So the Portland Fashion & Style Awards thing is still set to go down on Friday (at the Schnitz no less!)—with tickets ranging from $35-ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS (!). Last night they released the final list of nominees for 25 categories covering aspects of the industry from retail, apparel design, hair styling, modeling, and more. Out of all the nominees (four in each category, so 100, give or take a small amount of overlap), guess how many of them I have ever heard of? A very generous 32, including myself and at least six people I allowed because I squinted and thought, "that name sounds vaguely familiar..." I can recall having actually interacted with 23 of them, again, including myself. Of those 23, 18 are brick 'n' mortar businesses, mostly boutiques, which are by far the most recognizable category.
1. BEST FASHION AND STYLE WRITER
1. Jessica Kane 2. Ambrosia Carey
2. Eden Dawn 4. Marjorie Skinner
2. BEST FASHION AND STYLE
1. DAMchic Magazine 2. Skorch Magazine
3. Rude Magazine 4. The Buzzcut
3. BEST FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER
1. Foto Door 2. Kendra Martin
3. Mark Coffin 4. Quavondo
4. BEST SALON SE
1. Flux 2. Rock Paper Scissors
3. Teal Salon 4. Blue Salon
5. BEST SALON SW
1. National Beauty 2. Magnum Opus
3. Ahead of Style 4. Bishops SW
6. BEST SALON N/NE
1. Arebella Salon 2. Bishops Alberta
3. Little Shop of Hairs 4. Defining Image Salon
7. BEST SALON EAST SIDE
1. Epic Center Hair 2. Resurface Skin
3. Studio Luxe 4. Modele Salon
8. BEST SALON WEST SIDE
1. Brow Betty 2. Mascola's Salon
3. L'Attrait 4. Cashmere Beauty Lounge
9. BEST SALON NW/PEARL
1. 77 2. Dezi Salon
3. Studio Luxe 4. Mada
10. BEST DESIGNER ACCESSORY
1. Brandy Gray 2. Shel's Jewels
3. Mandelena 4. Annie Angell
11. BEST BOUTIQUE SE
1. Xtabay 2. Lille Boutique
3. Machus 4. Mag Big
12. BEST BOUTIQUE SW
1. Anne Bocci 2. Stephen Vincent Jewelers
3. Jules of Morocco 4. The Mercantile
13. BEST BOUTIQUE N/NE
1. Adorn 2. Backtalk
3. Sweet Jayne 4. Zahara Boutique
14. BEST BOUTIQUE EAST SIDE
1. Branch and Birdie 2. Shells Jewels
3. Union Rose 4. Something New Creations
15. BEST BOUTIQUE WEST SIDE
1. EG Page 2. Dawn Garnes
16. BEST BOUTIQUE NW/PEARL
1. Bonnett 2. Ellington Handbags
3. Folly 4. Recycled Chic Boutique
17. BEST DRESSED MAN
1. Travis Howe 2. Dennis Gleason
3. David Scott 4. William Gilleland
18. BEST DRESSED WOMAN
1. Bhrigha Gypsikelt 2. Bree Sullivan
3. Marti Zimlin 4. Tabitha Knight
19. BEST STYLIST MAKE-UP
1. Camillia Lawton 2. Jamie O'Neil
3. M'chel Bauxel 4. Sharron Weichold
20. BEST STYLIST HAIR
1. Amanda Williams 2. Amber Carey
3. Eric Allan Nelson 4. Veronica Green
21. BEST MODEL PETITE
1. Amanda Monique 2. Elizabeth Pettyjohn
3. Morgan Rose 4. Shelby Meader
22. BEST MODEL PLUS
1. Keri Atkins 2. Serena Love Couture
3. Elie Hoover 4. Bianca McCarthy
23. BEST MODEL MALE
1. Matt McCaleb 2. Travis Howe
3. Valentino Lucas 4. Scott Ford
24. BEST MODEL FEMALE
1. Bhrigha Gypsikelt 2. Favour Amunga
3. Kodi Kristoferson Sawyer 4. Tabitha Knight
25. BEST DESIGNER APPAREL
1 .Beth McShane 2. Dawn Garnes
3. Juniper Lunasri 4. Tony Dimitri Peniche
How many names can you recognize?
Strange things are afoot over at Portland Fashion Week HQ. I've been hearing mutterings for a while now about a potential name change and re-brand of the days-long series of sustainably focused fashion shows and hints of other changes. But as of Friday executive producer Tito Chowdhury was staying mum, batting away my email queries with, "This year's event will indeed be something very special. We will share more over the coming weeks." I ran into him last night and he gave me the same line.
Uh-huh. Well, at least this much is known. Portland Fashion Week, whose web site still lies fallow after last year's events, has set up new camp on Facebook as "FASHIONxt." Which is... a kind of terrible name. It reminds me of something the characters in Office Space would have smashed. The new statement of purpose seems to de-emphasize the fashion aspect and be pushing toward a more general lifestyle approach:
Portland is pushing the envelope of what a fashion week has been, to what it can be by presenting runway shows by extraordinary designers and exhibits of the latest in fashion-forward consumer technology, products, services and apps — a sensibility that Portland is known for and consumer trends worldwide are heading.
Also, although none of my trusty sources would name names, apparently there is at least one major name making the trek out to show their new collection. Um... Stella McCartney? No? At any rate, I'm glad to see PFW shaking things up and reinventing itself. It's an event that's always struggled to find its best role in the community, and it may not have had any hope of doing so if they weren't willing to try something new.
The Portland chapter of AIGA—the professional association for designers—just completely revamped their web site, adding new featured content as well as a cosmetic refresh. Portland's long been known as a hotspot for graphic design (and interactive and experiential design, etc), and AIGA offers a lot of great opportunities for its members, from career tools and networking events, discounts on seminars, a "Portfolio Day" where designers can get feedback from respected industry figures, to profiles and features on exciting projects, lectures, and more.
(While it will occasionally, tangentially touch bases with fashion design (the Museum of Contemporary Craft's Namita Gupta Wiggers was recently featured), its association with people involved in the design of physical things (ADX is a regular name bandied about the site) seems to present a logical extension into that world, at least from an outside perspective. The need for a collective resource and community center in among Portland's independent fashion community is something that's been expressed many times over the years, and many have tried (and subsequently petered out) to make it happen—god knows I've sat in on some of those meetings over the years. In other words: jelz.)
Then again, those involved in marketing and branding are arguably in a better spot to fork over the $315 annual dues recommended for professional-grade members who have "practiced or taught in any design community for four years or more." Any design community? Hm.
I didn't even know the Kids Choice Awards existed because I am THAT COOL (the only thing I watched yesterday was GAME OF THRONES with the cool people), but apparently it does, and a panoply of random celebrities showed up in what has been termed "extremely loud fashion." Maybe I'm bored, but most of it looked fine to me, if a half-step away from the painstakingly uncontroversial garb seen at most awards events. Except, of course, for the always reliably gauche Katy Perry:
I just can’t get enough of:
CatPaint App: For only 99 cents you can download a magical app on your Iphone called CatPaint, which allows you to add pictures of adorable kitties to any existing photo in your library. I must give a shoutout to Sarah Radcliffe of Yo Vintage!, if I didn’t follow her on Instagram I probably never would have found CatPaint. Adding cats to your pictures instantly makes them hilarious, and there is also a laser feature, which allows you to shoot laser beams from the cats eyeballs. Download here.
Rill Rill’s Goddess Headpiece: Perfect for your summer music festival adventures, this headpiece is made from 7 strands of 18k gold disc chains. A very similar style has been rocked by boho queen Nicole Richie, but you can get the look for less and from local lovely Katie Freedle here.
Lux Hippie Blog: Local model and vegan darling Mandi Kremer spills her favorite vegan recipes, street style shots, and fashion tips on her blog. Peanut Butter Banana Cookies anyone? Yum! Her recipes are her own creation and most of them are super easy and even more delicious. Kremer also dishes about her travels abroad, including jaunts to Tibet, Paris, and Spain. Check it out here.
Rachel Antonoff Benitez Dress at Frances May: Super cute for spring/summer this dress can easily go from day to night with a few great accessories and an effortless summer wedge (I love the Common Projects Open Wedge also at Frances May) The back of the dress is such a showstopper, with criss cross straps and an open back it screams sexy, but definitely still sweet. Get the look here.
Betches Love This Blog: From their about me page “If you could combine the hotness of Kate Moss with the wit of Chelsea Handler, and the fuck-off vibe of Anna Wintour, you would have yourself the ultimate betch.” This blog will keep you lol’ing for hours, I was turned on to it last week and now I’m totes addicted. Betches Love This keeps you up to date on the latest gossip, how to guides (i.e. How To: Pretend to Know About Wine, and How To: Judge a Bro by his Cover) and betches of the week. Scope it here, you know you want to.
Even if having love for fashion-related reality TV is becoming an increasingly rarified quality, you may take at least a passing interest in the fact that NBC's answer to the genre, Fashion Star (click the link just to see the remarkably unflattering and heavily retouched profile photos of host Elle MacPherson and mentors Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, and Nicole Richie), debuts tonight at 9:30.
Modeled much like The Voice, the season premier of which I actually enjoyed when it came on after the Superbowl, aims to be less about the drama and the whining-about-being-tired stuff you get plenty of with Project Runway, and instead keep the focus on the competition aspect. Designers found worthy will have their designs selected by buyers for Macy's, H&M, and Saks, and they will actually be made available to the purchasing public (the day after each episode, in a filming-to-airing time-frame sleight of hand).
And, if you, like me, find that a home-team player goes a long way toward making it to the threshold of interest, look no further than Lizzie Parker. True, she hails from Seattle and not Portland, but she has shown sizable collections many times at Portland Fashion Week, so I'm grandfathering her in. Besides, as you can see by this a bit too-long profile interview, she is confident, well spoken, grounded, and realistic—we should be proud to "adopt" her as a pet favorite in the season's proceedings. Now if I only had a TV…
Why don't these guys ever make an effort to surprise us?
They're baaaaack.... I just got an email from an associate casting director for Project Runway, and they're sniffing up the old Portland tree again, hoping to shake down some more fruit a la Leanne Marshall, Janeane Marie, Gretchen Jones, Seth "Actually From Vancouver" Aaron Henderson, Becky Ross, and Bryce Black. This is a bit early for them, suggesting that Season 10 might air earlier on the calendar than it has in recent years. (June-September instead of July-October, maybe? Closing the gap between when fashion week photos come out online and the season finales would be a good idea, but summer nights are precious, dudes!)
Ordinarily here is where I'd sternly warn Portland designers against participating in a reality show that suffers less and less credibility every season, most recently awarding the win to a contestant who made some fun maxi dresses but could barely sew anything else. But you know, what? I am done. You're adults, and if you want to participate on a supposedly style conscious program that greenlights an ad campaign like this, that's your own problem:
Behold Shy'm, French R&B singer, at the NRJ Music Awards in what can only be described as a hairy, translucent corset:
Yet again the icy hand of reality fashion TV has touched our shoulder. Don't worry, there isn't a Portland resident competing on NBC's Fashion Star—it's not that bad. But Seattle contestant Lizzie Parker is closely associated with Portland Fashion Week, where she has often shown her spring collections, although she didn't in 2011. If she returns, she'll be helping to fill out an increasingly large contingent of reality fashion show vets, joining ranks with the Seth Aaron-led Project Runway contingent. I'm gonna go ahead and sit this one out, but I'll be keeping an eye out for news on how she does. She is at least a competent if practical designer whose work is mainly easily wearable, simple and efficient separates. Best of luck to her.
Hosted by supermodel Elle Macpherson, Fashion Star features celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, and John Varvatos. The series will premiere Tuesday, March 13, at 9:30 p.m. with a 90-minute episode. Following that, Star’s hour-long episodes will air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
After the successful 2011 debut of Pendleton's The Portland Collection—wildly good press, serious customer demand, and a dollop of controversy that got everyone thinking about cultural appropriation in fashion (if you haven't already, read this excellent piece on the subject by Lisa Hix)—the company has reinvested in its line featuring Portland designers John Blasioli, Rachel Turk, and Nathaniel Crissman. The Fall 2012 collection is much larger, with more home items, and I hear, more color. The lookbook has not been released as of yet, and Pendleton's doing a good job of teasing the curious masses. The only photo that has been released:
The latest hoopla in the wild and woolly world of fashion models is that H&M got "busted" Photoshopping actual, alive models' faces onto what are basically digital mannequins:
In other, far more disturbing model news, American model Lauren Scruggs walked into the propeller of a plane, losing a hand, slicing a shoulder, and potentially losing sight in her left eye.
Just when you start to get comfortable with your post-Project Runway existence (I hereby ban any more Portland designers from submit to these televised shenanigans... please?), it rears its ugly head again. Those of us who have all but completely given up on the merits of this competition may have sworn off the show, but you could hardly be helped if you formed any attachments to any coulda- shoulda- woulda-won former contestants. Enter the new Project Runway All Stars Challenge, starring none other than Mondo, who will probably be single handedly responsible for drawing 95% of viewers. As you'll recall, Mondo was barely beat out by Portland contestant Gretchen Jones in Season 8 in what was then one of the judges' most controversial decisions (arguably less so than the more recent decision to award the grand prize to someone who doesn't know how to make clothes).
Mondo may have lost that round, but he won the hearts of PR fans, and you can bet they'll be rooting for him when All Stars debuts in its just-announced debut on January 5 at 9 pm on Lifetime. Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive (and non-embeddable) video preview. In the meantime, take a short trip down memory lane before deciding if you're in it for the long haul.
Goodbye and good riddance. Project Runway came to its shameful conclusion last night, ending what has been one of the most dismal seasons of the show thus far. Unlikeable contestants, too many group challenges, a shorter length of time for the designers to put together their fashion week collections, motherfucking stilts—the laundry list of complaints lodged against this season goes on and on. On the positive side, Heidi has been looking really healthy, and they made a big step up in the finale guest judge department, upgrading from Jessica Simpson to L'Wren Scott. Otherwise this season, particularly its conclusion, has been probably the most detrimental to the show's reputation thus far. Here, judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia explain their thinking on each of the final four going into the decision-making.
After a brief hiatus (Portland Fashion Week, vacation), I'm back on the Project Runway horse, just in time for the last, best few episodes. To recap: Bert got done in by a bird, Portland designer Bryce Black was briefly resurrected (along with other eliminated contestants) to referee between former besties Joshua and Anya, and then Laura finally bit it after an exhaustion-driven experiment with circle prints. So! We are left with four: Anya, Joshua, Viktor, and Kimberly. With one more designer set to be eliminated before the final three, it was time for the traditional home visits with Tim Gunn, from Joshua's tiny studio in Queens to Anya's palatial estate in Trinidad. Doop de doo, business as usual, right? WRONG. Last night's episode ended in scandal and bullshit. Don't know what I mean? Don't hit the jump.
Only the truly competent remain on this last leg of Project Runway, meaning we are probably out of the woods as far as construction concerns go, and it's now down to matters of taste—in other words, we're in Nina's world now, and man has she pepped up. Abandoning her usual coiled cool, in which a raised eyebrow and a stern tone are about as hysterical as she gets, she's now screeching that "THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LEOPARD PRINT! ACID COLOR LEOPARD PRINT IS A PROBLEM!" and "IT LOOKS CHEAP!!!!" while frantically looking around for confirmation from her fellow judges of the fact that cheap looking clothing is tantamount to the sky falling. Good morning, Nina, it's good to have you back.
This is also where I start to feel sorry for the designers. All of their looks are generally pretty good, with only the occasional atrocity, and so everything becomes super subjective. One thing, however, that everyone could agree on in this '70s-themed challenge, was that Joshua's plaid pants are... well okay, not the worst thing that could happen to a woman's ass and thighs, but close.
AHHHHH, indeed. No, it certainly doesn't "resignate," as Heidi points out, who apparently caught a bit of the speech impediment from totally useless guest judge Olivia Palermo, who mostly parroted what the other judges said, at one point asked "Why didn't you make a skort?"—NEVER A QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE ASKED—and stumbled or mispronounced every seemingly random garment-related word that tumbled out of her mouth.
Portland Fashion Week is creeping upon us (the first night is a week from tomorrow... guess that means I should do some laundry). PFW has enjoyed its fair share of controversy over the years based on everything from its participation fees to its often-douchey attendees, but it rarely enjoys the level of corruption outlined in Glamour UK's recent piece, "The Truth About Fashion Week," which reels off a list of blind items about designers and models engaging bad behavior ranging from job-interview hand jobs to searching models' handbags for tampons—being "in season" is apparently cause for firing in his house. Read the highlights here, and tune in for the highlights of our own Fashion Week beginning next week on MOD, where I promise to keep an eye out for coke-fueled temper tantrums and backstage blowjobs. One can hope.
Ding-dong, the wimp is dead! Sorry, that was mean, I'm still bitter about last week. If you saw last night's installment of Project Runway, you know who I'm talking about. For this episode, the season's relentless obsession with team challenges marched on, splitting into two groups tasked with designing looks for the shaggy haired members of a band called the Sheepdogs for an upcoming Rolling Stone shoot. Luckily for the designers, their style, reflected in their music, is easy to read, and which I would summarize as "retro hippie biker dudes." Shaggy hair, handlebars, denim, leather, dashikis, snakeskin boots, and so forth.
Also, I don't recall Tim ever being so giggly. I'll have what he's having. Speaking of giggly, I would not say that I like Adam Lambert's style choices, but he did make a jovial addition to the judges' panel.
Tony Dimitri Peniche, a recent apparel design graduate from the Art Institute, has announced that a photoshoot for his fashion line on Saturday will feature over 100 naked people traipsing from PSU onto the MAX at 6:45 am ("just heading to work... naked"), down to Ankeny Alley by 9:30 ("acting casual, drinking coffee, riding bikes, getting out of a cab... naked"), then on to Barracuda for a club scene at noon ("people just having fun, dancing, drinking, smiling..." you get it). What's a fashion shoot without clothing? Well, the tag line behind the concept is "If you aren't wearing Peniche, you aren't wearing anything," and the nudists will be joined by a lone model repping the brand.
This is par for the course for Peniche's drugs/sex/rock 'n' roll marketing preferences, and not the first time he's raised eyebrows (witness the extremely cuddly and middle finger-heavy photoshoot he did with his sister, who, incidentally, you might recognize from teen beauty pageants, Playboy, a handful of rehab-related reality shows, or that one naked home video with Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart). That's all fine and dandy as long as he keeps working in the direction of the interesting and well crafted looks he showed us at the AI show—I will, and have said, that he's come a very long way from the screenprinting and bullet belts we first knew him for.
It will be just like the naked bike ride except with guyliner instead of bikes! Plan your Saturday accordingly. (Oh and if you want to try to join in, go here.)
I know, it is way too early to be talking about cold times and holiday parties, but this little rumor just came across my desk: The flagship location of the annual downtown pop-up shop program (you can read some of my coverage of past years here and here) has been accidentally announced. If all goes as planned, Boys' Fort will be housed in the downtown Galleria at 600 SW 10th starting Oct 17, boasting "classic men's products with a modern urban curve."
But settle down there, shoppers: Holiday pop-up honcho Lisa Frisch cautions that this little press release has wandered out prematurely, and final details, including pretty important ones like, you know, the leases, are still being hammered out. So not to count our chickens before they hatch, but Frisch does confirm that "We plan on having three to four PDX Pop-Up shops this year." Stay tuned for the official word, due next month. In the meantime, it's probably safe to start getting excited about the third round for this program, which props up the work being produced by the local industry and has even, in the case of the Portland Design Collective and Crafty Wonderland, produced permanent new residents on the downtown retail map.
It was a bloody massacre on last night's episode of Project Runway in a challenge for which the designers had to—gasp!—design for women who aren't models and have all these weird things that someone whose job it is to dress women couldn't possibly be expected to work around, like boobs and butts and stuff. "Boobs to me are trouble," whimpered Olivier, who probably had the hardest time of anyone dealing with his "clients," a bossy husband and wife duo.
To back up, for a minute it looked like the designers were going to have to design menswear, which clearly struck terror into many of their hearts, but all were relieved when it was revealed that the men they'd paired up with were more like (clueless) consultants on a look for their significant others.
As fumbling as Olivier was, it wasn't he who was sent packing at the end of the night. Get your sad violin music ready and hit the jump to find out who did.
Tragedy struck on last night edition of Project Runway and I'm not just talking about Joshua's cray-cray wicked outburst in the workroom with Bert. I'm still not convinced that Bert has deserved all the trash talking the other designers have thrown at him, but he does have a tendency to say something and then immediately deny having said it. But for the record Bert, we all watched you say "So much for my fucking clocks." Not that it should matter all that much, Josh.
And you thought his eyebrows were intense!
First of all, this is maybe the most amazing outfit I've ever seen on Project Runway:
Sadly the name of the game in last night's challenge was not to design a smashing party look for Humpty Dumpty, or I'm sure I couldn't fathom a better submission than the one from Bert here (who at least outwardly seemed totally serious about his look, trying to branch out of the reach of criticism that his designs are too simple—that is certainly one way to do it). Instead the designers were paired up with teenaged students from the Harlem School of the Arts. They then collaborated on a painting from which they were to take their inspiration for an avant garde look, which the students also had input on. I was excited about this one because it allowed the designers immense freedom and $300 to spend on decent materials, but most of the results were more red carpet than avant garde. Still, some interesting stuff.
The claws came out on last night's episode of Project Runway, in another group challenge that featured vicious words spat out, most notably by Joshua (wow, he has a wicked side), Bert (at this point openly hostile towards his fellow contestants). It got dirty. There were tears. And sorry to say, they belonged to Portland contestant Becky Ross. Ouch. And then the camera followed her into the bathroom where she was crying in a stall. OW.
Oh, the drama. But first: OMG, WTF. We have to see the part again in which Olivier could not make it through a single lap around a track without biffing spectacularly (props to Heidi and Tim for managing not to laugh, at least not in the final edit), skinning his knee and passing out/suffering a panic attack as paramedics attended to him.
Firstly, I should disclose that I watched last night's episode of Project Runway in the very presence of Portland contestant Bryce Black (who told me absolutely nothing of value, the fink). Luckily, he and fellow PDX contestant Becky Ross more or less skated through the dread Nina Challenge, in which the designers were tasked to come up with an office-to-industry-function get-up for the show's most useful judge (Michael, you are funnier, it's just by a hair).