This Week in the Mercury

Yo La Tengo's Still Got It!


Yo La Tengo's Still Got It!

Even After 30 Years, They Capture the Magic

Gary Gygax's <i>Empire of Imagination</i>


Gary Gygax's Empire of Imagination

The History of Dungeons & Dragons—as Seen Through the Eyes of Gary Gygax (And Possibly a Beholder)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Isaac Hers S/S 2010

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Barbara Seipp, you should know by now, is not only the owner of N Mississippi's Phlox boutique, but a designer in her own right with the line Isaac Hers, which fits right in hanging in the store alongside lauded lines from Linda Loudermilk to Corey Lynn Calter to Mike & Chris. Mark your calendars for the evening of March 25, when she will be hosting a reception to launch the new spring and summer styles—can't wait to see the new looks!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tonight's Project Runway Is a Re-Run

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Just a warning. According to TV Guide, they're re-broadcasting the episode from last week when Janeane was eliminated. You could skip it and just read my interview with her instead. Unless you want to watch it for a second time. You cruel asshole.


Hazel Cox's Cheif Necklace

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 2:55 PM

My favorite piece from Portland jewelry and accessory designer Hazel Cox's new 2010 lookbook is the Cheif necklace in raw silk, sterling, brass, and gold:


Even better together, layered with the Apex and the Satellite:


Circa 2008: Big Giant for Wilco

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:25 AM

You might be forgiven for not knowing that the nudie suit stage costumes Wilco wore for their Lollapalooza (yes, it still exists, but only in Chicago) appearance a couple years ago were commissioned by Portland graphic design firm Big Giant—they didn't exactly toot their horns about it, and it's only come up now because they finally got some decent photos from the band, with whom they'd worked previously under the guise of their sister company, UNKL, which made tiny toy versions of the bandmembers:


Big Giant does apparel design work for brands like Nike, but these suits (please tell me they wore them more than once!) were understandably a departure for them. The details are pretty badass:



The RYZ World Paradigm Collection

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM

The latest slip-on designs put out by limited-edition art sneaker company RYZ are in collaboration with international collective Keystone Design Union.


My favorite's got to be "Space vs. Nature" by Josh Vanover, pictured below, but you can peep them all right here.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bid A Fond Farewell to the Last Hour of Workday Productivity with Couturious

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:38 PM

A new toy debuted on the internets today: Couturious, which is like virtual paper dolls, except with clothing you can really purchase. It can be a real time-suck, enabling you to tinker with different models and backdrops (plus it will eventually allow for a variety of body types), and pull together clothing, mostly high end, into whatever outfits you want. This is what I decided would be good for cocktails in a bamboo forest:


But I always find these web games lacking in the clothing selection, (how much more fun would this be if you had the whole inventory of Barney's at your disposal?) and I am usually reduced to amusing myself by creating truly terrible looks just to be stupid:


Either way, it's pretty good times.

Oh Baby Lingerie Sale and Union Rose Trunk Show

Posted on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Big sale at Oh Baby this weekend! Get 30-50% off tons of items at both locations, starting this Friday the 26th and continuing through the weekend. And don't miss the Pre Sale Thursday Nightie tomorrow from 6-8 at the Broadway location, where you can get first choice on sale items and 10% off everything else!

My boobs have never been so excited.
  • My boobs have never been so excited.

Then NEXT FRIDAY, March 5, head to Union Rose for a trunk show featuring designers Hubris and Wonderlust. That's from 6-8:30 at 7909 SE Stark, and expect 10% off any Hubris/Wonderlust items that night.

Hip hip huzzah.

Extreme Vintage: Queen Victoria's Stockings

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Costume drama fanatics, take note: A pair of Queen Victoria's favorite black and white silk stockings are going up for auction next month. It's not the first time the Queen's underwear drawer's been raided:

Mr Young added: "Examples of the Queen's undergarments have long been considered the crowning glory for Victorian collectors around the world. "In the past few years several items have come up for auction and made excellent prices, with interest from around the world." In July 2008 a pair of bloomers said to have belonged to Queen Victoria sold for £4,500 at auction in Derby.

These babies are thought to be from 1874 and are valued at £400 (about $550), so think about that the next time your drugstore nylons fall apart after a month and a half.

Probably you should just maybe not troop around with them as part of your "schoolgirl-chic" ensemble, though.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sword + Fern's Web Makeover

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

When you have a moment, head over to the new Sword + Fern site. It's got clear photos of designer/proprietor Emily Baker's jewelry designs and a lookbook of beautiful photos. Don't forget also to swing by the always-inspiring blog, too.

Sword + Fern necklaces, expertly combined.


Call for Designers: Modified Style

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM

The annual Modified Style fashion show is coming up in May, and the organizers are soliciting designers willing and wanting to whip up a dress from donated fabric to be worn at the fashion show, which raises awareness of sustainable methods in clothing production as well as drumming up financial support for various non-profits. The deadline to commit is coming up quick, though: Email them by the 27th (and have a model on board with you to wear your design) to get in.

A shot from the 2009 edition of Modified.

It's The Fashion... To, Um, "Love Your Kidneys"

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Okay, so the title of the event "It's The Fashion…┬áTo Love Your Kidneys" screams more of an emphasis on "benefit" than "fashion." Taking place on World Kidney Day (who knew?), March 13, the fashion show and wine raffle will benefit the Multicultural Integrated Kidney Education Program (MIKE Program). For the purposes of this blog let's stick to the fashion: Kenneth Doswell's Betty Jean Couture, Bon Lou Couture, and Christa Taylor will present their clothing, alongside O'Pearl Jewelry (worst/weirdest homepage photo ever) and purses by The Real McCoy. These benefit fashion shows by nature reach an audience outside the usual fashion show-going crowd, and the age and size versatility of these lines make the chances decent that they'll find some new clients in the crowd. If you go, though, be prepared to contribute: Tickets are $30 a head for the event which will be held at the California Closets Showroom (1225 SE Grand) at 5 pm on March 13.

Paris trench by Christa Taylor

Beam Me Up: Is Phototherapy the ANSR?

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 9:46 AM

As much as I strive for simplicity in my routine, I'm a product junkie at heart. I began applying creams and toners when I was about seven years old, and by the time I was in college my roommates were making bonfires out of my Sephora delivery boxes. Those days are for the most part over, as the constraints of finances and time have taken hold. I no longer prioritize quantity and variety over pruning a minimal collection of carefully selected products that have proven themselves to work. However, when a company approaches me to try out a new product, I'm all over it. Barring anything that will make me break out in hives, I'm willing to experiment with whatever you got. Portland-based Oregon Aesthetic Technologies has presented me with one such opportunity, and a particularly unique one, with their hand-held home-treatment ANSR LED beam.


I've had a handful of LED treatments at the salon, as add-ons to a facial. I'd heard of their effectiveness in treating acne and aging, but professional treatments don't come cheap, and they require persistence to work, out-pricing most of the unwashed masses. I brought my little beam in to show my delightfully no-bullshit aesthetician. Her "Solitone Infinite Energy -2500 EXTREME LED" uses hundreds of thousands of LEDs as opposed to the ANSR beam's four, but she still gave it her stamp of approval, contending that "any LED is good," but the key is diligence. I'm about four weeks in, using the beam every morning and night with few exceptions (maybe I skipped it once or twice when I was running late in the morning, okay?), along with the line of products the company offers alongside it. Hit the break for my thoughts so far, plus a video and a Q&A with co-founder and Vice President of Product Development, Shannon Monihan.

Continue reading »

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leanne Marshall Gives Time Out A Tour of Her Closet

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 10:22 AM

It's good to know that Leanne Marshall is still garnering attention after winning Project Runway. In the wake of our latest Portland export to the show Janeane Marie's ousting last episode comes a little piece in Time Out New York in which she gives them a tour of her closet. I'm set to interview Janeane about how she "bit it hard" on PR at noon, and I really don't think she should be too upset. The text that accompanies the piece is a little sad:

When Leanne Marshall won Project Runway with her organic collection of nature-inspired pieces, she expected her career to change overnight. She moved from Portland to New York a year ago, and her $100,000 prize money was spent near instantaneously on a Dumbo studio rental, materials, production and look books. “After I won, people were like, ‘Can I buy your stuff at Macy’s?’?”says Marshall. “It doesn’t work like that. I don’t even think I’m a blip on the map of the fashion industry here.” In fact, the designer’s still struggling to stock her collection in stores like Kaight and Eponymy; for now, she sells a smattering of sample pieces and one-off creations on Etsy (, a site she’s been devoted to for years. Here’s hoping spring 2010 treats her better—based on the collection we saw while touring her walk-in closet, it sure as hell should.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Portland's Project Runway Problem

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 9:52 AM


And so it comes to an end. Last night Janeane Marie was sent home from Project Runway. That leaves one burning question: WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT SETH AARON? Should Portland adopt him as our hometown champ by proxy? Or have the curtains simply closed on this season of Project Runway's relevance to Portland? I've called for a vote. Step over to Blogtown for the complete wrap-up, and help decide whether we should take this punk-pop designer under our wing, or whether we should stick to our borders.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

The 52

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I'm not really into message tees or logos. I have some, sure, but they're relegated to my workout wardrobe. Still, if I wore a daily uniform of tee and jeans, it would make perfect sense to use the medium as a dry erase board of my cultural preferences, sense of humor, and oh, you know, maybe my grasp of a little thing called irony. In fact, I just had a vision of the future in which your t-shirt automatically updates to whatever your last Twitter/Facebook update was. Seriously, can that really be that far away? [Hold, please, while I go place a call to a copyright lawyer. . . and, I'm back.]

The point is, I get it, even if I don't do it. And in the case of The 52, the medium is married to another thing I think I get, but don't really do: gaming. (My relationship with videogames pretty much ended with Super Mario Bros. The first edition.) The brand, launching on Friday Feb 26 at Hipbone Studio is aimed specifically at the gamer set, but not in the same way there have been Nintendo sneakers and Pac-Man earrings. Here's how founder Brian Burke explains it: "Major apparel lines like Volcom, Nike, Obey, Adidas, Tapout, etc. have supported the sporting/action sport industry for years but there is a viable, highly active and competitive culture that has been missed until now. I'm speaking of the multi-billion dollar video game industry. Sure there has been plenty of t-shirts produced with Pac Man, Space Invaders and other license video game images but no one is really targeting a cool 'life-style.' I have been in the retail apparel/graphic design industry for 15 years and I have been in the video game industry for five years. With my combined experience I have created The 52 to give an edgy, cool and rock 'n' roll feel to the video game culture.... Many people are 'gamers' these days but are not willing to wear video game apparel because they would feel awkward. With The 52, gamers around the world can feel cool supporting the video game culture."

So all that remains is whether gamers deem these shirts cool:


Continue reading »

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Altuzarra's Vampire Coat

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 12:21 PM

More cherry picking from the shows at New York Fashion Week: Joseph Altuzarra's vampiric collection is generating a fair share of buzz, but most of the ultra-tough leather and deep red velvets are simultaneously too much and not enough for me. But as for touching bases with the current in-vogue bloodsuckers, this coat, probably the most understated in the collection, is the only one that looks really evil to me, with that sharp fan of a collar and a quieter, more subtly sinister use of extra buckled straps at the wrist. The arch and the narrow cut remind me of a clack cat in Halloween pose. So much more striking than all the other bells and whistles.


See photos of the whole collection on

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alexander Wang Legs

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I'm finding myself zeroing in on the knit legwear Alexander Wang showed for F/W 2010. Especially the legwarmers. Yes, legwarmers. For one thing this is going to be super easy to emulate (American Apparel, take note). Although it could go very wrong if, I think, you don't make sure of two things: That it is a very lightweight wool, with thin ribbing, nothing too chunky, and that they are wide enough to pull over substantial shoes (no open toes!). That said, I'll be curious how much the real-deal Wangs are going to go for.


photos from

Monday, February 15, 2010

New York Post on Project Runway at NY Fashion Week

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM

So the remaining 10 contestants of this season's Project Runway all showed at New York Fashion Week on Friday (with the real finalists in the contest embedded among them). The New York Post was there, and made their own predictions for the top four contenders. Vancouver's Seth Aaron Henderson was one of those singled out, but Portland's Janeane Marie was not. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!

A look from Seth's collection. I have to admit, I'm taking a shine to that jacket—but only the jacket. See a look from Janeane's set after the break, and read the not-so-good (like, not good at all) comments (full cast round-up is here—spoiler warning).

Continue reading »

The Wild Folk Fashion Show

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Should the apocalypse strike, you'll be glad you made friends with people who know how to walk silently through the forest and interpret the behavior of birds to track prey and avoid predators. People who bathe in mud, make houses out of twigs, and know which plants are poisonous or medicinal. Even handier to be one of these people yourself, before the zombies/aliens/martial law drives you out of the city. In addition to mad skillz, you'll still need clothing, even in a post-civilization world. You can catch a glimpse at what the future of fashion might really be at the Wild Folk Fashion Show brought to you by the immersion program run by TrackersNW (your source for knowledge of everything survival—you can read about my experience with them here). There you'll see demos of creative and functional repurposed and crafted clothing and shoes, fit for the "modern hunter-gatherer." The event's also a pot-luck, so if you want to join the dinner portion of the evening bring something (local/wild only, with ingredients labeled) to share, and stick around for a performance from Tuvan throat singer Soriah. It all goes down at "The Scout Pit," 5040 SE Milwaukie at 7 pm.


I was thinking of wearing something like this for when the zombies come, BTW.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend of Love/Sales

Posted on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 3:35 PM

So many Valentine's Sales going on this weekend, and if you're not too busy weeping and stuffing chocolates down your throat (like I will be), you should check 'em out:

1. Mabel and Zora Trunk Show. Tomorrow, Saturday 13, head to Mabel and Zora for a Stella and Dot trunk show from 12-4. Cupcakes, champagne, a drawing to win a piece of jewelry, and specials available during the show. The Stella and Dot jewelry is not normally available in store, so this is a special Valentine's Weekend event!

Cortez Bib necklace from Stella and Dot
  • Cortez Bib necklace from Stella and Dot

2. Pin Me Apparel Sale. Today through Sunday! 15% off new apparel and 50% off all sale items at Pin Me Apparel!

3. Accessories Sale at Lizard Lounge. 30% off regular price accessories at Lizard Lounge! Sale ends Sunday!

4. Amai Unmei Sale. Also through Sunday, at Amai Unmei! 15% off all dresses, 10% off all jewelry collections, and pashmina scarfs are buy 1, receive 50% off the second.

Art Deco dress by Amai Unmei
  • Art Deco dress by Amai Unmei

5. Souchi Sale. Okay, so it's not specific to this weekend, but there IS a sale at Souchi until February 19 (20% all accessories), and there's a PARTY going down this Thursday, February 18, from 5-8 pm, where you can check out the Spring 2010 bamboo styles and get 10% off all bamboo orders that night.

6. {UPDATED!] Kalista Salon and Spa is moving. Okay, also not this weekend. BUT Kalista Salon and Day Spa is moving to a new location (805 NW Glisan, near the train station) and will be open there starting February 23. To avoid moving all their inventory, they're having 30-70% off all retail sale, February 25-27. THEN, on the 28th, they're having an all-free day, giving away whatever's left.


Return to Yarnia

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Amazing yarn store Yarnia (4183 SE Division) is turning two, which isn't old enough to be kicked out of Narnia, but it's getting dangerously close to thinking about lipstick and nylons. (Out of Narnia, you impure hussy!) Allusions to impending womanhood aside, Yarnia is a magical place where you can make your own yarn by selecting strands of filament to be wound together into a custom yarn AND their prices are ridiculously reasonable, because they charge by the pound, not by the skein.

In celebration of the store's two-year birthday party, the terrible twoster will be throwing a party tantrum and they'll be tangling up some yarn for you to knit with.

Treasures found deep within Yarnias wardrobe.
  • From Yarnia's website
  • Treasures found deep within Yarnia's wardrobe.

Here are some deets:

On Saturday, February 13, from 7 to 10:30 pm, come on by to enjoy food, drinks, and maybe even some live music! During party hours only, we'll be having a bunch of fun in-store treats, including:

* 10 percent off all pre-made cones
* Prize drawings for in-store goodies and grand prize gift certificate to a nearby salon
* Yarn-of-the-Year Contest (details on website)
* Special Anniversary GOLDEN TICKET yarn (details on website)

Learn How to Represent Yourself As A True Jedward Fan from These Latvian Teenage Girls

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 2:23 PM

I think this video pretty much speaks for itself, but if you need a brush-up on who the eff Jedward is, a peek under the skirts of the old Wikipedia is nothing to be ashamed of.

Hit tip to Kurt!

Project Runway Wrap Up

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 9:40 AM

"What's going on in here?"

That was my first thought last night when I arrived at the Tanker for its weekly screening of Project Runway. The place was packed... but with a different crowd than usually shows up to see Janeane Marie represent Portland with her cuttin' and sewin'. They were punk-ish, but not in the way that the girl wearing the DIY "R.I.P. Alexander McQueen" shirt was punk. After at first concluding that it must be a Barfly bus, I soon found out that this band had just premiered their new music video on the bar's screens (sadly it does not yet appear to be on YouTube, but it involves the women of Devil's Point wearing furry costume heads and being very naughty, as is their custom).

But back to this week's episode: That was close. For the first time, Janeane was singled out by the judges to explain her look—and not in a good way. There were tears. Bonus tears:

Two things: why are the contestants wearing the same exact thing in every episode's video blog? Could Lifetime really not stand to make some attempt to conceal the fact that these were clearly recorded on the same day, after all the episodes were taped? Amateurs. Also, that icy blond woman with the pollution comment? That's Joanna Coles, Editor-In-Chief of Marie Claire. She was so incredibly stiff and humorless that when she tried to say "hi" in a friendly voice it was like watching someone in physical therapy learning to walk again after a long paralyzation. I'm sure somewhere in there she still has a muscle memory of smiling. Hit the jump to see the dress she was giving Janeane a hard time for, as well as who I think is her hottest competition.

Continue reading »

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Olympic Uniforms: Hello World! We're Dry Clean Only!

Posted on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 3:50 PM

The Vancouver Winter Olympics start tomorrow.

As usual, Vancouver had to fight tooth and nail for its right to host the giant tour-de-frat known as The Olympics. Don't get me wrong, I get addicted to the winter games almost every cycle. Four-man bobsled, two-man luge, downhill slalom, I don't care. If it's fast and cold I want to watch it, and when it's all done I have to up my fan-dom of other sports just to fill the void. For the host nation, the Olympics are more than a sporting competition, more than a chance for Vancouver to flip off almost-host city Pyeongchang. They're a chance to present your country to the entire world while bringing in incalculable millions of tourism dollars in the present and future.

Olympic uniforms are a chance to showcase your country's forward thinking in the mediums of nylon, Gore-Tex, and wool. You want to echo tradition, but not get stuck in it. As this year's host, Canada has a unique opportunity to show the world it's more than mounties, hockey, pristine forests, and other clichés (eh?). It may be only one 10th as dense as America, but major cities like Vancouver are bustling with world-class activity. So, how does this confederacy of cutting-edge provinces choose to show off its persona to the world?

Behold! The recently unveiled Canadian medal-presenter uniforms and bouquets.

Hedgehog Chia Pet = Gold
  • Hedgehog Chia Pet = Gold Medal

What!?! [see left]. It's Mounties! Mounties escorting cold-looking women and plants!!! The Miunties' designs, conceived by Aritzia of Vancouver, include a "heritage knit sweater" for indoor events and a "cocoon parka" for outdoors. Throw a Tim Horton's doughnut on top and you have a Canadian hat trick. I like them, in the same way that I like chopping my own firewood.

Now, compare those to American "uniforms" as photographed in this past Sunday's gravity-fucking New York Times Magazine shoot. (Sorry I can't post them here, stupid copyright.) Ok, those hole-y, appendage laden, anti-functional knits aren't actually what we're sending our athletes to compete in/get stuck in escalators. The Rodarte-designed outfits were just for the photo shoot and video. However, they do show off our creativity and resilience. Would a nation crippled by recession have the wherewithal to craft completely impractical one-off ski-uniforms? I don't think so.

Now, how about some clothes that offer a more fair comparison to the Canadian stuff. What will our country's strapping athletes wear to the opening and closing ceremonies? Something fun and reflective of our nation's hardiness, I assume, and the diversity of our athletes. Take it away, Ralph Lauren.

See what a 10.0 in preppy douchebag looks like after the jump.

Continue reading »

Alexander McQueen Dead at 40 by Apparent Suicide

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Eccentric fashion designer Alexander McQueen, 40, was found dead this morning in his apartment of apparent suicide by hanging. Details are unclear as of yet, but those close to him report concerns that he had been experiencing depression since his mentor, Isabella Blow, took her own life by ingesting weed killer in 2007. Then, on February 2, McQueen's own mother passed away. The Wall Street Journal has McQueen's last tweets, the final of which was:

“I’m here with my girl Annie Tinkerbell wishing Kerry the slag, happy birthday in NY, your [sic] 40 now girl time to slow it down we think.”

Not much of a warning shot. Stay tuned for details.


McQueen's final runway salute after presenting his Spring 2010 collection.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy