look book + giveaway! : beach bones jewelry

June 27, 2016

Hi, friends!! It’s been so long but I’m delighted to officially take VGS out of hiatus status today. To kick things off, I’m excited to share a dazzlingly lovely look book from Portland’s own Beach Bones Jewelry. As if that weren’t enough, I have teamed up with Beach Bones designer Nikki Peterson to giveaway a titular Geo Necklace from her new Geo Collection!

More on that in a sec – first things first, let’s take a peek at that look book …


Photos: Shola Lawson

Dancers: Samantha Campbell and Katie Scherman

Styling: Nicolette Peterson and Shola Lawson

Location: NW Dance Project and Ice Cream Party


I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a major set of heart eyes going on over here. To create this magic, Nikki teamed up with my good friend and sometimes collab partner, Shola Lawson, who shot the photos on 35mm film. Drawing inspiration from real women, Nikki says: The look book concept stems from the fact that I have been dying to do something that celebrates this fabulous trend of new feminism by showing real, talented women in their element. Part of me wants to continue with the theme and ask every lady I have a girl crush on to model jewelry for me, but I might be getting carried away, haha. Personally, I think it’s an excellent idea.

With it’s name stemming from the fact that both geometry and geology are star players, the Beach Bones Geo Collection is a versatile and sophisticated natural progression for the brand. Using beautiful quartz crystal points and milky green chrysoprase (among other gems) and a clever reimagining of the hoop earring in multiple sizes and styles, each piece is handmade by Nikki in either sterling silver or bronze. Even if you don’t believe in the power of gem stones to affect your mood for the better, these beautiful designs are sure to become favorites and daily go-to pieces.





Right, back to the giveaway! In celebration of Beach Bones new Geo Collection, Nikki and I have teamed up to offer one lucky reader a Beach Bones Geo Necklace!

To enter, visit the Beach Bones web shop and leave a comment below letting us know which design is your favorite. Head to the VGS Instagram @votregrandesoeur for bonus entry opportunity details.

A winner will be randomly chosen and notified on Sunday, 7/3. Best of luck!!



April 20, 2016

To Be ...

What a year! The tip of the iceberg have been my suffering from the death flu for nearly the entire month of March followed immediately by the decline and death of my grandmother. It’s only today that I feel I’m gaining some equilibrium and am comfortable moving forward with planning new blog content.

Instead of adding to my stress and trying to crank out content right away, I’ve decided to take a break from updates to work on new content that I’m proud of and don’t feel rushed to produce. I also thought a short hiatus would be a great time to work on the minor blog re-vamp I’ve been planning for a while.

In the meantime, I’ll be updating the VGS Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr with fun content so be sure to follow along if you don’t already. The blog will be back up and running in mid-June, see you then!!


peace out

miscellany : totem

April 6, 2016

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Inspired by blogger and Radical Self Love guru, Gala Darling, last year I created what I refer to as my Totem. As part of her Radical Self Love teachings, Gala suggests creating a ‘bible’ which is essentially a notebook full of things that inspire and encourage you. It sounds like an amazing project, at least, it does for me fifteen years ago but I knew I’d never get around to following through on something like that – who has the time? That’s where Pinterest came in for me: as any Pinterest user knows, you’ll come across pins that really speak to you but you don’t really have any boards that they make sense to pin to. Remembering Gala’s suggestion to start a ‘bible’, I created a board for all the motivational quotes that resonated, pictures of adorable animals that made me smile, gifs of glitter storms, etc. etc. etc.

I admit, the term ‘bible’ felt off to me so I decided to use ‘Totem’ as my descriptor – another tool Gala recommends in her Radical Self Love practice. The way Gala describes a totem is a personal object that speaks to you on a deep level and instills a sense of security and/or power on which to draw during challenging times. Not feeling that sort of affinity with any one possession in particular, I found that as I built my board with the same sentiment in mind it was becoming a virtual totem for me. Whenever I’m feeling down, overwhelmed, or uninspired I find myself scrolling through my board, remembering helpful sayings, cheering up at photos of capybaras in a lemon bath & drawings of Pikachu eating Pocky, and feeling strength from pictures of gorgeous emerald clusters. In fact, it’s been so helpful for me that I decided to share my previously secret board in hopes that it might inspire you to create your own totem board. It’s been such a useful tool for me I can’t help but want to share.

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It’s pretty simple: after you organically come across something that truly speaks to you, start a board and continue to pin items that ring true. Mainly, I pin things I come across on Pinterest but sometimes a post from Instagram or Tumblr grabs me and I pin from there. The trick is to carefully curate this board so that it achieves it’s purpose of cheering and encouraging you. Real talk: watching gif’s of Pikachu making goofy faces is enough to put a damper on even my worst moods while as a Taurus, I feel a strong resonance with emeralds and bulls so I love to pin them all when I come across them. As for motivational quotes, I am pretty picky when it comes to those as most feel a bit cheesy to me, but when I come across one that really hits home, I’ll be sure to add it to my board because chances are I’ll need to see it over and over again to reinforce the message.

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Whatever you choose to pin, make sure to review your board at least once a week but preferably when you’ve had a rough day and need encouragement. Anything that sticks out oddly or loses it’s power to fill you with joy should be deleted. My Totem is always a work in process and I love to scroll all the way to the bottom to see how my life has changed over the last year, which is reflected in which quotes I’ve chosen to pin and any patterns in picture types. Right now I’m posting tons of kawaii type stuff but just a few months ago I was obsessing over Einstruzende Neubauten vocalist Blixa Bargeld, an old crush from my late teens. Who knows what I’ll move on to next but whatever it is, it will be something I truly love or want to attract to me (like Pikachu!).

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You can check out my Totem board here. While you’re at it, you can check out all of my pins here.

I’d love to see your Totems too, leave a link to your board in the comments below!

look book : west end select shop

April 4, 2016

One of the most fashion-forward Portland boutiques, West End Select Shop, has just dropped a new look book highlighting their new spring duds and my peepers couldn’t be happier with the mix of color, texture, draping, and layers. Resplendent in Pantone-perfect hues of rose quartz and serenity blue, everything feels fresh and playful, which is exactly how I try to approach spring dressing each year. Featuring easy pieces from the likes of Mr. Larkin, Kowtow and Ikumi Tokyo, cool sunnies from Sun Buddies, and poppy accessories from ISLYNYC, as usual WESS has captured the spirit of the season –






Shop West End Select Shop in Portland at 927 SE Oak Street or online.

Follow @westendselectshop on Instagram to keep up on new arrivals plus upcoming sales + events.

miscellany : why i don’t like clothing swaps

March 21, 2016


Every day it seems, I receive an invite to a clothing swap party. I have a secret though, and it’s a doozy: I don’t like clothing swap parties. I’ve been to my share, I was even roped into hosting one years ago, but try as I might I just don’t get it. Sure, in theory it sounds awesome: trade things you no longer wear for the things your friends no longer wear. Win-win, right? Wrong-wrong. At least, that’s the case for me.

When it comes to discarding clothing I no longer want, I’ve had a system in place for my entire adult life. It goes something like this: buy expensive clothing, wear expensive clothing a few times, sell expensive clothing for a huge loss. In my early twenties I had a very bad habit of buying frilly Betsey Johnson party dresses for upwards of $250, only to wear them around my room a few times before deciding I’d never have an appropriate occasion for actually wearing them and then I’d haul them off to Buffalo Exchange, tags and all, and sell them for $60. Stupid, right? Totally. I stopped doing that quite a while ago but now when I’m sick of my perfect condition Paul & Joe jeans, whimsical Anthropologie blouses, and rainbow hued J Crew cardigans, I know full well that I can turn that bag of discards into $80 cash.

Which leads me to clothing swap parties. As mentioned, I’ve been to my share. First lesson learned, I don’t want my friend’s pilled sweaters and cheap festival tunics any more than they do. Second lesson learned, to trade my viable clothing for an itchy sweater or beat up pair of vintage boots that need $60 worth of rehabbing is just dumb. Usually, when I leave said parties I scoop up my items that haven’t been picked and take them away to confused stares, thinking ‘I guess I’m going to Buffalo after all’. Third lesson learned, the crazy crush that ensues with some of the larger clothing swap parties leaves me paralyzed with social anxiety and I don’t end up finding anything cool anyway since I’m too scared to move, and god forbid, be in someone’s way. Some of these larger parties can be bananas! Fourth lesson learned, clothing swap parties aren’t called Naked Lady parties for nothing. Sure, pro’s will tell you to wear leggings and a tank top under your clothing to make stripping down and trying things on easy sans dressing rooms and it is good advice … except if you’re like me and you don’t even like changing in private dressing rooms. I’ve ended up with lots of clothing that didn’t work for me just because I hate dressing rooms so much – I’ll just buy something and try it on at home and then kick myself when I decide to take it back and suddenly notice that the receipt shows a ‘no returns’ policy. I suppose in the case of a swap this method isn’t so bad since you’re not out any money but you will be up on clutter until you haul your crappy swaps off to Goodwill. Still, that is if you manage to find anything at all. I’ve definitely grabbed things before in a desperate attempt to “enjoy” said parties and ended up getting home only to realize I grabbed some spandex monstrosity that was originally sold at Walgreens.

In the end, the one and only clothing swap party I enjoyed was one where pretty much no one showed up. A good friend hosted, a few friends that couldn’t make it dropped stuff off earlier and I got an awesome dress that I’ve lived in the past two summers and a comfy sweater that’s great for sitting around the house in. Since there were only a handful of us, I was able to peruse the clothing without pressure and when I left, collecting all my stuff for a future Buffalo trip, there were only a few confused stares to contend with. Success!

I know, I know: haters gonna hate and doers gonna do. I just felt like it was time I put it out there that no, I really don’t want to come to your clothing swap party – it’s not personal. Instead, I’ll be standing in line at Buffalo and blowing my cash on fancy smoothies and a new pair of earrings afterwards.

dj big booty judy gets personal

March 11, 2016

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Our very own DJ Big Booty Judy shared some exciting news with me a little while back – she’s expanding her empire with a wee DJ due in July! I’m quite honored today to share her first musical love note to her baking bun …

The blushing mama-to-be says: I apologize in advance, but things are about to get intimate. If you don’t like gushy lovely dovey stuff, skip the blurb and hop straight to the play button (by “hop” I mean run right this minute) … Are you here if you want to be here? Cool. On a very personal note, I ‘m growing a human. At 4 months and counting, this tiny human just established the ability to hear, and is refining this skill everyday. This made me think about my top ten songs that I would play for someone hearing music for the first time (a feat, and a challenge). My best go, but baby this one is for you … and YOU too, of course!

Dear Baby…a musical love note from DJBigBootyJudy on 8tracks Radio.

Congratulations, BBJ! We can’t wait to meet your new addition this summer!

look book : love rises maison kitsuné aw16

March 10, 2016

THE WIND RISES. © 2013 Nibariki - GNDHDDTK

First up, I can’t believe I’m posting about autumn/winter just as spring is rubbing the sleep from it’s eyes but here I am. Of course, I know how the fashion industry works but I’ve made it a personal rule to stick to reporting on seasons as they’re happening because that’s what feels relevant to me. In this case I’m making an exception because Hayao Miyazaki + Maison Kitsuné … I mean, DUH.

Anime inspired fashion is nothing new but it’s usually manifested in 90’s style cyber punk aesthetics and I for one have been there and done that. (Argue all you want that ‘the 90’s are back’ – I lived through them and can’t even express how happy I am that they’re over. Never has fashion been so lame. There, I said it.) No, this time around Maison Kitsuné designer Masaya Kuroki is holding up anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ as his sweet inspiration. Drawing on Miyazaki’s simultaneously feminine and tomboyish character design, Masaya has created beautifully made pieces that any fashion maven would love to own including his re-worked traditional Japanese kimono dress in black velvet with a tone-on-tone guipure lace inset and those incredible brocade pieces. Mixed with classic MK staples such as the varsity jacket, impeccably tailored pants, and high-design logo tees, Maison Kitsuné’s Love Rises has my heart racing …

Maison_Kitsune_AW16_6Maison_Kitsune_AW16_12Maison_Kitsune_AW16_1Maison_Kitsune_AW16_11Maison_Kitsune_AW16_8Maison_Kitsune_AW16_7Maison_Kitsune_AW16_13Maison_Kitsune_AW16_10Maison_Kitsune_AW16_3Maison_Kitsune_AW16_2Maison_Kitsune_AW16_9Maison_Kitsune_AW16_5Maison_Kitsune_AW16_4Photos via Maison Kitsuné



Maison Kitsuné’s ‘Love Rises’ is not yet available for purchase but if you like what you see, do check out their current SS16 collection here.

look book + giveaway! : oru ss16

March 8, 2016


Giveaways are always exciting for me to share with you but I’m doubly excited today because not only do I have the chance to offer up a beautiful necklace, but it’s from one of my favorite local jewelry lines, Oru. You might recall my feature (and giveaway) of Oru’s inaugural line last summer, and since then designer Agnieszka Zoltowski has been busy making her already terrific jewelry even more terrific.

During my last check in with Agnieszka she was experimenting with her signature Japanese Delica bead weavings by casting them in metal with awesome results. Still working with the tiny glass beads, she’s now incorporating them into minimal, geometric designs cast in sterling silver and bronze as well as offering some of those exciting designs sans beads. There’s no doubt – with or without the beads, it works. In fact, like all the best lines Oru just keeps getting better and better, allowing new pieces to mix beautifully with past designs …

Oru3Oru4image1 (28)Oru2image2 (9)Oru5Photos courtesy of Oru


I know, I know – I said there would be a GIVEAWAY, right? Yes! In celebration of Oru’s new SS16 line, Agnieszka and I have teamed up to offer one lucky reader Oru’s 30/6 Journey necklace in the color of their choice

To enter, visit Oru’s web shop and leave a comment below letting us know which Oru design is your favorite. Head to the VGS Instagram @votregrandesoeur for a bonus entry opportunity.

A winner will be randomly chosen and notified on Sunday, 3/13. Best of luck!!


look book : sara bergman ss16

March 3, 2016

Winter isn’t officially over for a few more weeks but tell that to the weather here in Portland; cherry blossoms and daffodils are blooming, most days share a lovely sun break or two, and it seems morning frosts are a thing of the past. While I’m not quite ready for short sleeves or legs sans tights just yet, when I am I shall look no further than the new spring/summer collection from Portland designer Sara Bergman.

Her sleek and modern take on global influences (my past interview with Sara highlights her interests in anthropology and Le Sapeurs, a Congolese fashion trend) is unlike anything I’ve found to date. In her new line, Sara has once again knocked it out of the park with her eye for prints + color, silhouettes, and this time around, embellishments. I especially love updates to past designs like her Hole Punch Tee and exciting new designs like her Creature Print Bomber Jacket and Amulet Dress. I think the only way to make the line even better would be to have a fabulously talented photographer, like oh I dunno, Autumn Northcraft shoot the look book. Oh wait, she totally did –

12345678910111213Photos | Autumn Northcraft
Model | Emily Kimball
Stylist | Kate Rutter
MUA | Monica Ninh




I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to start my spring wardrobe shopping now!

Shop Sara Bergman online and follow @sarabergmanapparel on Instagram for upcoming news.

dj big booty judy does valentines

February 12, 2016

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Here at VGS Valentine’s Day is one of our favorites: pink + red hearts, glitter, flowers, candy, declarations of love – I mean, who among us doesn’t love those things? And during the dreary month of February, they resonate that much more. Still, not everyone has a special someone and that’s ok! Personally, some of my best Valentine days happened along while I was single. There’s nothing wrong with being your own Valentine, just remember the number one rule: Treat Yo’ Self!

With that in mind, VGS mix master DJ Big Booty Judy put together a lovely and loving compilation about missed connections, unrequited love, and yes, even a little heart break. Light some candles, snuggle up in your snuggie and let the tunes take you away. Says Judy: I’m a huge fan of love songs, and an even bigger fan of love! The loveliest love bug that ever did love. I thought I would take a stab at a mix for the broken hearted, the songs stand!

Lonely Teardrops from DJBigBootyJudy on 8tracks Radio


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Thanks for reading VGS! We wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days!!

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