously, our designers are ballers), Portland Sewing's annual Fashion Forward graduate show (along with the Art Institute's June 1 graduate show) offer an annual late-spring crop of mostly unheard-of new talent.
Helpfully, Sharon Blair, Portland Sewing's director, has put together a handy preview of some of these new faces, photos of their work included:
Heidi Bergin's Adelheid Bergin
Lane Hunter's FACET
Lisha Xie's 谢丽莎 (her name in characters.)
Caitlin McCall's Quick Study
These new designers are showing along side Joshua Buck and Lisa Silveira's Wandering Muse—the two have them have become key in the Studio SKB design cluster that also includes Blair's line of the same name. Things will kick off at 7:30 at White Horse Studios this Saturday, May 11. Tickets are $20 ($25 at the door) with proceeds going to the Portland Sewing Fashion Design Scholarship for Teens, a fund that helps pay for $1200 of classes at Portland sewing followed by an internship with a local apparel company. Just three years running, the first winner did her internship at Nike followed by attending Parsons, with plans to attend Central St. Martins this fall. Last year's winner is currently doing her internship with Holly Stalder (one of our ballers).
Finally! Someone's doing a beauty pageant that's intentionally funny, and serves a greater cause than providing endless Q&A based entertainment (sorry Miss Teen South Carolina 2007, you'll never live that one down). The Portlandia Broken Beauty Pageant is a thrift-store themed comedy fashion show and benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, taking place Thursday, May 16 at Society PDX. The event will include a runway show and the dreaded interview portion, and at the end of the night a Broken Beauty Queen OR King will be crowned. There will also be a raffle, an Instagram photo booth and beats by DJ A-Trane. And if you're interested in participating in the pageant there's still time, just FB message event organizer Philip Roman. Get full event details and RSVP here.
Sad news: R.A.W. Textiles, a longtimer in the Portland design scene, will no longer be producing lingerie. Things aren't all bad, though. R.A.W. will continue to produce hand-dyed textiles, the focus of this being on custom yardage and accessories and creating patterns for sale and licensing. R.A.W. will also continue to release collections, with the upcoming Fall/Winter collection featuring scarves and two styles of shawls.
And of course the silver lining in all of this is a huge sale to clear out inventory hosted at the R.A.W. Textiles showroom May 9-11 from noon-5 pm. There will be deep price cuts on their one-of-a-kind pieces and samples from the 2009-2012 collections. For those who can’t wait until May 9 there is an online preview sale starting today where you can save on specially selected items in their e-store.
Monday kicks off four days of fashion shows at the series that is the new incarnation of the Mercury's Open Season. We have some of the city's top design talent participating, including Tuesday night's lineup of Reif and Brady Lange.
Now we can add one more name to the list: Jewelry designer Coco Cardenas, who recently returned to Portland after trying San Francisco on for size. Reif and Cardenas have collaborated before, and in earlier days in New York Cardenas worked closely making jewelry for Heatherette. Check out the rest of the schedule below, and grab those tickets (a mere five bucks per night) over here.
After a widely successful three years with Sticks & Stones, co-founder and creative director Stephan Alexandr has switched gears to find himself creating his own independent works of art. His work primarily utilizes animal skulls, bones and jaws to create one of a kind progressive wall mounts and decor.
This Saturday May 11th starting at 3pm, Stephan teams up with Backtalk to host a night of music, drinks, pretty people and art.
Music By: Futro Fam and Dual Mode
As you may have heard, Portland continued its uncanny televised streak a couple weeks ago by having yet another apparel design representative win Project Runway, which—while there's no getting around the fact that it's reality TV, and all that comes with that—does necessitate an actual skill. Prior hometown winners have taken the money and run to New York to establish themselves in a bigger market, but I think it's interesting that Michelle Lesniak Franklin has chosen instead to invest her money in the local economy, with plans to hire in-house production workers and commitments to participate in at least three upcoming fashion shows in the next six months.
In this week's paper I interviewed Michelle about the mind tricks of reality TV (which she dealt with remarkably well) and plans for further design domination. You may not have heard of her prior to the show's season but get ready for her name to come up often.
Just a quick reminder about the Blackbox Block Party going down tomorrow from 2-6 pm. I was at the last one in July, and it was super fun, and with the weather being in the 80s it will feel like July. Score 15% off merchandise from all of the Blackbox retailers during the event (Solestruck, Yo Vintage!, Reveille, Tanner Goods, and Poler) and enjoy complimentary gifts, drinks, music, and more. The only thing that would make this any better is if someone busts open a fire hydrant.
Can't make every night of this year's Open Season series of fashion shows? Tickets for individual nights just went on sale. Pick and choose, choosy!
It’s a no-brainer: New construction or some ramshackle fixer?
Understandably, many would enjoy pumping hours of elbow grease, thousands of dollars, and weeks (if not months, or years?!) into personalizing their space to make it a home. It can all be very rewarding, maybe.
Or you could skip all that and check out this gorgeous Northeast Bungalow, built just two weeks ago!
“The Portland market is hot and the inventory is low. It picked up about a year ago but the last six months have been on fire,” said John Taylor of Taylor Group Realty and head agent for the home.
In just under two weeks, this house has seen 10 showings and even had one offer. According to Taylor, that offer was waved because it did not pass the requirements for the home's SDC exemption.
“The land was purchased for the right price and the System Development Charge exemption allowed the buldier to provide the home at such a great price,” said Taylor about the home's very reasonable price range.
And what is that wonderful price you may ask? The three bedroom, two-and-half bath craftsman-inspired home is going for $239,900.
You may also be wondering, what's an SDC exemption? The developer has met certain requirements set by the City of Portland for reducing their environmental cost. For this particular home, it is required that any potential buyer have a household yearly income of less than $68,300.
For a brand-spanking new home, done up with slab granite counter tops, real hardwood flooring, and a gas fireplace, lets just say it’s a steal, and it won’t be around for very long.
For more information, contact John Taylor at Taylor Group Realty, 971-259-8471 or John@taylorgrouprealty.com.
First Thursday is upon us again, and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous if you needed another reason to go out and hobnob with the fashion set while scoring deals. Here are just two of the many things happening around PDX tomorrow:
Frances May 5 Year Anniversary Party
Frances May is turning 5 years old (yay!) and they are celebrating with a sale and a party at Dig A Pony. The party is from 9PM to 2AM and will feature a DJ and probably a very well-dressed bunch of people. The sale goes from May 4th-5th and offers a 25% discount store wide. If you just can't wait for the store to open you can use the code FMTURNS5 online starting May 3rd at midnight.
Radish Underground 5th Annual Mini Golf May
Radish Underground will be installing a brand new, custom mini golf hole in their window where friends and customers can putt-putt for a discount all month long. The kick off party to celebrate is on Thursday from 5-9PM and will feature treats from local favorites New Deal Vodka & St. Cupcake Galore as well as exclusive new arrivals from Jennifer Glasgow, UNA, Dagg & Stacey, Selector, and the Portland themed photographic etchings of Beth Kerschen. Any Hole-in-One wins 25% OFF!! Sounds like fun to me.
It ain't easy to make this year's four-day series of Open Season fashion shows even more exciting than their all-star lineup already is, but Pendleton's The Portland Collection has scored a nice little feather for their cap: Joining them for their presentation of the new Fall 2013 collection on Wednesday, May 15 at Rontoms (6 pm) will be the live accompaniment of none other than kickass Portland band Lovers.
This year's series takes place at some of the loveliest inner southeast venues, but they're relatively small, so don't dillydally on picking up advance passes while they're still here!
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