Who: Ginger (Two days before he leaves for London to study at Central Saint Martins!)
Where: Outside of Aalto Lounge on SE Belmont
Cutest piece: My extra-large Pendleton pants that I just tuck and roll!
Photo by: AM
Yes! On last night's episode of Project Runway, hometown gal Leanne Marshall won the challenge!! And, it was a decent challenge to boot: The contestants had to create their ensembles using the materials involved in building hybrid cars, meaning they had to contend with fussy materials that got stuck in their sewing machines, and banged a bunch of parts onto the floor to get at any usable guts. The results overall, considering, were pretty impressive given what they started with, but Leanne's was a shoo in--not only did she score on making something wearable, but her design idea was risky and hot:
Disregard the annoying over-modeling pose
I have to say I was getting worried about this season, given that the last couple of episodes have been rather snoozy turds, and I think it is a great sign that they are using footage of Leanne sparingly--the fact that they're stretching out her exposure means she'll be around for a while. And, she has immunity for the next challenge after last night's win, so we're guaranteed to hold on to her for at least the next two episodes. You know it's bad when they start talking about the personal lives of the designers--it's those guys who end up in the bottom two. However, I'm glad that Stella managed to avoid being auf'd, if only because I'd really like to learn more about her boyfriend "Ratbones"--you can't just drop a bomb like that and walk away.
Proof that this was the most compelling episode of the season thus far is that although he totally had it coming, I was super sad for Keith getting the axe. A reality show that induces me to eke out an actual emotional response? That's a rare gem, right there.
Oh, buddy. Next week: Diane Von mother-effing Furstenberg guest judges! (No pressure.)
I caught Hilary Clinton's speech last night, and even though I was in attendance when Barack Obama came to town to give his (and voted for him), I actually found Clinton's speech, heard over the radio as I sifted through the depressing rubble of my soon-to-be-former apartment, much more moving than that in-person experience. It was more honest and less strategic than any either candidate gave during the primaries, and when someone that strong is allowed to passionately enjoin against a common enemy, it's something to experience.
I've been realizing as I prepare to move for like the 10th time in about as many years how much I value having an archive. I've been schlepping an ever-growing collection of photos, letters, backstage passes, police reports, and even printouts of emails I deemed momentous from place to place my entire life. (I literally never look at any of it except when I'm moving.) I don't know what kind of mementos I'll collect from the politically heavy year ahead, but if you're pro-active about getting yours, consider doing your domestic economy some good and show your Obama-rah-rah with these knee socks, a collaboration between local sock company Sock It To Me's Carrie Atkinson and Red Light Clothing Exchange head buyer Erica Easley:
The socks are actually available in Denver during the convention, but Portlanders have the hometown advantage of being able to purchase them (available now) at the two Red Light locations: 3590 SE Hawthorne & 333 SW 10th
Last year, LUSH Cosmetics--an international brand known for its consciousness-raising business practices and 100% vegetarian product line--began their nudity campaign, wherein employees at a handful of their stores voluntarily spent part of the day wearing naught but aprons emblazoned with "Ask Me Why I'm Naked" to promote the production and consumption of "naked" products, meaning packaging-free. The company, according to media spokesperson Brandi Halls, produces 60 percent of its products without any packaging (think shampoo bars and chunks of soap), and the bottles and pots they do use for liquid products are 100 percent recycled/recyclable. But Halls insists the protest/event is not necessarily meant to bring more attention to LUSH products, but to educate business owners and consumers alike of the environmental impact of excessive packaging. (Halls gives the example of Trader Joes' inexplicably shrink wrapped produce packages as an example.)
Tomorrow, the company is holding another protest, a much larger campaign than it originally began, with stores in 23 states across the company participating. And while last year some of the employees (literally) half-assed it by wearing underwear under their aprons, this year all participants are said to be baring bum. Stop by the Portland store (803 NW 23rd) for a glimpse and some education tomorrow at noon, but be snappy about it: the protest is only slated to last half an hour. And if even the idea isn't centric to LUSH products, you may as well pop into the store as long as you are there to check out the sometimes-perplexing ("emotibombs" that create aromatherapeutic steams when you drop them on the floor during your shower, "shower jellies" that are like rubbing bricks of Jell-O on your body), sometimes-awesome (the bath/bubble bombs are generally great, and the selection is staggering), and sometimes-disappointing (I once tried a lip balm that actually made my lips worse) product line--the company has a lot of energy and ideas, and is one of the largest international beauty brands to dedicate itself to ethical business practices.
Sorry to get your hopes up--this was taken at the protest in Berlin. The aprons to be worn by the locals tomorrow are said to be more demure. Protest that.
Last week, two recent high school grads, Katie Gargan and Tafv Sampson, showed their first collections. I didn't know what to expect...but the work turned out to be mature and beautiful.
Check out my two favorite looks from the show:
Katie Gargan, sold at Idom
Nice jacket. Try shooting it.
While part of me actually thinks this is pretty bad-ass, it is also somewhat depressing that Colombian designer Miguel Caballero is designing (very expensive) bullet- and knife-proof clothing marketed towards powerful people who fear kidnapping or assassination attempts. That is some cinematic attire. And while Caballero's hometown of Bogota has a reputation for violence, its most recent showroom opening took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Unbelievably, the United States isn't one of the 16 countries around the world where you can buy this stuff. I wonder how long that will last.
Those close to me know that the quickest way to my heart is through my shoe collection. I don't care if they're from a big designer name or from a garage sale, I can't get enough. So when my boyfriend's sister came into possession of an enormous number of Irregular Choice samples (which for some reason are size 7, not 6), she did the decent thing and kicked me down the pair that ran small and didn't fit her:
The thing I love about getting shoes gifted from other people is the chance to experiment with styles that you probably wouldn't buy yourself, and this is a perfect example. I haven't bought a pair of Irregular Choice shoes since Charlotte LaVictoire was carrying them in the original location of the now-defunct Yes boutique (what was that, three years ago? Four?), and I only buy flat shoes on the rarest occasions, especially flat boots.
But they're fun, and kind of Star Trek-y and I'm a huge fan of most things that are shiny and gold. There's something about them that makes me feel kicky and spry, and I wore them with an all-black outfit like a ninja. But whatever, I wear wacky things to work all the time and usually keep my inner dialog about Star Trek ninjas to myself and the days roll by without too much comment. But this morning I didn't even have my bike helmet off before news reporter (and total magpie) Matt Davis was going ape shit over the shoes. Moments later I was trying to bring a serious matter to the attention of general manager Katie Lake and she finally burst out that she couldn't pay attention to what I was saying because she was so distracted by the shoes.
I'm still not convinced that they're "me," though. What do you guys think?
I have a friend who wore six inch heels the day after she sprained her ankle, true story. She looked amazing but she still doesn't walk right. I've never quite understood this dedication to heels. I mean, I think a lot of comfortable shoes are cute, right?
Case in point: Calleen Cordero. You can find a couple of her best handcrafted pieces at Covet . Yes, they have a totally boho vibe...but in an eclectic Sienna Miller way.
You'll also be happy to note that they're made by craftsmen in a very nice-looking Northern California factory.
The mules have a really cool hand-sculpted wooden sole
As you know, anything that's made by craftsmen (especially in Northern California) is going to carry a high price tag. You're paying for quality, artistry, uniqueness. Thankfully, Covet owner Athena Frazier bought a few of Cordero's less expensive pieces.
Frazier calls this cuff a "Calleen Cordero starter piece"
Last night's installment of Project Runway not only featured an impressive lineup of drag queens serving as models/clients to the contestants, who were tasked with creating fabulous stage outfits for them—not to mention guest judge Ru "who else?" Paul—it also featured the long overdue ousting of the chronically stumbling but cute Daniel, who tested judges and audience alike for the last time with his stubborn unwillingness to follow directions and unfortunate habit of responding to criticism with a defensive (but so pouty) lip. Buh-bye, Daniel.
Portland representative Leanne Marshall, meanwhile, did a fully competent job of dressing Sharon Needles in a spiky cyberpunk mini:
The winning outfit, however, went to the show's resident grumpy old man, Joe:
Stay tuned 'til next week, when the designers are judged by none other than notorious celeb stylist Rachel Zoe!
Next weekend, Olio United celebrates their first anniversary, and while some stores might mark the occasion with some champagne and cupcakes and maybe a modest sale, Olio's going all out: beginning on Friday the 29th and going through Sunday the 31st, the store will be buzzing with activity: On Friday, there will be an auction of TOMS shoes artist series, featuring designs from Amy Ruppel, Trish Grantham, and many more. With each artist producing 2-3 pairs, there should be close to a full size run for both men and women, and if you're into exclusivity it's just the ticket. (The auction is Friday only, beginning at 7 pm and ending at 10 pm.) Friday night also kicks off the weekend long entermodal pop-up factory, wherein the store will house a small scale version of entermodal's production studio, where main man Larry Olmstead and his assistants will crank out their line of high end leather bags and wallets before your very eyes--they'll actually be making the pieces Olio United ordered for a September 1 delivery, so try not to distract them too much from the task! You can however feel free to ask questions about the line, which is very thoughtfully designed and constructed to last for generations and create minimal negative impact on the earth, as well as place custom orders--be sure to check out debuting color and leather options. Proceeds from the auction as well as sales of entermodal trig flip cases will go to Transitions Cambodia, a non-profit benefit Vietnamese and Cambodian survivors of sex trafficking.
This is an entermodal trig flip case, if you were wondering
On Saturday the interactive events continue, with trunk shows and demos from Hubris & Sophrosyne, Apleseed Designs, and Faith Hats, plus terrariums from Form & Flora and food from Portland newcomer Two Tarts Bakery.
Hubris & Sophrosyne
Sunday is all about kids' activities, including the debut of Prefresh, a new screen printed line of children's apparel, along with a screenprinting workshop, an entermodal sewing workshop, an art opening and portraiture giveaway from Kiki & Polly, and a trunk show of appliquéd kimono coats for kids, a collaborative effort between Anna Joyce and Homespun Goods.
With its southeast industrial location it can be easy to forget about Olio United and their store full of consciously selected goods, so when they go all out on an event like this it's a great opportunity to reconnect with them and their vision for the store.
I'm really curious to see the work of Katie Gargan tonight. The girl just graduated from high school, and she's already created her first line, KG, and has been selling it at IDOM all season. Tomorrow she heads to college in SF where she plans to major in international studies while marketing her line to Cali boutiques. When I was 18 I was lucky to get my hair combed in the morning.
She'll be showing in conjunction with Tafv Simpson, another local designer whose colorful chaotic aesthetic seems like a nice contrast to Katie's more classic sensibility.
Check it out!
Joining the official schedule of fashion at large, Alice Dobson will be showing her spring/summer 2009 Sofada collection on Friday, September 12th on the rooftop of Jax (826 SW 2nd). A conservative designer, Dobson's collections tend to consist of simple silhouettes with gently fun touches, like polka dotted short shorts or an off the shoulder sweater, adding punch to a wardrobe of dresses your mother would approve of, and separates fit for the office. As local fashion design continues to gain confidence, it will be interesting to see how Dobson, a longtime designer in the community, reacts--she is one I would like to see become more experimental, if she can do so while remaining true to her overall aesthetic.
Sofada, S/S '08
Yesterday marked the first day of operations for Winn Perry, the men's emporium just opened by the young gentleman Jordan Sayler:
The Winn Perry blog (linked above) does an excellent job of giving an overview of the store's contents--step inside and you can will be able to order a custom suit via the store's partnership with Duchess Clothier (or something off the rack from Duchess' Viceroy collection, exclusive to the store) or simply pick up some Oregon Wild Hair mustache wax, made from beeswax so as not to melt in hot beverages (!).
A customer makes arrangements for a Duchess suit
Duchess' Seyta Selter shows off the festive lining of one of her jackets
The store is filled with merchandise carefully selected for quality--Sayler's guiding principle is to only sell things that are built to last, and with the exception of the toiletries, one might even consider passing some of these pieces down to a younger generation. A smart pair of suspenders from Albert Thurston in new wool with hand stitched goatskin tabs, for instance, is an indisputable classic--the company has been active since 1820, and as my colleague Matt Davis was enthused to discover, is responsible for the suspenders worn in Wall Street, the 1987 Oliver Stone film starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas. Beautiful silk ties with bright, rich colors and interesting but tasteful designs by Sovereign Beck and Duncan Quinn fill a void where flash meets class.
Bay Rhum cologne from Santa Cruz, CA company Meehan smells good enough to drink. Made with all natural ingredients, it was, at one point, intended for just that. Like a spicy liqueur for your face...
Edwin Jagger shaving supplies from Sheffield, England underscore the luxurious ritual that a close, clean shave can, and arguably should, be
Handsome shoes from England's venerable Grenson
A piece by Emma Franklin, who in addition to her witty pins and cuff links makes exquisite cock rings (not sold at Winn Perry)
Winn Perry currently has a lot of warm weather apparel from Obedient Sons and crisp shirts from Seize sur Vingt. Closer to fall, look for traditional Danish fisherman sweaters from S.N.S. Herning (each is individually signed by the person who made it), Billy Kirk mason bags, Alexander Olch ties, hats (fedoras and caps) from local Pinkham Millinery, and more.
Men, check this place out. It's a favor being extended to you.
I've long been a fan of Paul & Joe, the French label that combines simple silhouettes with a particular brand of bohemianism that seems very Parisian to me-- lots of sublime color, intricate patterns, gauzy fabrics. Everything is so carefree and easy, you know? La de da.
Their diffusion line, Paul & Joe Sister, has the same basic aesthetic, just a bit quirkier...and about half the price of big girl P&J.
Parallel has done a great job of pulling the best of the collection (although Le Train Bleu has a couple of cuties, too).
My faves from Parallel's pull:
Tiny floral print: sweet!
Mannix, Parallel co-owner, says about this avian print: "If a girl came in here and tried this on right now, I think I'd fall in love with her."
Okay, so it's 100 degrees out. But one day soon you will appreciate this beautiful bottle-green coat.
Last night's installment of Project Runway, starring Portland designer Leanne Marshall was another close call for our hometown heroine, who let herself be dragged down to the bottom two of this team challenge that required them to make something for Brooke Shields' character on Lipstick Jungle. Despite the fact that when Leanne showed her sketch to Shields, the actress (who they kept referring to as a fashion icon? Maybe eyebrow icon...) wanted it for her own closet, not the character's, Leanne wasn't chosen to be one of the team leaders. She was, on the other hand, the first one picked to partner up with--by Blayne, whose tanning obsession everyone is totally no longer amused by, and whose design was a huge wack attack. I'm sorry to say it, but he dragged our girl down. I see nothing Leanne about this:
Luckily, the judges didn't blame her, and she'll be back next week. Instead, cute-as-a-button Kelli got auf'd, which was really too bad. Personally I just can't believe that they keep stringing this Daniel guy along. How many times does he need to prove his incompetence? This is definitely the episode that marks a turning point in which you can really--excuse the pun--see the seams showing on the divide between what the producers think will make good TV and giving credit where credit is due to who is producing quality work. Next episode should pick up the pace: the contestants have to make costumes for drag queens!
Until then, relive the awkward conclusion:
See you next Wednesday at the Tanker, 8 pm.
Tito Chowdhury of Portland Fashion Week sent me a text message saying that the latest addition to the roster this year is Christopher Bevans, the former Nike designer who launched his own line in 2007, and has already been worn by people you've never heard of, like Jay-Z and Kanye West. I'm digging these nerdy jock looks from his S/S 09 collection:
Also an updated visual on this year's location for the shows: Here's a rendering of what 14 Square will look like completed:
I am in fucking love with these Frye Boots. Distressed leather, slightly slouchy, cool hardware, totally comfortable. And they're on sale for 30% off at Shoe Fly! Frye Boots are rarely on sale.
Unfortunately for me, they don't have my size. The smallest they have left is an 8 and I have the feet of a twelve year old girl. Fortunately for you, they have a ton of other sizes left.
$195 at Shoe Fly, 718 NW 11th Ave.
Oddly enough, you cant find the work of Portland designer Elizabeth Spencer's Aiguille et Fil in any stores, even though she whips up the kind of cute dresses that PDX girls love to make their uniforms for barefooted grass romping in the summer and smart layers in the fall. I'd expect to see some of her pieces on the racks by next season, but in the meantime I thought she deserved to have a plug here on MOD--the dresses, which are in the $80-100 range, can be had via etsy:
In my opinion, this Portland summer has been much preferable to last year's tepid July and August, with quick dips into cooler weather for just a day or two before jumping back up towards 90 (my computer dashboard is predicting 95 for Saturday!!). I'm a fiend for the heat, but I'm starting to feel a slight pull towards the days when getting dressed requires more than just a dress and shoes. I miss my tights and layers just a tiiiiny bit. The new unisex track jackets and hoodies being put out by Erhart are one way of bridging the gap--perfect to throw over your tank top on those end-of-summer nights when things start to get slightly chilly around the grill. The bright, busy patterns and Miami club influences still feel free and summery, so you can bring a bit of the sunshine with you when we fully transition into fall.
Erhart jackets prices between $130-150--buy them here.
While we may be approaching mid-August, there's still a couple of months of warmish weather to go. Your favorite stores, however, are purging themselves of the seasons merchandise in preparation for fall. For your convenience, Bargain Hunting 101 brings 17 of them together under one roof for a massive blowout sale with rock bottom prices. It's not just clothes, either--look for art supplies and home 'n' garden stuff, too. Luckily it's held in an alcohol dispensing facility (the Kennedy School) for when you come up for air in the crowd, for it will be crowded. You'll be able to browse the bargains from: Collage, Digs, Frock, Ella's, Foundation Garments, Garnish, Knot Ugly, Mabel & Zora, Gypsy Chic, Hazeldrops, the Monkey and the Rat, Mink, Olio United , Sofia, Poppy & Ivy, Sofada, and IDOM.
Silent Revolution Saturn Tote at Foundation Garments
Fillmore Paige Jacket at Ella's
TOMS Shoes at Olio United
Bargain Hunting 101 goes down this Sunday, August 17, 11 am-4 pm in the Kennedy School gymnasium, 5736 NE 33rd.
Where: Outside of Seaplane on NW 23rd
Cutest piece: My snake-skin gladiators!
Photo by: AM
It used to be that a Visible Panty Line was a divisive issue: Some found it erotic, most found it tacky to be able to see the line of one's underpants through their outer layers. When VIctoria Bartlett appropriated the abbrev as the name of her line, she changed the game, and now everyone wants to see some VPL. The appeal here is wide: Women who don't ordinarily go for lingerie of the lacy, floral variety are drawn to the modern, sporty color blocking and strong, strappy materials . Fashion magpies are drawn to the eye catching colors and high fashion sensibility brought to underwear (albeit underwear worthy to be outerwear).
I've seen some pieces from the line at Odessa, but Lille Boutique (where these photos were taken--the line is in-store only, by the way, so you won't find it on their web site) just got in a new shipment of the modular panty/bra/cami sets (you can, of course, buy them as separates), but they are going fast!
On a lacier tip, Sarah Wizemann (now flying solo without former partner Sara Yurman) also got in a shipment from Sabrina Nadal, whose pieces are made with amazing chantilly lace:
For everyone who griped that last year's Portland Fashion Week wasn't easily enough accessible by bike, get ready to pedal: 14 Square--the same 61,000 square foot building that was leased as the new US headquarter expansion of Icebreaker--will host this year's series of runway shows. In fact, the LEED certified project is being sped up in order to be ready in time. In addition, Pioneer Place has agreed to host a preview featuring the designers (the details are still being determined), and Saks Fifth Avenue downtown will dedicate its windows to Portland Fashion Week designers for two weeks preceding and during the shows. In addition, one designer will be featured in a trunk show inside the Saks store, with their own designs sharing the same air as those of Prada, Missoni, and Christian Louboutin--and perhaps more importantly, in the vicinity of those who can afford to buy them!
Last night's intstallment of Project Runway was a little on the sleepy side for fans of local hero Leanne Marshall, who was largely kept in the background of the episode's drama (In a nutshell: Daniel and Kenley are too giggly and goof-offy and are annoying everyone else, Blayne won't stop griping about getting to a tanning booth, Joe got all bitchy about "his" sewing machine, and the claws are generally beginning to come out as the competition narrows.) This time around, the contestants were challenged with creating an outfit fit for an American team to wear at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Most of the designers seemed rather unfamiliar with the concept of sports, creating looks that bore little to no relation to the task:
The judges (including guest Apolo Ohno) rightly berated Daniel, Jennifer, and Jerell for their inability to grasp the concept, though if given the chance I would have added Kelli and Kenley to that list:
The crowd at The Tanker let out a big cheer when drippy Jennifer was selected to get the boot, tired of her precious, matronly designs, weak personality, and nonsensical insistence that what she produces is surrealism. As for Leanne, she made it through the hoops just fine, but if you blinked and missed it, here was her design:
And the winner:
There's a good chance you've seen Moth Love feathered hair accessories around town, usually on stylish girls with an earthy streak (you can also find them at Frances May and Local.35). In tribute to the locally hatched trend, here's a photo montage of beautiful women wearing the beautiful pieces, designed by Gretchen Jones, to tide us over until the arrival of her line's apparel reincarnation--word is that the influence of her apprenticeship at entermodal is leading her into thoughts of simplifying and streamlining the wardrobe to maximize wearability and minimize wastefulness.