clothes reporter : elk clothing & accessories at adorn

December 18, 2014

Not too long ago I stopped by Portland boutique Adorn with my friend Jessica and styled her in my favorite fall and winter items. We had so much fun and the Adorn staff was great to work with, so when they asked me to review some items for them, I was definitely into it. The line they had in mind was Melbourne based Elk; working with small manufacturers around the globe Elk creates clothing inspired by natural colors and complimentary accessories made with traditional techniques and high quality in mind. After much deliberation I chose the Elk cape back top and Elk faceted nugget necklace -





Elk’s cape back top in black (also available in Stucco) felt like a good choice since my main wardrobe goal this year has been to create a solid foundation of basics. As I suspected, it is a highly versatile piece that can be worn with everything from high-waisted cords to skinny jeans to a pencil skirt – all without being #basic. The soft fabric is synthetic but high quality and so soft. The loose drape does create a cape effect and provides lovely movement but the overall construction has enough shape to keep it from overwhelming - something I have to worry about given my frame which is petite and curvy. As someone who’s cold more often than not, the loose fit left me feeling chilly since walking around caused the top to billow away from my skin, effectively leaving it bare to cold air. A tank worn underneath took care of the issue and I was surprisingly warm after that simple fix. For that same reason, I have a feeling this will be a go-to for me next summer. It’s always great to have pieces that transcend seasons.

To add some interest, I paired my top with Elk’s faceted nugget necklace. Drawn to the ultra-modern geometric resin beads hand-knotted in a station style, I love the minimal simplicity of the design and neutral color – something I tend to shy away from usually – as well as the inherent sense of asymmetry. My greatest styling weakness is that I can skew too classic and my favorite way to keep from going the stuffy route is to use accessories with an asymmetric balance. It helps break things up to create more of an eclectic or laissez-faire feel. My motto is, when in doubt go with odds.

Now here’s my adorable friend Shola to model the top and necklace for you -


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There you go – the epitome of easy & modern! To get this look or similar, check out Adorn’s selection of Elk pieces here or visit them at one of their two Portland locations. Happy shopping!

around portland : ay marieke at haunt

December 17, 2014

This Thursday Ay Marieke designer (and VGS Rad Lady) Marika Emerson will be at Haunt to showcase her latest collection which is a romantic and artisanal take on traditional milagro charms with dramatic tourmaline accents. Enjoy Marika’s company, tasty treats, and discounts of 10% – 40%. Haunt is also fully stocked with so many beautiful items – be sure to stop by and pick up fabulous gifts for you and your loved ones -





- Photos by Mikola Accuardi -

look book : rogue minx

December 16, 2014

Portland apparel designer Anna Marie Cooper started designing clothing for her Etsy storefront, Minxshop in 2010. Since then Anna Marie has worked to hone her skills and aesthetic, ultimately evolving Minxshop into indie label Rogue Minx. Offering locally produced knitwear and separates with fabrics like denim, velvet, and faux leather used in whole or detail, Rogue Minx distills the spirits of vintage and grunge in a wholly modern way that is feminine and witchy with a rock n’ roll edge.

Even better, the line is manufactured here in Portland and manages price points that are quite affordable. Currently, the highest priced item in the shop is a lovely high-waisted maxi skirt for $160 and most everything else is $100 or less. I understand why ethically / locally produced garments often cost so much more when compared to their fast fashion counterparts, and I am often the first one to preach quality over quantity, but I know it can be hard to justify spending so much on one garment, no matter how well made it is. It’s a conundrum I think many come up against so it’s always extra exciting to find brands who find a way to bridge that gap.

Back to the clothing, I love Rogue Minx’s latest look book which embodies the line’s free spirit and even squeezes in some dreamy examples of Danish hygge at the end – something I am admittedly obsessed with this time of year -


Rogue_Minx1 Rogue_Minx2 Rogue_Minx3 Rogue_Minx4 Rogue_Minx5 Rogue_Minx6 Rogue_Minx7 Rogue_Minx8 Rogue_Minx9 Rogue_Minx10 Rogue_Minx11 Rogue_Minx12 Rogue_Minx13- Photos by Robert Hamilton -

Shop Rogue Minx here and follow them on Instagram @rogueminx


December 15, 2014

British foursome, Is Tropical, formed in 2009, released their first single just months later, and were signed to French label Kitsune in early 2010. Barely five years in now, the prolific lads have just released the first new single from their upcoming third full-length album, ‘Black Anything’ (their discography also includes a rather good EP, ‘Flags’.). In an exciting twist, Is Tropical is forgoing the traditional label route this time and have partnered with Axis Mundi Records to release ‘Black Anything’ in five installments thusly:

Each installment has been recorded in a different continent, featuring as much local culture and as many local musicians as possible, with each 10” vinyl displaying the continent in which the tracks were recorded. The five vinyls when displayed on top of each other create the globe, unifying the concept as a whole. Each vinyl is an art work and a tribute to the continent it was recorded in. It is being made available worldwide without prejudice to territories. The first installment (PT.1) of our new album ‘BLACK ANYTHING’ was recorded in NYC’s subways, parks, streets, the Mundi jungle hut, and Graham’s apartment!’

I’ll admit to buying colored vinyl over digital formats simply because, well, colors, but five vinyls that layer to create a globe? That’s just cuckoo bananas cool and I will probably be placing an order soon. Also, the cover art depicts a burger made up of pastel colored garbage. Ugh, these guys just get me.

What about the actual music though? For me, love came immediately after hearing the first single from their debut album, ‘Native To’. Titled, ‘The Greeks’, it’s a frenetically gritty pop tune with a hilariously over the top video directed by French collective Megaforce. As all the best bands manage to do, Is Tropical has proven over the years that they aren’t one trick ponies as they continue to grow their sound, improving slightly with each release. To me, that is the mark of true artistry, always striving to experiment with and grow your sound. Sadly, it’s also rare. Is Tropical is doing it though and so far have proven quite able to mix things up and retain an edge of darkness and invention in the midst of what is at it’s heart, pop music. They’ve also added electronic elements here and there (see: ‘Flags‘) and it seems that is the direction they’re going in now, if new single ‘Crawl’ is any indication.

I also (duh) love the darkly psychedelic & witchy vibes they’re using to package this installment, more of which you can experience via their website which is currently only functional in playing a teaser promo vid that, in places, is reminiscent of the opening credits from ‘American Horror Story: Coven’. In the meantime, here is ‘Crawl’ for you to check out -



You can purchase ‘Black Anything’ here in separate installments or pre-order all five using the bundle option.

sister style : breyell

December 11, 2014

One half of clothing company, All Bad Days (whose site is down temporarily so set a bookmark for later!), Breyell Payne is so sweet and upbeat which is in total contrast to the brand’s magical melancholia feels. All Bad Day’s most recent collection, Damp Vibes, was a major hit both locally and everywhere else; items sold out in a matter of months giving Breyell and partner, Jess Ackerman, plenty to be happy about. (I’ve heard tell they have big plans for All Bad Days’ upcoming Spring collection – specifics for which are top secret at the moment but I will say, it’s gonna be so good.)

In the true spirit of All Bad Days, you can’t stay up forever. On the day of our shoot I arrived at Breyell’s (um, with insanely talented photographer Myles Katherine Coleman by my side!) and she was still receiving donations of art and goodies that had started pouring in from other artists after her car was broken into on a recent trip to California. Cash, art, computers, an ipad, and all other manner of valuables were stolen from her, partner Jess, and friend Tea Leigh. ‘Days get worse’ was the trio’s clever and sadly appropriate lament. You’re never down for long though, another happy making turn was that their large community of supporters quickly rallied to help them raise the funds needed to replace the replaceable. Those artist donations I mentioned? Breyell and gang will be raffling them to people who donated to their fund as thank you. It’s just so heart-warming!

Back to the shoot, the three of us sat sipping some seriously good fennel tea from Breyell’s collection of Small Spells mugs in her cozy and enviably decorated SE apartment – which felt like the set of Moonrise Kingdom if it had been a Western instead. We talked about everything from Breyell’s past in Tucson as an art & music space manager to our worst episodes of drunkenness (I’m not telling, so don’t ask!) and everything in between. Myles and I did not lack for inspiration at any point and the resulting pics are beyond what I had hoped for. If there’s one thing this blog is good for, it’s that I get to work with such amazing and talented ladies -






































img_5645- All Photos by Myles Katherine -

Huge thanks to Breyell and Myles Katherine!! I had such a great time with them, I took all the bad days that followed in stride and I’m looking forward to seeing them again soon. It looks like I’ll at least partially get my wish when I turn the lens on the adorable, cerulean-haired Myles Katherine next month. I can’t wait!

indie designers : fun cult

December 10, 2014

Caitlin Holcomb’s Fun Cult is pretty aptly named. Specializing in sparkly fringe banners featuring phrases ranging from pop culture standards to lines from the ‘Twin Peaks’ theme song (custom options available too!), you’ll have a hard time deciding on just one banner. Personally, I would decorate my house to look like a party could break out at any second if my husband didn’t object, so the desire to string Fun Cult’s banners all over the place is a thought that’s both fun and cultish in how often I think about it. Here are some of my faves -











Ranging in size from table top to wall worthy, there’s a banner for everyone looking to liven up a space or keep a meaningful phrase handy. Be sure to check out Fun Cult’s lovely holiday designs too!

Shop banners, jewelry, art, and more online here and follow Fun Cult on Facebook for info on upcoming designs and sales.


December 9, 2014

British pop group Citizens! are a fave of mine so I’m excited that they’ve got new material out since I’ve all but played their 2012 debut album to death. The first video from their upcoming new album (out early next year), ‘Lighten Up’, is just as heady and dance worthy as I have come to expect from the adorable quintet. I am looking forward to adding this one to my bedtime dance party playlist. I mean, everyone has a dance party while brushing their teeth, right?


around portland : vgs holiday giveaway

December 8, 2014




Yup, today I’m talking about a Holiday Giveaway. Exciting, yes? Well, I’m super excited! This is VGS’s first Holiday Giveaway – and it’s a good one.

While thinking about what sort of content to post this month, of course, gift guides came to mind. Truthfully I’m not a huge fan of them myself but I know some find them useful on occasion. Thinking about the holiday gift guide I put together last year, which exclusively listed items made here in Portland, I recalled how popular it was; I got lots of positive feedback from friends and readers who loved it at the time and it continued to rack up hits as the year progressed. So, how to improve on it this year? I decided that instead of just listing things I think you should buy, I would contact a bunch of my favorite local makers who I, you know, totally think you should buy stuff from and I asked them to participate in a big, huge holiday giveaway. Long story short, they all said yes!

Rad, right?! To my delight, everyone was so into it that I collected enough goodies to be able to create a pretty impressive grand prize package and a second prize for another lucky winner! Candles, t-shirts, jewelry, make-up, and more – all made in Portland – are up for grabs. Keep it all, gift it all, or split the difference – it’s up to you!

Read on for details about the prizes, all from the generous & talented Portland makers making this possible -




First up, the Grand Prize package:

Wolf Child Venom Vision t-shirt | Portland Apothecary Forest soap and Mountain bath soak | Ay Marieke Kompos ring | Barrow round porcelain stud earrings | Nested Yellow Sailor’s Infinity Knot necklace | Raft Syrups syrup trio | Magic Hour Astrology Celebration candle | Iron Oxide High Priestess crystal earrings | Palate Polish in Gumdrop | Alima Pure Holiday gift set in Glimmer | Reif Haus blue velvet turban | Primecut Salt + Pepper key chain | Imaginary Authors Perfumes complete sample set




Second runner up will receive:

Wolf Child tee |  Alima Pure Holiday gift set in Smolder | Imaginary Authors Perfumes complete sample set | Iron Oxide mini amethyst ladder necklace


Entry details and rules -

You have three opportunities to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me about a favorite gift you’ve given or received – one entry allowed per person;

2. Follow VGS on Instagram and tag a friend on the giveaway post – one entry allowed per person;

3. Like VGS on Facebook and tag a friend on the giveaway post – one entry allowed per person.

If you already follow VGS on Instagram or Facebook that’s ok, just tag a friend in the comment section of the giveaway post and you’re done!

This contest is open through Friday, 12/12 at 5pm PST. I will choose the winners at random and announce them via Facebook Friday evening. The prize packages will ship as early as 12/13 on the condition that the winners provide shipping addresses in a timely manner. Delivery of the prize package prior to Christmas is not guaranteed. Sadly, entries from non-US residents cannot be accepted.

There you have it – I hope you guys are as excited as I am about this! Many of these prizes are included because they’re things I either own currently, have owned, or dream of owning. I’m such a huge fan of all the companies and makers involved and I am extremely grateful for all of the generosity making this possible. Please show everyone some love and check out their shops and social media. Who knows, you might just find the perfect gift for someone you love. Best of luck!

look book : sturnelle collection

December 3, 2014

After leaving Portland during the summer, Emily Bolles has spent the last six months settling into life in Brooklyn. So too is her vintage clothing shop, Sturnelle Collection. Which would be a shame for us back here in Portland (and elsewhere) except that, thankfully, Sturnelle Collection is available online.

With a crisp and accessible aesthetic, Sturnelle is nearly indistinguishable from some popular high-end retailers selling new pieces heavily influenced by or just straight copying styles ranging from the mid-century through the early-90′s. The difference is that here you’re getting the real thing; vintage cred and vintage prices. Emily’s curation shows she has the skills to cut through the riff-raff and get to the heart of what a girl wants – currently the shop offers pieces ranging from a cute rock n’ roll denim vest to a goth floral button-up that April Ludgate would rock in a second to a perfectly proportioned high-waisted Esprit skirt that I might have owned (and loved) in middle school.

All this is readily apparent in Sturnelle Collection’s latest look book, which also nails all the styling vibes I’m digging most right now -
















SturnelleCollection14Photos by Will Star

 Shop Sturnelle Collection here and follow @sturnellecollection on Instagram for new listings.

indie designers : dog show qvc

December 2, 2014

I just discovered Dog Show QVC, like, yesterday and I am OBSESSED. The LA boutique, which opened three years ago and has a screaming unicorn head over the front door, is run by BFF’s (since they were 4!) Christine Stormberg and Anna Dewey Greer. Combining Mid-Western kitsch and LA spiritualism, together they handcraft everything from intention robes to fuzzy dog slippers to shock blankets. Overall, Dog Show QVC makes for both an amazing work of performance art and a truly unique line of life accessories. Looking to treat yourself? How about some Unicorn Extract? Looking for a gift for that impossible to buy for person in your life? How about Rocks?

Watch Christine and Anna’s alter ego’s, Trina & Honey, showcase all the Dog Show QVC items below. Someone please get these gals their own show stat!


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