indie designers : in the house of lovers collective

June 30, 2015

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In the House of Lovers Collective is fiber artist & illustrator, Lise Silva and metal worker & Spirit Speak tarot creator, Mary Elizabeth Evans. An inspirited combination of their talents and sensibilities, In the House of Lovers is a line of handmade jewelry and wall hangings striking the perfect balance between fiber & metal, color & shine, and hard & soft.

With shared inspiration in movies like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, Mary designs the metal pendants, sawing each one by hand and without the aid of stencils to ensure each piece is wholly unique. Lise then takes over with the fiber portion, hand wrapping Egyptian cotton thread around rope to create cord; she then knots those cords and sews on finishing touches like moonstone beads, quartz crystals, and brass. Their work has an other-worldly feel in its saturated hues, bold textures, and hand & eye motifs, which are at least partially inspired by Mary’s beautifully kinetic Spirit Speak tarot illustrations.

All together, In the House of Lovers is an alluring line of ceremonial art jewelry perfect for any time you want to feel extra special or powerful. From the color scheme to the symbology of the metal work to the energy inherent in the crystals used, each piece is the product of thoughtful concept, time, & care –

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In the House of Lovers is made in limited editions, pricing and availability available via email.

Be sure to follow @InTheHouseofLovers on Instagram to keep up on new designs and follow @LiseSilva and @SpiritSpeakTarot for glimpses of Lise and Mary’s other inspiring work.

sister style : jazmine

June 25, 2015

A fixture in the local fashion community, I first met Jazmine Alzado two years ago in the Iron Oxide Designs studio where she works as a production assistant. Later, I ran into her at VGS fave boutique, Altar where she helps out with sales. You might have seen her there too, or more likely, in campaigns for one of the many rad brands she’s modeled for including Wolf Child, Wildfang, Iron Oxide, and Sturnelle Collection – just to name a few.

Excited to add her unique beauty to the Sister Style roster (her mom hails from Paris, no big), I stopped by her lovely, sun-filled apartment in SE Portland where I met her and sweet cat, Pretty Kitty, enjoyed ice-cold water laced with mint and lemon slices, and marveled over her awesome wardrobe and seemingly effortless modeling ability –

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VGS: What is your first fashion related memory?

J: The first time I remember really paying attention to fashion was my freshman year of high school. I had a substitute french teacher who would often stand in for our regular teacher. Every time she taught she would be dressed in these really elaborate outfits that were all one color. One day she would be wearing all burnt orange. The next time it would be fuchsia. Fuchsia shoes, pants, headscarf, jewelry. I mean everything was the same color. And I remember thinking how those various colors must have impacted her on any given day. I just can’t really imagine feeling bummed out wearing all orange. Even though I don’t wear colors very often I guess it was the first time I really thought about the power that fashion can have.

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VGS: What’s your perfect summer outfit?

J: The perfect summer outfit is one that doesn’t feel like you are wearing anything at all. In the summer I’m really into light chiffon and airy dresses. Summers in Portland are all about adventuring, too, so a good pair of levi cut offs and some tennis shoes are also essential.

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VGS: What item can you never have too many of?

J: I can never have too much jewelry. I like my fingers to feel heavy with big turquoise and coral rings.

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VGS: Which designers / brands / shops should readers be checking out?

J: Portland is filled with so many talented people. I have to say that Amy Fox of Iron Oxide Designs and Cassie Ridgeway of Altar House Line are both rad babes who are not only extremely talented in their own businesses, but have also filled their brick & mortar, Altar on Hawthorne, with the most magical finds. I love what Lauren of Loop Jewelry is doing, as well as my friend Brian who everybody should check out on Instagram @westernmythic. I also can never turn down a trip to the Goodwill Bins in Sellwood.

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Huge thanks to Jazmine and Pretty Kitty for having me over! You can keep up with Jazmine on Instagram @mirarosier.

around portland : full moon gathering august

June 24, 2015


‘Passion’. One of many buzz words that has arguably been thrown around too much lately, it’s a word that resonates despite the overuse. For instance, this blog is my passion project. It takes up A LOT of my time and energy but the thought of giving it up has brought actual tears to my eyes. I tell you, dear readers, blogging is not paying any bills for this gal but I do it because I love it and I love all the awesome feedback you give me. It’s my – wait for it … passion. I can’t think of another word that sums it up better.

In that context, I am happy to announce that The Full Moon Gathering Workshop is returning in August with the theme of – can you guess? Yup, passion. An evolving creative women’s retreat born of the mind of creative consultant Caroline Marie Griffin and further formed by jewelry and scent designer Kate Rutter, August marks the Gathering’s fourth meeting at the coast to celebrate women, creativity, and yes, passion.

For those already familiar with the Gathering, August marks a bit of a change in format. Sadly, we’ll not be staying at the Sou’Wester any longer. A magical and eclectic property with a special place in my heart, we’ve simply outgrown the space. Up next is the Adrift Hotel just a few miles down the road and even closer to the beach itself. I’ve stayed there as well (I really love the Long Beach Peninsula) and can attest to it being a great spot for the Gathering as we evolve. Another change is that instead of a two day / two night stay, attendees in August will enjoy even more time to take in workshops and bask in inspired company over four days / three nights.

Want to know more? Caroline and Kate have put together a great workshop guide here but the jist is that while within the company of other radical female creatives, these retreats set the foundation for deep and powerful relationships, while inspiring creative growth and providing the opportunity to reconnect with your social, emotional, and creative networks. As a collective, we explore the power of positive thinking and help you define your unique purpose. If that sounds too good to be true, trust me, it’s not. This will be my third gathering and second time hosting a workshop and I couldn’t be more excited to continue this journey with radical moon babes both old and new.

August workshops are still in development (including mine!) but there will be essential oil classes, crystal wisdom, meditation + yoga, co-created art, a catered dinner and breakfast, lots of beach hang time, and more. I hope to see you there!





Registration is open now through July 30th, details here.

introducing vgs frère + look book : frances may ‘don’t just stand there’

June 23, 2015

It came as a bit of a surprise to me, but apparently VGS is being read by at least a few dudes. I know this because a few of them have asked me if I would consider covering dude fashion. The answer is yes, I would consider it. Wait, no – I did consider it and I’ve decided to give it a go.

A well-dressed man person will always get my attention and approval, but I’ve honestly never given much thought to the male fashion world so this is definitely new and kind of odd territory for me. I’m excited to give it a whirl!

With that, first up in the new VGS Frère series is the latest look book from Portland purveyors of super cool high fashion, Frances May. Forgoing plaids altogether (it is summer after all), the major theme in this Euro-inspired round up is best described as clean and monochromatic. While I would be doing everyone a disservice if I failed to mention that I don’t at all care for the sole pair of sack pants in the mix, all the other silhouettes are definite dude do’s –

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For these looks and more, hit up Frances May at 1003 SW Washington St. in Portland, Or. or shop online here.

around portland : open season 2015 : adam arnold

June 22, 2015

A native Portlander, women & menswear designer Adam Arnold is a beloved stalwart of the local fashion community. Busy keeping up with his devoted client base, he tends to keep a low profile but my interest only grew as I caught glimpses of his work over the last two years.

After I viewed a small collection of Adam’s uniquely mod-inspired designs at last year’s Fashioning Cascadia exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Craft and heard him speak about his process, I decided to visit his studio on behalf of Honey Kennedy, and couldn’t help but fall in love with his clothes. A master of construction, Adam has an expert eye for color, pattern, and texture. Working on a pattern for a custom pair of jeans for a ballerina as we chatted, Adam gave me the impression of someone kind, grounded, fun-loving, and incredibly smart.

Reviewing my photos from that day, I can’t help but notice a playful gleam in Adam’s eye and it makes perfect sense that he has a wicked sense of humor when it comes to fashion. Of course he does, and at last week’s final presentation of Open Season 2015, that sense of humor was out in full force. Changing locations days before his show, attendees entered SE 82nd Avenue’s dark and mildly dank Canton Grill bar where psychedelic video projections served for lighting. Come showtime models reportedly wielded fart spray (thankfully, it didn’t make it to my nose) as they shimmied and sashayed up the darkened runway to a pulsing house soundtrack.

The clothing ran the gamut from Adam’s deft interpretations of summer staples including geometric print shorts, logo t’s, and shirt dresses to his past work in a bomber jacket resplendent with silver stars and zodiac symbols; there were even nods to the previous evening’s designers in swimwear a la Altar, brushstroke print jeans a la Brady Lange, and a split-back denim sundress a la Reif.

Incredibly difficult to photograph without a flash and determined not to be ‘that person’, I soldiered on at a ridiculously high ISO and was rewarded with the grainiest of dark & grainy shots. Instead of declaring a total loss, I decided to show Adam’s trippy summer vision pretty much exactly how I saw it – which required quite a lot of time of my part as I had to learn how to make – and then actually make – GIFS. You’re welcome!




In the end, I concede that the drive out to 82nd was well worth it as I had a great time taking in Adam’s fashion-art spectacle.

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Keep up with Adam via Instagram @adamarnoldstudio and visit for more info.

around portland : open season 2015 : reif

June 18, 2015

Those who have been reading VGS since the beginning know what a huge fan I am of local label Reif. Designer Lindsey Reif was one of my very first official Rad Ladies, her work being the gateway drug that turned me on to Portland fashion. So it stands that I don’t feel at all hyperbolous declaring that Lindsey is one of the most talented designers in both the local and national indie scenes. Consistently putting out collections that represent what the ladies I know want to wear, Reif is always that perfect combo of fashion forward and functional.

Last night saw Reif’s denim heavy spring/summer 2015 collection, Palmera, showcased alongside her luxury lounge wear collection, Reif Basik, and a preview of Reif autumn/winter 2015. If Brady Lange is what I envision wearing to all the summer parties, Reif is what I want to wear for everything else.


Reif spring/summer 2015 –

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Reif Basik –

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Reif autumn / winter 2015 –

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Ugh, so so good.

Shop Reif here and follow @reifhaus on Instagram to keep up on Lindsey’s inspirations, sales, and new items, like these rad bolo necklaces.

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The final installment of Open Season is tonight and will feature the work of Adam Arnold at The Canton Grill. See you there!

around portland : open season 2015 : brady lange

June 17, 2015

The Portland Mercury’s Open Season fashion show case continued last night at The Doug Fir. The second of four installments featured women and menswear designer Brady Lange.

I’ve long been a fan of Brady’s playfully sexy pop-art sensibility but past collections have seen me wanting just a titch more polish. The good news is that Brady’s latest collection has polish in spades. On display were lots of crisp whites and chambray blues, graphic splashes of black and gold foil prints, flirty sheer details, palm print swimwear, lucite accessories, and even some sequin action. Needless to say, I want one of everything.

Good news usually comes with bad, and in this case, it’s that I don’t have every single look for you. I tried and got close but like Zoolander, some of the models apparently don’t know how to turn left – or right – and I got lots of bums only. Everyone likes a good bum, I know, but the looks were so much more than that. I highly recommend that you check out for more –


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See you tonight at Rontoms for the always awesome Reif!

around portland : open season 2015 : altar

June 16, 2015

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The Portland Mercury’s Open Season fashion show case started it’s 11th year with a bang last night. VGS fave boutique Altar wowed the crowd at The White Owl Social Club with over 40 looks – an impressive feat even when you take into account designers Cassie Ridgway and Rachel Rasmussen’s already prolific output.

Showing off updates of earlier spring pieces (sheers, jumpsuits, high-low tunics), there was also a good mix of new pieces for summer and fall, including their popular new swimwear line. There were so many looks in fact, the show was broken into four segments. Below are my pics of almost every look, I’m pretty sure I got all of them except the very first look as the show started a little unexpectedly (click each pic *twice* to see full size).

Spring/Summer 2015 –


Swim 2015 –


R. A. W. Textiles Collaboration 2015 –


Fall/Winter 2016 Preview –

Overall, the show was a definite crowd pleaser and many in attendance (myself included) were overheard talking about all the pieces they’re coveting. Once again, Altar showed that ethically made apparel can be both fashionable and affordable.

Follow @altarpdx on Instagram to keep up on their ever expanding House Line collection.

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See you tonight at The Doug Fir for Brady Lange!

look book : laurs kemp ‘your motion says’

June 15, 2015


Designer Laurs Kemp has been living in Portland and working on her eponymous line since 2012. I’ve featured her before as I’m a fan of her easy, modern pieces. Made in small batches, Laurs works with natural fiber fabrics, including cotton and linen, almost exclusively. Recently named resident designer at the new Backtalk Westside location, Laurs also just released new summer-ready items including the fresh Louise racer-front tank inspired by the sculptures of artist Louise Nevelson and the beautiful and comfy looking 1970’s inspired Maude dress.

No stranger to video look books, Laurs teamed up with director Jess Pierson and my current favorite local model, Kayleigh Nelson, to put together the following video, Your Motion Says. Together, Laurs and team show through sultry mood and movement just how effortless & stylish summer dressing can be –





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Join Laurs and friends this Friday, 6/19 at Composition Gallery for a live screening of Your Motion Says and pop-up featuring Laurs Kemp plus vintage from her Moonfossil collection, Tannerann, and Kayleigh Nelson. 7:00 – 9:30.

sister style : megan

June 12, 2015

When thinking of new additions to this series, Megan Hart Davis was a no-brainer. Blogger, stylist, mom to a sweet toddler, and former owner of much missed boutique, Summerland, Megan is a beloved and influential fixture in the local fashion scene. Blessed with lovely auburn tresses and porcelain skin, the statuesque beauty also has an impeccable eye for details which has resulted in her home being just as chic as she is.

I stopped by in the middle of a 90+ degree day and after refreshing ourselves with chilled cans of La Croix (pamplemousse, naturally … um, and how did I just discover this stuff?!), I did my best to capture Megan’s stunning style, in both fashion and decor –



VGS: What is your first fashion related memory?

M: My earliest memory is playing dress up with a giant box of vintage clothes my mom put together. There was everything from Edwardian lace blouses to 40’s velvet hats and cotton gauze poet’s blouses. I put together some pretty serious outfits with that stuff and luckily my parents took pictures as evidence.

The first conscious “moment” I remember having was when I was back to school shopping for junior high. My fashionable grandma gave me some money and let me loose in the mall and I came back with a head to toe plaid Clueless inspired outfit. I’ve been thinking a lot about those really formative movies of my childhood, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead and The Craft are also way up there.


VGS: What do you most look forward to wearing in the summer?

M: When it starts to heat up I love pulling out my collection of light cotton dresses and caftans. Some of the best things are only meant to be worn poolside with a tropical drink in hand, you know?


VGS: What’s one items you can never have too many of?

M: Brown leather shoes. I am constantly teased about how many pairs I own. It’s kind of a problem.


VGS: Which designers / brands / shops should readers be checking out?

M: I love to shop at Haunt for amazing one of a kind pieces from local designers, owner Holly makes such beautiful things! I can never leave Branch Birdie without buying something either, Anna stocks some of my favorite designers like Ulla Johnson, Ace + Jig and Osei-Duro. Palace is also a wonderland, I love the combination of new and vintage plus all the amazing housewares and culinary delights!


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Be sure to check out Megan’s blog, Hello Bardeaux, for ahhh-mazing recipes like strawberry, rhubarb and rose compote and gruyère popovers with fresh thyme plus more pics of her beautiful home and family.


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