I am holding on to Summer with my dear life and trying to incorporate all my favorite Summer Trends into my every day looks till there is no more Sun to worship. Because contrary to popular belief I know we have at least another month left to bask in some rain free weather.
Here are two of my favorite Summer trends.
Tribal Prints - Feel like a global traveller in one of Summer’s hottest trends. Perfect for a beach vacation, outdoor festival, or lunch in the city.
Tie Dye - For a California-cool & laid back look spring for Hippie inspired Tie Dye, while we still have a little bit more sunshine.
Looks like 90s fashion has yet another year to be highlighted in every magazine and fashion Tumblr. The A/W 2013 re-vamp has highlighted one of my favorite 90s fashion trends, Grunge. Need a little edge to add to your look? Try combat boots, acid wash denim and leather look pieces.
For my look I went a little darker than Grunge with some 90s Club Kid inspired pieces that have a modern twist of inspiration which includes a hologram body suit from local designer Chubby Cartwheels. The iridescent trend was definitely huge on the runways for Spring, made it's way into Summer, and will continue a bit into Fall.
Tip: When incorporating a flashy trend like this the key is to keep your look simple (that attention-grabbing material is enough) and as a rule you don't want to wear more than one holographic item at a time cause girl you don't want to look like a Disco Ball!
Body Suit - Chubby Cartwheels
(This body suit is a dream! Check out Chubby Cartwheels for the new line called Hologram Fantasy)
Leather Look Skater Skirt - Forever 21 Plus
Boots and accessories provided by Stylist Assistant
Special thanks to: Sam Kuster (Makeup), Josh Manus (Photographer), Leathia Miller (Stylist Assistant), and Shawna Farmer (Owner of Chubby Cartwheels) and Ground Control.
Few would argue with the contention that Chanel is the biggest name in fashion—the brand itself seems more than aware, with truly arrogant pricing (even for high fashion) and a too-good-for-it attitude toward online commerce. As mainstream as it is, and as sorta turned off as I am by how it plays out in modern times (logo whoring is gross), the legacy of founder Coco Chanel is inspiring and enduring. Were she alive today, she'd be celebrating her 130th birthday, and the Huffington Post has compiled a collection of portraits of her throughout her life to commemorate. My recommendation, though (and next time I get the flu I am totally doing this), would be to watch back-to-back the two best biopics that have been made of her in recent years, which together show her both as a young, orphaned underdog and an intimidating success:
Today The Creators Project debuted the third film collaboration between Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy—who always come off as down to earth and slightly awkward despite being two of the most celebrated fashion designers in the world—and artist/director Todd Cole, This Must Be the Only Fantasy. Clocking in at just over 10 minutes (not counting the closing credits) it features a group of teen role-playing gamers debating the relevance of guitar rock, until the young (and very pretty) heroine of the group (Sidney Williams, making her debut), storms off in search of the mysterious "Master" (played by Elijah Wood) who has failed to rise from his throne of videogame controllers to meet them for their regular game night. (Yep.) Along the way she encounters such foes as a couple of vaguely rapey, beer proffering troll-types and a robed figure wielding a light sabre. Throughout, Rodarte's medieval-inspired spring/summer 2013 collection is worn, and the whole thing is soundtracked by an original Beach House score, so... it should appeal to everyone?
Emerging designers mark the date: On August 18th there will be auditions for the chance to appear in this year's FashioNXT and compete to win a shit ton of prizes to help you launch your business! If you followed the evolution of the old Portland Fashion Week (no relation to this Porland Fashion Week) into the new title and format last year, you probably noticed that the Catapult Emerging Designer competition had been dropped. Well apparently event organizer Tito Chowdhury has since realized it's a mistake to not recognize up-and-coming talent, 'cause this year the competition is back under the new name Up/NXT (a little contrived, but whatevs). This year's prize package will include a computer system by corporate sponsor INTEL, a free full-collection runway show in the 2014 lineup, a feature in The Oregonian, business consultation with Shop Adorn's Nicole Whitsell and business accounts with multiple shops including Anne Bocci Boutique. Finalists will be judged by a panel of industry insiders including Anne Bocci herself, Project Runway Season 11 winner Michelle Lesniak, Portland Monthly style editor Eden Dawn, the Art Institute's Director of Apparel Design Sue Bonde, and the Merc's own Marjorie Skinner.
Auditions will be held at the Courtyard Marriott in Portland City Center, and interested designers are asked to secure a time-slot by sending an email to email@example.com by August 15th. There is a $35 entry fee, which, if you are selected will go toward the show's $350 production fee. Selected designers must to show a collection of eight cohesive head-to-toe looks, and the judges may give each designer three design challenges to include on the runway. Good luck!
Aussie babes are seriously perma nailing it on the fashion front. I am always looking to my top Australian fashion blogs for what’s on the horizon. Stumbling upon INSIDE IN, INSIDE OUT was a mere coincidence but I’m so glad I did. Meet 20-year-old twins Fabliha and Tasfia Reza from Brisbane, Australia, whose fashion forward picks always put a spring in my step whilst getting dressed in the morning. Scope some of favorites below, and check out the full blog here.
While recently in London, I noticed the look of the moment was all about the co’ord, AKA matchy-matchy vibes. For summer I love this trend as a top/skirt combo or top/shorts look. Bring it right into fall with a full on suit. Keep it chic with smart prints and sophisticated silhouettes. Look to the babes below for some top styling inpso:
Sword + Fern has started this new thing, curiously called "Discovere'verer." I do not know what that means, I know that they've tapped a ton of interesting people to participate (Anna Korte and Jason Rens, Claudia Meza). Basically it's a guest curating program, where one of these interesting people are tasked with presenting a selection of purchase-able items, sometimes in tandem with events.
For July, Valentine Freeman is taking charge. She is Ace Hotel's Creative Editor in Chief (translation: she does their blogging and social media), as well as the author of What's Truly Is Feral, a book of poetry published in 2011. First (this) Friday at 811 E Burnside (6-9 pm) will be the artist reception, where you can check out what she came up with:
As a poet, Valentine felt drawn to stock the shelves of S+F this month with loads of antique books, many with mysterious messages penned by typewriter, and bound in black ribbon by the lady herself. Expect tiny treasures, lost and then found again ephemera & memorabilia, and shelves overflowing with specially altered books from unknown origins.
Sounds curious, no? I have a feeling it's going to be weird in a really good way. Spooky books! Also on the agenda: a poetry reading event scheduled for July 13, where Freeman will be joined by some of her poet friends. Up next in Anna Korte (of AK Vintage) and Jason Rens (of SuperMaker).
Inspired by an Andy Warhol, throwback comic books, and Mickey Mouse mash-ups, S/S ’13’s most clever look is all about graphics, primary colors, and above all FUN.
Attitude:: Bat Girl off duty.
(More) Inspirations:: Dick Tracy (movie), Blondie, Moschino S/S '13
Ace Hotel, ever dedicated to remaining plugged into the creative industries that surround their locations, has launched a monthly video series profiling artists and their creative processes, called "Thinking Cap." The first, released today, features painter Evan B. Harris, who is responsible for some of the murals that have graced the hotel's interior since its opening in 2007. On July they'll launch a second one on Mark Mothersbaugh, and Sword + Fern (!) is set for August. Cute and light, the format appeals to me as a nice little collection of viewable time capsules documenting what's happening here now, and the Ace doesn't appear to be overly inserting itself or being annoyingly advertorial about it in the least, either:
Attention Francophiles and general art enthusiasts: the ever-evolving and inspiring shop Nationale delivers Portland a photo report from France. Shop-keep May Juliette Barruel spent a month of research and curation in Paris which included a Mike Kelley retrospective at the Centre Pompidou and a visit to the bookshop/gallery 0fr in Paris. Armed with loads of inspiration and an armful of specialty French items for her shop (get your espadrilles while they last!), Barruel returned this June. Pay Nationale a visit and catch the current Marie Koetjie exhibit while you're at it.
If you happen to be in the Midwest between October 19th, 2013 and April 18th, 2014—or more specifically St. Louis, Missouri, I highly recommend you check out the A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess exhibit at the World Chess Hall of Fame. You may be wondering what chess and fashion have to do with each other, but it turns they go hand in hand. This is explained very eloquently on the WCHF website:
In the game of chess, the queen is considered the most powerful, and often the most unpredictable piece. A queen, both in chess and as an archetype, embodies tradition, yet possesses the creative freedom to redefine the rules established by a patriarchal system.
The exhibit focuses on how the various archetypes of the queen have influenced the most innovative designers of our time and will include pieces from Alexander McQueen, Gianfranco Ferre, Gucci, Hussein Chalayan, Iris Van Herpen, Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, and more. Here are a few images highlighting the amazing pieces that will be shown at the exhibit:
The research of scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto has long been a source of inspiration and fascination for me. Dr. Emoto’s studies have proven that water molecules consistently change their structural forms to that of beautiful crystals or deformed structures depending on whether they are exposed to positive or negative thoughts and environments. Water, complex and multi-dimensional is as much a “being” as we are. As our bodies are 70%, our brains 90%, and much of our planet water, honoring this discovery would truly impact our collective health and environment if we were conscious of the water we come in contact with. The two phrases that Dr. Emoto found water strongly responded to are: “Thank-you” and “I love you”.
Such is the basis of the eerily timed Crystals of Transformation project by multimedia artist Fuchsia Lin. I first met her in a fashion show context, although she is really more of a costumer. And photographer. And sculptor. You get the idea. Anyhow, she was rewarded RACC's Professional Development Grant to develop her photography art, which she's supplementing with a Kickstarter-like fundraising campaign through USAProjects.org. Like everything I've seen her do, it's utterly fascinating:
She's only got one week left to meet her fundraising goal. Just sayin'.
The Art Institute's fashion design program's graduate fashion show is one of my favorite runway shows of the year. It's always a big, elegant affair with beautiful sets, a silent auction (the best kind of auction) and heartfelt remarks, and an added creative element. Even though it's the school's largest annual fundraiser (for its scholarship programs), it's always a fashion show, though other departments take turns pitching in.
This year it's the animation department, which lends itself to this year's "Drawing the Line" title and also promises "animation fashion installations." But the real meat of the matter are the 20+ Senior Collections making their debut—the prospect of fresh blood being a very tantalizing one to someone who covers local fashion
weekly daily. It's true that some of these designers will be snapped up by the local biggies and it may be the only time we see them design under their own names. But, some of them also stick around to become fixtures on and contributors to the independent scene, and I'm always excited to meet them. Plus the energy and excitement is infectious! You should check it out if you've never been:
Dr. Meg Jay’s recent TED Talk has my little friend group all abuzz (shout-out to Solestruck babe Melissa LaChance for sending this vid my way). Anyone who is in their 20s definitely needs to watch this. You know that old cliche? “30 is the new 20.” Well, it’s not. Mind blowing shit! Watch for your daily dose of inspiration.
History means a whole lot to different people. It can be endearing and show character. Others may see history as baggage, especially when most of that history is clouded and undocumented.
But what does this all mean when talking about a home? Like your choice in underwear or your Internet’s browser history, one’s home can be the most personal and historically revealing attribute of a person.
This centennial Victorian in Southeast is waiting to make more history.
At a first glance, 1934 SE Umatilla needs some TLC. It’s a home with delicate details and beauty oozing out of every slab of maple that lines its floors and abundant stained glass windows. Many of its rough characteristics are also what make it a special property: uneven floors, spunky dark wallpaper, and smaller-than-usual rails are all part of its appeal and wonder.
According to the current owners, it was built and completed roughly between 1878 and 1890. A couple of photos of the home hang on the walls of its living and dining rooms from a time when Sellwood was still its own municipality (it was annexed by Portland in 1883—check out the photos).
The owner’s also confirmed that past tenants included the former president of the Portland Blues Society and many famous blues musicians actually played in the house, including Muddy Waters!
“Everyone has different ideas of what they want. You’d have to love this house for all the character and quirkiness that it has,” said Wendy Snyder, head agent for the home. “The owners didn’t want to change or ruin any of the character.”
So maybe my excitement led me to get a little out of hand with the subject tags of this post, but that's only because Sword + Fern—the gem of a shop helmed by Emily Baker, who makes jewelry but also stocks local apothecary, art, clothing, vintage nicknacks, books, and more—just keeps becoming a better and more rounded nexus of all these things.
After closing for a few months for renovations, Sword + Fern will be back in the First Friday swing of it this week, debuting the first in their new series of curatorial collaborations/art installations, "DISCOVERe'verer," with Plane/Air, to be followed by a roster of participants that includes Claudia Meza, Anna Korte, Helmy Membreno, Valentine Freeman, and more. Plus they've just announced that S+F will be the pickup spot for produce from Thistle Top Farm, and a forthcoming clothing line collaboration with Portland Garment Factory(!!). Swing by this Friday from 6-9 for a look at the reconfigured space and a high five for Baker's expanded venture.
Sparks is playing The Aladdin Theater on Sunday and I am beyond excited. I have been a huge fan for a while, (so much so in fact that I manged to get an interview with them, which you can read here.) Sparks' career has spanned over four decades, and with that comes many changes in style, both in music and wardrobe. My favorite sartorial period of Sparks is the 1970s, and Russell Mael combined the styles of glam and disco while his brother Ron's style was a throwback to the 1940s. A very interesting juxtaposition that worked well visually with their performance styles. Here are some of my favorite looks, including a couple of videos.
I totally dig the white leisure suit that Russell Mael is wearing. You can get a better view of it in their video for This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us:
Before the current issue disappears into the horizon and sails away, I'd like to encourage you to take note that in addition to our lengthy feature on mayor Charlie Hales, I devoted my little fashion column to his wife, and Portland's first lady, Nancy Hales, which sort of makes this the unofficial Hales Issue.
I didn't really think anything of the fact that he was married when Hales first took office. In the 15+ years that I've lived here Portland never had a "first lady" in any impactful way, so expectations were pretty nonexistent. It was actually Tito Chowdhury, Executive Producer of FASHIONxt who first alerted me to her in his contribution for our 2013 style predictions at the new year:
Our new mayor's wife, who's well traveled, outward looking in her professional capacity, and a fashion enthusiast, may play a visible role in promoting style. Unless the underachieving, vocal majority of Portlanders don't break her spirit just because she's showing fashion awareness, [since] that threatens their frumpy looks and living.
Man, I almost forgot how jerky he got at the end there. Anyway, it was enough to make me curious, and to notice when she kept being photographed wearing Portland-designed pieces. I was just excited to have someone in a visible role who was stylish—we could use a little glamour, guys, and I will never forget the time a supportive but hapless Sam Adams made his opening remarks at Portland Fashion Week wearing a tee-shirt and baseball cap (ugh, so embarrassing). And I was delighted to find out that her interest is more than just for show. She has a fascinating job in her own right, running the First Stop Portland program at PSU, acting as an ambassador of the city for international delegations coming to visit and study Portland for a variety of reasons, and it was through this work that she started to unpeel what the local industry has been doing, and she understands its significance within the overall culture of the city and its famous "livability."
Anyway, I think she's rather fantastic, and maybe represents the potential for more support and/or recognition from people in decision-making positions. Read it!
Continuing my day's theme of things you can hang on a wall: I've been cultivating an obsession with the art of Wesley Younie for the past couple years (full disclosure: we are friends, but I am also friends with other, more mediocre artists (you know who you are!) who I never blog about). Anyhow, one of the handful of poor decision that I, and maybe you, made this weekend was to be too tired/scared of downtown to go out to the opening of his new show, with Amy Ruppel, on Saturday at the Mark Woolley gallery space in Pioneer Place.
One of my most prized possessions is the giant Younie painting hanging in my living room, and I've been known to give some of his smaller pieces as gifts. But after seeing photos of the work (I had a mole), which will remain up until May 12, it's clear that I'm far from having satisfied the urge to look at these expansive nature motifs, in all their blue-skied psychedelia and alternating darkness, every goddamn day.
Hot on the not so recent heels of her Opening Ceremony Collection, Yoko Ono just released her Make-up Tips for Men video. It's not so much a video tutorial as it is an inspirational video with animations of cute boys and text about rainbows, sparkling, and "pull[ing your date] by his dyed blond hair." The video is short and sweet, and I can totally see the party-goers of Blow Pony heeding Yoko's advice.
A glimpse into a possible future of garment manufacturing technology (an industry that needs materials innovation with increasingly obvious desperation) came this week courtesy of stage designer Michael Schmidt and model Dita Von Teese, who debuted the design at none other than the NYC outpost of the Ace Hotel:
I think it's pretty hot, personally, but now for the science!: "The dress is made of powdered nylon, a flexible, fabric-like substance that's most often used for architectural modeling... The dress was then polished and lacquered black and covered with 12,000 black Swarovski crystals."
Another round of music video inspiration! So new it doesn't officially come out until tomorrow, here's a sneak peek at the new video for "The Walls Want Communion" by trance-y, gothy Portland dark wavers Light House. That pan up the lead singer's outfit is no accident, of course. That's kickass apparel designer Dawn Sharp rocking witchy shoes, velvet skirt, floaty blouse, and super-cute pixie. It's somewhat more lo-fi than Bowie's latest posted below (hello, garage), but the eye makeup is equally good, and the vibe offers a useful insight into Sharp's aesthetic.
Holy shit you guys, David Bowie is blowing up for the millionth time in his career. With a new album and a new movie Bowie seems to be everywhere, and all indications lead to to the fact that he is still as talented and provocative as ever. Case in point, his newest music video for the song "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" featuring actress Tilda Swinton and models Andrej Pejic, Saskia de Brauw, and Iselin Steiro. Throwing back to his earlier self, this video is full of gender bending and just good ol' fashion sex appeal. Enjoy! (But maybe not where your boss can see it.)
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