And another point for the move toward increasing local apparel production: Longtime Chinatown shop/gallery Compound is debuting its first ever in-house cut and sew line, called Tabor by Compound, entirely designed and manufactured in Portland. Launching this Saturday, here's what the shop/gallery's Ira LaFontaine has to say about it:
The line is going to include chino-style jogger pants, tops and a spring jacket (as well as graphic tees, like we've done in the past). I'm especially excited because the cut and sew will be entirely designed and manufactured here in Portland. For me, it's great because we've been able to take a more casual Portland aesthetic and mix it a bit with the faster Compound streetwear style... This is going to be one of the biggest projects we've ever done
Proper lookbook shots are still pending, but here are a couple snapshots to give you an idea:
And so it came to pass that your Westside bra-shopping options took another hit: Lille Boutique has announced that they're giving up their SW Alder location (a smaller and more bridal-focused version of the original, larger E Burnside shop) to make room for a neighbor's expansion. The decision comes close on the heels of the birth of owner Sarah Wizemann's first daughter, so the timing seems rather fortuitous, actually. Not that she'll rest for long: In exchange the eastside boutique is set for an expansion. The last day to shop Lille downtown will be April 30th and up until then you can take advantage of an especially advantageous closing sale: Buy any item and get a second one of equal or lesser value for FREE. That... is like, woah. Time for a panty raid.
Yesterday evening a press release went out announcing that Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Craft Namita Gupta Wiggers is stepping down from her full-time role at the institution after 10 years. Wiggers oversaw the museum's move from Corbett Ave to the heart of the city, doubled the size of its collection, was responsible for landmark exhibitions like Ai Wei Wei's first West Coast show, and remains one of the city's most interesting interviews, in my opinion. Promisingly, she is expected to continue work with MoCC in some capacity in addition to pursuing other gigs in independent curating, consulting, and teaching, as well as continuing to develop Critical Craft Forum, which she co-founded in 2008. The news comes as the museum is on the cusp of big changes itself, integrating more completely as a department of PNCA, which is itself migrating quickly to take over the North Park Blocks. Wiggers has an incredible wealth of insight and enthusiasm to share, so I hope whatever shakes out for her will keep her voice in a prominent and easily accessed place within the city. As PNCA president Tom Manley puts it, "Her impact on the institution and the field will be felt well into the future, and we look forward to this new phase of our relationship with her."
It has been quite the journey for jet. Starting out as a simple dream, working up to retail location on N. Mississippi with sewing machines in the store, and progressing to a production facility just down the street. We were able to grow with support and loyalty from our friends, family, and customers. jet was able to help the local clothing movement make strides in Portland, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. We are proud of the work we have done, but have decided that it’s time to move on.Closing our production facility and our retail store was not an easy decision, but it is a necessary step in the growth trajectory.
Jet plans to maintain a web presence as well as its wholesale accounts, but this still feels like a double loss since it's taking with it one of the city's few organized houses of local apparel production. It's unclear where the clothing will instead be produced, but I have a call out to get more information. In the meantime, everything in the shop is being marked down 40% through the end of April.
It sounds like the beloved Decades Vintage located downtown has lost its lease. Though the building's changed hands over the last several years they've been able to stay, but not this time: The new owners plan to renovate the building into a hotel. They have tried diligently to find a new space, but thus far have no prospects. They don't plan to give up though, and the good news is, they're still selling from their Etsy shop and on their web site, and the store is open until the end of April. To encourage continuing sales, they're offering 20-50% off their merchandise through April.
Says Owner Jon Cosgrove:
For more than 17 years Decades Vintage Company has made it's home Downtown in the Oregon Pioneer Building. In case you weren't aware, the fate of our old office building has been in the balance for a few years. It's future became clear last month when the building sold for the fourth time in our occupancy Whether there will be a place for Decades after the renovation is doubtful and for now Decades future remains uncertain as does mine.
Through hard work and your support Decades survived the dot com bust, the post 9/11 economy and the popping of the housing bubble. While other businesses came and went you helped Decades grow into what it is today. What's more, and this is the part I'm most proud of, your business helped put food on the tables and pay the rents of more than 25 employees.
So with a melancholic sigh we say goodbye to our little corner of the world. I thank you for being so supportive all these years. I hope you'll find some time to drop by in the coming weeks to help us say farewell to this singular spot where Decades made our home.
Terrible news: L'Wren Scott, the fashion designer and longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger, was found dead this morning by apparent suicide:
Scott's body was found hanging from a scarf on a doorknob by her assistant at her New York apartment around 10 a.m. Monday, reports the Daily News. The AP reports an official as saying no note was found and there was no sign of foul play. The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.
Scott was 49, and though anyone who dates Mick Jagger for over a decade would be famous by association, Scott was deservedly revered in her own right as a fashion designer. She did recently make some stage costumes for the Rolling Stones, but is way more well known for her London Fashion Week collections. Perhaps as a sign that trouble was brewing, her presentation for the most recent round of fashion week shows was canceled, but that's among many questions still unanswered as of now.
The fate of Pendleton's the Portland Collection—which, in case you somehow missed it, is the local heritage brand's very well received contemporary collection, and which has also served as an arguably crucial driver of interest in regional apparel production—has been in question for months now. The original trio of designers tapped to work on it—Church + State's Rachel Turk and Nathaniel Crissman, and John Blasioli—stepped down from the line late in 2013, and when it was announced shortly thereafter that former hometown champ Gretchen Jones (who moved to New York to pursue her eponymous line after winning Project Runway in 2010) had been hired by the company, it seemed likely that she might be an important part of the Portland Collection's future.
And now that Jones and Pendleton have had a chance to get to know each other, the mystery has been answered, with what's essentially a "yes and no" as to whether she will take over:
Pendleton Woolen Mills, a globally celebrated American lifestyle brand headquartered in Portland, Ore., is taking its contemporary brand, The Portland Collection, in a new direction. Gretchen Jones has been named the lead designer charged with evolving the look and character of Pendleton’s new contemporary line, PENDLETON COLLECTION.
So they're keeping a contemporary line, but they're re-branding it, which I think is appropriate. Another key detail is that this Pendleton Collection is women's apparel only—a disappointment to TPC's male fans, no doubt, but reflective of Jones' background and experience as a designer who only worked in womenswear. As for when the new venture is set to arrive, it's due to launch for Fall 2015.
Two brands with deep Portland roots, it's suitable that Danner and Beckel Canvas work together. Both brands pride themselves in the lasting quality of their products along with strong family and community history, and the Beckel duck canvas in its variety of colors fits into the Danner boot scene well.
“There is a great shared history between the Danner and Beckel brands,” says Kathy Beckel Darnielle, President of Beckel Canvas Products. “In addition to our Portland roots, my father and Bill Danner were neighbors and good friends for years. It means a lot to me to bring this partnership to life."
To celebrate the debut, Danner will host a launch party on March 6 at its new Union Way store.
The mens' Light Beckel Boots are now available online , and the women's styles will be available in April.
Mink boutique has a dedicated following in Portland. For many women, it is their GO-TO for perfect fit, high quality, and beautiful everyday apparel and accessories. Mink is a boutique you can trust to deliver high-end products at reasonable price points. It's chic, classy, and has a tasteful, comfortable atmosphere. Every time I have shopped at Mink, I have left feeling beautiful.
Shop owner/designer Carla Mink carefully curates designer-manufactured goods, including many Portland-based designers and other hand-picked Americans. Her elegant taste sets the tone for this store, and I am honored to be one of the first to leak that she is producing a house line.
I had the chance to talk with Carla about her store, her upcoming in-house collection, and her plans for the future (full disclosure: she's due any day to have a baby as well).
As first announced January 31st, Cathy Horyn, the famed pioneer of modern fashion journalism, is leaving The New York Times after 15 years writing for the Styles section. Executive editor Jill Abramson and Stuart Emmrich, editor of the Styles sections, released a joint memo announcing Horyn’s departure. In the memo Ms. Abramson and Mr. Emmrich called Ms. Horyn “the pre-eminent fashion critic of her generation and who has set an almost impossible standard for those who may follow.” In a sea full of #OOTD selfies and fashion “bloggers” who think F21 is cutting edge fashion, it is truly with a heavy heart that the fashion community must say goodbye to one of the most influential and important fashion critics of our time. Cathy Horyn was not afraid to speak her mind, wrote what she saw rather than being influenced by trends, and truly knew the history of fashion. Ms. Horyn’s reason for leaving is to take care of her ailing partner Art Ortenberg, and she will not be leaving the paper completely. She is also working on a book project. The book will chronicle how the New York Times has covered fashion from the 1850s to present day. I for one will be at Powell’s the day the book is released. A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to Cathy, who has long served as personal inspiration to myself and countless fashion writers around the world.
As I wrote in this week's Sold Out column, tonight is the scheduled presentation of Brady Lange's spring/summer collection at Black Book. But, considering the fact that Snowpocalypse is apparently just taking a short rest before whacking us with round two this evening, I'm inclined to guess he'll be forced to reschedule. Which is a shame, because if you watched last night's episode of Under the Gunn, the Project Runway spinoff Lange's been competing on, this (is?) would have been perfect timing. (I have a message out to Lange to see what his cancel/not cancel plans in fact are.)
Find out what I mean by that beyond the spoiler-y cut.
UPDATE! As suspected, tonight's presentation has been canceled; stay tuned for info on the reschedule!
I was so excited to see Barneys NY's latest ad campaign, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters. In addition to being stunning and directional as always, the campaign is taking strides to increase transgender visibility in fashion. Shot by Bruce Weber, the series features seventeen regular (if above average in the gorgeousness department) people who have, or are transitioning. Along with the standard high-gloss editorial photos, the campaign includes videos and autobiographies on each of the models, to be rolled out over the next two weeks on the retailer's blog.
While the fashion industry has a long history of championing gay and lesbian rights - from the early days in the fight against AIDS to the current same-sex marriage battle - the trans* community has largely been overlooked, as is reflective of society at large. Barneys marketing exec Denis Freedman explained to the New York Times, "I was exquisitely aware that in the last decade, the L.G.B. communities have made extraordinary advances and the transgender community has not shared that progress." The fact is, transgender people face rates of unemployment, homelessness, assault and homicide that are disproportionate even to the rest of the queer community (the numbers for trans* women of color are especially dire).
What makes this campaign so moving, though, is that while each of the participants speaks on the hardships they've faced, there is an overall tone of hope and positivity. They also highlight the love and support they have in their lives, as well as the happiness that comes with living authentically. The photos depict subjects affectionately interacting with each other and loved ones, while looking super-chic in Balenciaga and St. Laurent.
In addition to the campaign, on February 11 Barneys will donate 10% of proceeds from its flagship stores and website to the National Center For Transgender Equality and the New York based LGBT Community Center. So, you know, worth supporting if you have a Barneys-level clothing budget.
Check out some of the photos below:
As if everyone doesn't already have Russia on watch, yesterday's MLK day saw Russian fashion publication Buro 24/7 posting this photo of Dasha Zhukova, editor in chief of another Russian magazine, Garage:
After a Twitter-led explosion of outrage, the publication altered the photo to crop out most of the chair, which in case you can't tell is not a real person but a creepily realistic design by British artist Allen Jones (it also comes in "white woman"). Buro's editor, Miroslava Duma, also quickly responded with an apology on Instagram, assuring that their publication is "against racism or gender inequality or anything that infringes upon anyone's rights... The chair in the photo should only be seen as a piece of art... and not as any form of racial discrimination."
There are obviously a few things working against Buro's favor here, but the fashion world's go-to "art" excuse feels increasingly insufficient when raising eyebrows in a racial context (to say nothing of misogyny). Grumbles over the international fashion world's racial homogeneity are growing louder and angrier (underscored by the revelation of Rick Owens' Spring 2014 show, which famously featured step dancer models who were mostly minority and not of a kind with typical models' physiques). It can certainly be constructive to use art (and fashion, if you'll allow fashion to be included as art by extension) for provocation, but when you're pushing a button that's so obviously and widely sensitive—and the timing here was amazingly bad, if probably oblivious—it doesn't take much of a stretch to assume you'd better be standing by with an explanation that's more nuanced than what boils down to "cool chair."
UPDATE!: Zhukova apologized too.
"2 shops + 2 kids = too much crazy!"
So read the headline of an announcement Garnish owner Erica Lurie sent out yesterday announcing the impending closure of the boutique and locally produced clothing line's longtime NE Alberta location. That line pretty much sums it up, but here's the whole statement:
It is with a mix of emotions that I announce the consolidation of Garnish and the closing of our Alberta shop. Over the past year and a half I embraced the additional challenge that I was looking for when we expanded to two locations. But as exciting as it was, having a larger business also brought many unexpected challenges. The responsibilities of two shops has limited our focus and time available for designing new collections and directed our energy towards the daily maintenance and duties demanded from having two boutiques. And when I was already feeling strapped for time with two shops and one kiddo, I went and had another baby! I have found that combination to be a bit too much- even for this energizer bunny. So although both shops seem like children to me, they are not actual flesh and blood and when choosing which of the four shall go, Alberta drew the short stick. My heart beats strong for the neighborhood which helped Garnish grow, but the Pearl shop is larger giving us more space for both the retail floor and design studio.
To consolidate, Garnish is moving additional merch into the Alberta space (at 1524 NE Alberta, to be precise) that will be marked down 40% like... now. So get over there while the getting's good and start speculating what should move in next at this primo NE address...
While the Merc keeps a much tighter focus on what's going on in Portland's independent retail world, the larger players' comings and goings can say a lot about the economic health of the city. So, for those of you who have heard rumblings that the Pearl District Diesel store is closing, fear not; word is that it's only temporary.
Diesel is still interested in maintaining a Portland store, but it's shopping around for a new location, most likely one that's a little closer to what's become the heart of downtown retail (the expanse that starts on the south side of W Burnside and stretches to Pioneer Place). Unfortunately the timing of their lease didn't match up to the discovery of an ideal alternative, which means an undefined but, they stress, temporary lack of Diesel-age in these parts.
Store manager Rachel Petersen reports that the final day of operations in the current space will be Friday, January 24, and plans are still up in the air as to whether they'll be having a massive sale or party in the meantime—Petersen encourages those interested in staying in the loop as things develop to sign up for Portland store-specific emails at diesel.com/signup.
For most people Black Friday conjures images of crazy mobs swarming through the doors of Walmarts and people literally getting trampled to death to get a deal on shit that they don't need or will ever use, as evidenced by this hard-to-watch montage and the website Black Friday Death Count. Portland, however, does not really subscribe to this notion, and instead celebrates Thanksgiving for the ENTIRE day and night, and then shops the next day, many times at local businesses. The increase in Black Friday sales at local businesses for the last three years is largely due to Little Boxes, and this year they broke all of their records. Here are the stats:
Raffle entries, the metric of participation in Little Boxes, numbered approximately 29,000.
- This figure includes approximately 9,700 paper raffle tickets and over 5,800 entries made via the iPhone App.
- 14,305 bonus entries were earned by shoppers who made purchases at Little Boxes stores to earn additional chances to win.
Over 4,700 purchases were made at over 200 stores as a part of the promotion.
- At an average ticket sale of $60 (estimated), Little Boxes would have generated $283,500 of revenue, or $1,453 per store on average.
There were over 2,300 iPhone App downloads of the Little Boxes app in the month of November.
One shopper visited 78 stores, and earned 65 bonus entries from making 12 or more purchases for a whopping 143 raffle entries (the highest scoring raffle entry earner.)
Because Little Boxes did so well, the founders are keeping it open through December, using funding from little box stores who opt to purchase additional promotional power through Little Boxes' social media channels. So... pat yourself on the back if you were one of the many Little Boxes shoppers that contributed to this amazing accomplishment (especially the person who visited 78 stores—she deserves a fucking medal). If you missed it, you still have a chance to experience it on a somewhat smaller scale.
If you've been following Solestruck then you most likely are aware that they have a special relationship with the Phillipines. Creative director and brand manager Ty McBride has traveled there twice in the past 18 months to build relationships and shoot lookbooks with Filipino brands Gold Dot, Monster Shoes, and Os Accessories. When Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the country Solestruck was compelled to help, and are partnering with Mercy Corps to raise funds for the relief efforts. Just click HERE to make a donation through the Solestruck X Mercy Corps donation page, and Solestruck will match your donation dollar for dollar up to $20,000, for a possible donation total of $40,000. It should be mentioned that Jeffrey Campbell already donated $10,000 to the effort, so Solestruck should not have any problem reaching their goal if we all pitch in.
The original design team who worked with Pendleton to create the Portland Collection—Church + State's Rachel Turk and Nathaniel Crissman, and John Blasioli—have discontinued their contract with the heritage brand. Though TPC has a few more seasons to cycle through as far as appearing on retail shelves, it's unclear what will come of the venture. But the first assumption, that Jones had been hired to take it over, appears to be oversimplified.
You can read it in the paper if you like tactile sensations with your words, but the online version is longer, and includes her views on the whole Project Runway thing three years after having won it. ("I have no interest in being involved in any of that stuff again.")
In this week's Sold Out, there are three topics of note, all of which pertain to your old friends wool and denim. It includes a big win for Oregon's Imperial Stock Ranch (they're going to the Olympics!); the hire of Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones at Pendleton; and the arrival of neo-Americana denim company Imogene + Willie. You know, in case you wonder what's going on behind the scenes of the textiles you swaddle yourself in daily.
After catching shit for manufacturing US Olympic athletes' uniforms in China (from Congress no less), for the 2014 games in Russia, Ralph Lauren committed to sourcing every scrap from within the U.S.A. And, it's been announced this week, one of the beneficiaries of this decision is Oregon's own Imperial Stock Ranch, whose yarn is being used in the opening ceremony uniforms. The fashion label even made a fancy video profiling the ranch and the collaboration:
Congratulations to Imperial! Also, look for an OPB Art Beat did a piece, airing tonight at 8 (and Sunday at 6 pm).
By far the biggest headlines to have come out of Paris Fashion Week this season were generated by Rick Owens, who—in lieu of a typical, straightforward runway show, hired mostly minority step dancers from universities across America to perform wearing his clothing and his collaborative Adidas shoes. There was some serious mean mugging, too:
Though technically wearing his designs, it's hard to argue that this show wasn't intended primarily as a performance-art statement about the exclusivity of the high fashion world, which (though there are a few practical reasons for it to some extent) is particularly exclusionary of body types outside a very narrow... narrow. These women are antithetical to what you're used to seeing at Fashion Week, but they're athletes, not "fat." And they're pissed.
(Rick Owens' S/S '14 items will still be going for thousands per piece at Barneys, though. So don't get too excited about his anti-exclusivity statement.) Way more photos and Instagram vids are here.
Portland bred beauty Kate Goodling, first on the scene locally in Solestruck’s 2012 "On the Road: Eugene" Lookbook, has broken into the über competitive New York model scene, gracing the runway for Alexander Wang, Louis Vuitton, and basically killing it everywhere she goes. Congrats to this current Q6 babe, now also with top agency Ford.
I am one of the judges in this year's Up/NXT emerging designers competition being featured at FASHIONxt this year, but due to a scheduling conflict I was unable to attend the open audition last Sunday. So to make me feel better, executive producer Tito Chowdhury gave me the first scoop on who those participants are going to be—probably. These things are strict, you see, and while three of the six finalists get a pass to work on their collections before the October 10 showcase, the other three are scheduled to have a second meeting with the judges (oh, I'll be there) to check on progress and make the final call. So:
Info is hit or miss with this crowd, being that they are still "emerging," but sear those names in your memory—the fellow judges I've spoken to since the audition were in general very impressed with the quality of designs they had to choose from. And regardless of who wins this thing the best outcome is that these designers will stick around become productive members of the city's independent design scene.
Oh, it's that time again: Project Runway is looking for its next star, with applications to
throw yourselves into the lions' den participate due by September 9. And even though I have what the beleaguered casting director calls "(ahem) mixed feelings about the show," I'll admit that when there is a local contestant it's a lovely excuse to drink too much wine on a Thursday night and exchange bitchy witticisms with the narrow population of my friends who still consent to watch it. And I have always given it props for being one of the rare instances of reality TV that showcases an actual, tangible skill. So there you are. At your own peril. Check out this motley crew currently residing on the show's home page:
Best of luck to you. I mean that.
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