Time for some pretty lookbook pictures, this time featuring the latest jewelry collection by betsy & iya. The Cathedral Park collection was inspired by the namesake St. John's based park, and follows up on the line's Bridge collection (inspired by the St. John's bridge). The pieces are true to betsy & iya's signature aesthetic, which juxtaposes art deco-type geometry with earthy elements like raw leather and oxidized brass. The lookbook documents a road trip the b&i team took to the Columbia River Gorge with photographer Elizabeth Rudge, and features some beautiful scenery along with two models who make you super jealous you're not there. Check out some of the highlights below and view the full lookbook here.
Anna Korte, the boho babe behind AK Vintage just dropped her latest collection, "Illuminations." Inspired by French poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose book of poems bring to life themes like creation, destruction, ecstasy, and metamorphosis, Illuminations is full of dreamy bodychains, statement necklaces, and dainty geometric bracelets ideal for your next arm party. With a cameo by Ms. Korte herself, the Illuminations lookbook is a true extension of her stunning signature style. Shop the entire collection here.
As fiendish as I am about sun protection on virtually every other inch of my body, I'll admit to a relative delinquence when it comes to my scalp, and the weekend's amazing weather underscored the fact that this is the kind of thing that needs to be worked out sooner than we thought. The obvious solution to this is a frigging hat or two, yet for some reason it's hard to bite the bullet for silly reasons like the fear of hat head and the difficulty in finding a hat that's just right and committing to it. I don't like the idea of wearing the same hat for three months straight, so that means finding several hats that are just right, which I do all the time with stuff like jeans and shoes and coats and sunglasses and I don't know why I'm being a baby and hats are just harder for some reason.
Buying a hat is often one of the hardest decisions. Thinking, "Is the shape right? Does it allow enough light? Can I hide well enough? Do I love the fabric?" And most importantly, "Does it fit well?"... It all begins with the fit and the design.
Which sounds like... you just gotta try on a lot of hats and go with the ones that don't make you feel silly and do make you feel better about yourself. Which is tricky! To get you started, and to prove that good hair and hats can coincide peacefully, swing by the salon on April 15, 4-7 pm, where Boswell will be taking orders for hand-blocked cocktail hats, felts, and Panama straws made to size, with plenty of hats on-hand to test, and complimentary bubbles to propel you through the process. Your poor scalp will thank you.
You can hardly swing a soldering iron in this town without hitting a jewelry artist, but there aren't many people making the kind of high-concept, futuristically modern designs that Autoctona has become known for. The 2013 collection and lookbook, titled "Significant Other," has dropped:
According to the artist's statement (and that feels like the appropriate term to use in reference to designer Alessandria Murgia's work), the collection "investigates the concept of union and the interaction between diverse aesthetic elements... The concept of duality plays a key role in different aspects of the line, from material to design and concept creation."
Designer Sarah Vale Rapp just debuted her brand new spring collection, "In the Valley Below." Stepping out from the more traditional Pendleton fabrics she has become known for, Ms. Rapp infused this collection with pops of sequins and 3D floral rosettes in additional to some lush, springy Pendleton textiles. Showcasing range with a douse of familiarity, I’m starting to think my Seaecho Aggie Carryall bag needs a new friend! Shop the new collection here.
"Glasses are like haircuts: we do not choose that from our neighbor but the one that suits us, changes us, the one we like or the one that gives us confidence... one that simply allows us to be ourselves in all circumstances."
Such is the founding principle of Francis Klein, a family-run Parisian eyeglass manufacturer paying a visit to Portland on Friday March 29 at the Reynolds Optical Co. downtown in the form of a trunk show (800 SW Alder, 12-6 pm).
It's a rare opportunity to see these highly stylized (uh, not for plain black and wire rim-types) pieces—which are interesting objects apart from their function—as a complete collection outside of France. A little brand history:
In the 1970s, Francis Klein, optician by profession, opened his shop in the seventh arrondissement of Paris. Fairly quickly disappointed by the lack of original products on the market, he decided to create his own models, assisted by his wife Michele, interior designer.
Marriage in life and in the glasses world of technical and artistic senses leads to a type of plastic frames quickly noticed and adopted by the fashion scene, fond of the originality of the product and an sensitivity in terms of colour work unknown until then.
On the wave of the flourishing success, Francis Klein glasses are also exposed in fashion shows (especially in the early days of First Class) and in optical shows, whether in Europe, United States or even in Japan, where they meet success, Francis Klein also being among the first French glasses designers to have crossed the threshold of the Asian market.
Subsequently, yet logically, the adventure goes further with the two daughters of the family, Betty and Dixie. Their training, one in styling and optics, the other in international trade, combine perfectly to continue the family saga, and in 2003 they opened the flagship store and the showroom in the Saint Germain des Prés district.
Go on and embrace your eccentricity, four-eyes!
Things are starting to bloom and we're being treated to occasional bursts of sunshine, which makes Spring more or less official. Get ready for the floral motifs to start appearing on the racks of clothing stores with increasing frequency (for men, too, at least the ones who have the balls). Portland jewelry superstars Grayling have taken a bit of a harder approach with their spring collection, stepping away from the colorful gemstones that frequently appear in their designs in favor of a concentration on metals—a nice counterpoint to tradition.
If you buy one accessory this season, let it be a leather snapback cap. Sporty, chic, and it totally transcends the seasons. I just recently got this one as a birthday gift, but you can find them pretty easily online. Look to the babes below for styling inspo:
This Thursday diversion comes courtesy of Anya Hindmarch's presentation straight from London Fashion Week. Taking 7,559 hours of prep time, this display is crazy awesome. I am not sure what is up with the Benny Hill type music though (I guess it's a Brit thing?)
Via NY Mag
On Sunday I attended "Rocked: a Couture Bridal Event" at the Nines Hotel, in their grand ballroom. Although there was nearly six times more cake than couture, I still got a glimpse at what this season's (wealthy-ish) brides are wearing; ranging from "meh," all the way to "fuck yeah, that's red!"
Alongside vacation packages, limo rentals, and boundless booze, local designers sat perched and ready to sell.
Holly Stalder was the first designer I encountered, and I'd say the most interesting and "Portland-y" of any of the designers there. Though her designs still carried frills, lace, and flowers, the shapes and textures were more creative. Her waist and hemlines flowed elegantly, making the dresses appear more fitted and comfortable than the stiff wedding cakes we're usually expected to don as a bride. Her dresses would more likely be seen on a pouting ex-lover in a Shins video, rather than on Bristol Palin's wedding day.
One of my favorite dresses was from Divine Designs:
Though it seems simple and classic, there are complicated mesh layers that create a beautiful, flattering pattern; it even has a bit of a pinkish tint to it. I had to stop myself from walking out with the mannequin.
Sun Jin Lee caught my attention not with gaudy lace or voluminous poofs, but with flattering, classic lines. Her pieces were a nice range of sophisticated with innovative touches, all the way to dresses that you could wear in the picnic scene of a Fellini film. Their pricing caught my attention as being somewhat more accommodating, as well.
There was also jewelry...
If you're at all like me, you've been carrying around some pseudo-garbage bag strung around your shoulder for months, with all the edges fraying and shit falling out of it. That's why this upcoming Ellington Handbags Spring 2013 Collection Launch Party will be right up your alley!
This Spring collection launch will be this Thursday, the 21st, from 5-7pm at their store on NW 23rd. The soiree will be providing food and drinks, a raffle, a free gift with purchase, and a chance to meet your purse's designer. Enjoying cocktails with your new purse and its creator sounds like a pretty hot Thursday night to me. Menage-a-purse, anyone?
In honor of Valentine's Day, betsy & iya just announced the most awesome contest idea ever! The jewelry label, which always has the most poetic product descriptions on their website, decided to reverse the creative process by giving fans a chance to submit a 40-word story that "will capture a quintessential betsy & iya moment," and designer Betsy Cross will make an original piece of jewelry inspired by the winner's story. The winner will receive the piece of jewelry once it is made, as well as a $400 gift certificate. The second and third runners-up will receive $100 and $50 gift certificates respectively. All contest entrants will be eligible to receive a 20% discount on an online purchase between today and April 3.
Entries, which must be submitted by March 7 to betsy & iya's Facebook page, will be put up for vote by FB users from March 8—March 14 to determine the finalists. The top three entries will be chosen by a panel that includes author Nancy Rommelmann (Transportation: Stories, The Queens of Montague Street), Kevin Sampsell (author of A Common Pornography, founder of Future Tense Publishing), B Frayn Masters (host/executive producer of Back Fence PDX), Courtenay Hameister (host of Live Wire!) and Nathalie Weinstein (editor of PDX Pipeline). The winner will be announce March 31.
Betsy & iya is always finding creative ways to connect to their customers, and this contest was conceived as a way to allow them to reflect the line means to them. As Cross explains, "We have such an engaged following online. We wanted to hear from them about what stories, dreams and fantasies come to mind through the lens of a betsy & iya piece." Get all the contest details here.
Tilde in Sellwood is having a last-minute Valentine's sale this weekend, with 20% off everything!
With local trinkets, jewelry, clothing, and just about anything women like, there's no excuse for you to forget her Valentine's gift this year.
Always wanted a Reif turban but have not been able to shell out the (very affordable) $28 because you are super broke or because you're just a cheap asshole? Well, now here's your chance to win a Reif turban AND a Reif headband. Click here, follow the instructions, and enter to win. Pretty easy, and if you win you'll look super pretty!!!
Have you guys checked out Demimonde on NE Broadway? If not, you totes should get yourself over to the shop: Absolutely gorgeous jewelry paired with a collection of vintage and new items that are lovely to fill your closet or living space with. “Exploring the illicit affairs we have with the objects we adorn ourselves with” couldn’t be a more fitting mantra for their perfect little shop. Demimonde is located at 2428 NE Broadway.
Ladies, listen up, it's officially winter time here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (durrr). Tights are absolutely essential for the months of November-March, and the past couple of times I’ve gone out I've been quite shocked to see so many bare legs [I'm still totally rocking bare legs—Ed.]. Lille boutique makes it effortlessly easy to stock up on gorgeous tights that are not only practical, but more importantly, pretty. Click below to shop the looks, and check out Lille’s complete hosiery collection here.
1) In my experience, cats usually wag their tails when they're pissed/want to kill things more so than "excited."
2) This seems like a good way to get cats to attack you from behind.
3) Crepes aren't that exciting.
4) I want one.
On Wednesday I attended the launch of The LiV Collection by BD503, a small affair that celebrated the release of a new handbag collection designed by singer/ songwriter LiV Warfield (a rising star who got her big break singing backup for Prince) and local handbag maker BD503. Warfield and BD503 designer Bianca Pettinari met this year at FashioNXT, where BD503 had a booth and Warfield sang to kick of the week's events. She spotted a bag, claimed she was, "Not leaving without it," and struck up a friendship with Pettinari, which led to the collaboration. "The LiV Collection by BD503 includes shoulder bags and clutches with signature details and exotics inspired by LiV’s passion for life, music and fashion."
BD503, a newcomer to the Portland design scene, boasts Pettinari's 20 years of experience working in Italy for the likes of John Galliano, Costume National, and Theory; individuality (each bag is made one at time and is one-of-a-kind); re-purposed leather sourced from vintage garments and top-quality excess leather from traditional Italian manufacturing; and each bag is handmade in their Portland studio. Following are a few shots of the clutches that caught my eye. You can check out the entire collection here.
The folks at Shwood Eyewear and the Experiment with Nature blog have a new mixtape, continuing their series of all-Portland compilations that you can download for free. You can stream it here and also download it over on their site. This time they've put together something a little more self-conciously synthy, with bands like Glass Candy and STRFKR making the tracklist; there's even an early '90s new jack swingy song by Nu Shooz which might kind of break your brain.
The Museum of Contemporary Craft has revamped their gift shop, otherwise known as The Gallery, and it's stocked with great gift items just in time for the holiday season. "At this studio store, you can touch, hold and purchase a meaningful one-of-a-kind object, extending the museum experience in a way that enhances your everyday life." These objects include jewelry, books, prints, and ceramics, many made by local artists. Below are some items in The Gallery that caught my eye:
Lindsey Reif’s new turban collection has been quite the buzz all around town. From the cute bow-style headbands to the glam new “full” turban style hats, there is a color or print sure to suit your style.
But that’s not all this lovely local designer has been up to. She recently launching her online store, which features her latest clothing and accessories collections. Looking for a foolproof holiday party outfit? Scope my favorites below, and click here to shop.
A new jewelry line just launched in Portland, an event I imagine roughly occurs once every eight minutes. But Bevy has a clever, original angle on the market: Simple "industrial chic" amulet "grid necklaces" that are custom-coded to represent significant dates—birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It's sentimental, like so much jewelry is, but a simple, clean, modern design. Plus, secret codes are just cool.
Local accessory brand Sticks & Stones will be doing a BIG BLACK FRIDAY EVENT starting today through Sunday, November 25th. Take 50% OFF of their entire online store, with free shipping on ALL domestic orders. Also, the FIRST 100 customers will automatically be entered to win a $200 Sticks & Stones Holiday gift card.
Here are some of my favorites that I hope to purchase!
Just in time for the holidays comes Seaecho’s latest collection ‘Spoils of Joy.’ A perfect gift for your bestie, or for yourself I would recommend getting one before they’re gone. These it-bags are handmade with authentic Pendleton fabric, and come in plenty of sizes to choose from. Click here to see which local shops stock em’.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!