miscellany

March 3, 2015

Today’s selection was a random find and at first I didn’t even realize it was a music video, haha. I do like the music and think it would be great background for working; especially since I’ve recently realized that I am more and more sensitive to noise and find myself turning my music off almost as soon as I’ve put it on, complaining about distractions – just like my Grandma! Ironically, while I border on my mid-life crisis (jk, kinda), this video also reminds me of high school life, like, whoa. I never got into scams / drugs as depicted here but I knew plenty of kids that lived the life (albeit with beepers instead of cell phones). Put together, the nostalgia, easy going music, and amazing post-ringtone visuals firmly plant this in dazzling gem territory for me. Enjoy!

 

indie designers : stine goya

March 2, 2015

A graduate of Central St. Martins, Danish fashion and print designer Stine Goya has been a fixture in Copenhagen since 2006 and she certainly knows her way around a fabulous print. Case in point, I am completely gaga over her 2015 pre-Spring line which features easy, flattering silhouettes, perfectly modern and abstract prints, and a color palette that mixes pastels with dramatic darks, which is everything I want to be rocking from now through June -

 

Shop Stine Goya here and follow @stinegoyastudio on Instagram.

indie designers : wolf child studio visit

February 27, 2015

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Artist and illustrator Sabrina Jackson started her wildly popular t-shirt line, Wolf Child in 2013. Prior to that she worked on another line of t-shirts and decided it was time to strike out on her own. Inspired by nature, and more specifically, the desert, Sabrina creates all of her designs herself. Incorporating cacti, skulls, flora and fauna, and more, her drawings are beautifully detailed and impart a vibe that’s as romantic and mystical as it is tough. Each super soft cotton / modal blend tee is screen printed by Sabrina herself resulting in slight variations and a high level of quality, making each shirt a unqiue work of art.

The Wolf Child studio is in North Portland’s North Coast Seed Building (Beam & Anchor and Lowell are close by on the east side of Interstate Avenue). Comprised of four warehouses, originally used to store seed & feed, construction on the building started in 1911 and continued for 30 years. After changing ownership in 1983, the space began it’s transition to art studios, which are it’s main use today and houses other renowned artists including Jen Lobo, Souther Salazar, and AJ Fosik.

Bright and open with a small loft space, Sabrina has room for her desk, a drafting table, her screen printing equipment and lots of storage. On any given day you will find Sabrina in the studio, listening to Depeche Mode while sketching up new designs and printing tees to fill orders -

 

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Be sure to keep an eye out towards the end of March as Sabrina will be releasing some new Wolf Child designs and expanding with the addition of clothing and accessories that compliment her tees: expect skirts and bell bottoms from other local designers including Rogue Minx, jewelry from a designer based in Greece, and a line of lip tints Sabrina is developing with Black Widow Balm. It’s going to be so good!

Shop Wolf Child here and follow @wolfchildtees on Instagram to keep up on new items.

you’re welcome : how anxiety made me miss a very important fashion show

February 26, 2015

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Today I’m writing in my rarely used ‘You’re Welcome’ category. I thought it up over a year ago when there was a lot of discussion happening about social media envy – you know, that time everyone was bummed because their lives weren’t as perfect as everyone else’s seem to be when viewed through proverbial (and literal) Instagram filters. I have never assumed that the image I put out there comes off as perfect to anyone, all the same I thought I could help alleviate some feels by sharing a few non-glamorous aspects of my reality. I envisioned ‘You’re Welcome’ as a parody via tongue-in-cheek photo shoots of, like, me vacuuming my house in curlers – something I never do. Obviously it never materialized and it’s probably for the better. Anyway, I finally have something on my mind that falls under this category, so here we go …

Last night was the first half, or Winter installment, of the third annual Fade to Light fashion show here in Portland. I’ve never gone to a FTL before but last night’s line up was pretty great: Michelle Lesniak, Rogue Minx, Altar Houseline, Veil & Valor (a new collab project from the ladies behind Primal Haunt), Bryce Black, and more. I was into it! So many rad people were going too, I knew I’d have lots of friendly faces greeting me throughout the night. I emailed the producer and she graciously put me on the press list. I was all set.

Guys, I did not go.

Instead, I threw on leggings and a sweatshirt and watched the Blazer game from my couch. I love the Blazers but sports are not even a blip on my radar. So much so that I was on Instagram the whole while. After a while my feed started showing friends at the venue looking happy and excited and the regret set in. I should have gone! Why didn’t I go?? I held myself back, that’s why. An unfortunate effect of my anxiety disorder, I have a bad habit of holding myself back out of fear.

Once the producer (again, very graciously) put me on the list, I started freaking out: I’ve never gone to a fashion show by myself before! It will be so awkward! OMG, I have to take pictures! The lighting will be tricky! What if all my pictures suck and I can’t use any of them? Where am I going to stand? What if someone stands in front of me (which always seems to happen)? I can’t possibly ask them to move! I could get there as soon as the doors open and get a front row balcony seat … but then I’ll have to sit there for well over an hour before the show starts and if I move to walk around and mingle, I’ll lose my seat! What if the balcony is too far away to get decent pics from anyway? Shit, what is the runway set up like? Ugh, where will I park? What the hell will I wear?? Shit, it’s going to be a late night! I’ll get home way after my bedtime! I have to work in the morning! (Seriously though, why are fashion shows almost always on weeknights?!)

You get the picture. This is my every day life and you can be sure that at any given time that sort of dialogue is running through my head regarding just about anything I have to do. I’ve made huge strides over the last two years in overcoming this sort of thing – I used to never, ever, ever leave the house if I didn’t have to! – but the truth is, it never goes away. If there’s something to worry about, I’m already on it. If there’s nothing to worry about, rest assured - I’ll find something to worry about. It’s pretty f’ing exhausting.

So to all my lovely friends and friendly acquaintances that I missed last night: I’m sorry I missed you. Truly. To that producer: I’m so sorry I wasted your time with my press request. I hope you’ll continue to take me seriously for future requests. To all the designers who presented: I’m so sorry I missed your big night! I should have been there! To all my readers: I’m sorry I have no coverage of this event for you, I shoud have sucked it up and gone.

One of my biggest goals with the blog this year is to provide coverage of events just like this one. I was able to take my first step in realizing that goal with the recent Unmentionable show and I just can’t even express how bummed I am that I dropped the ball here. The difference? I had four friends at Unmentionable with me, one of whom drove us there, I had a front row press seat and professional photogs to send me pics. Guess what? I was still worrying about that event beforehand but things like making plans to go with someone and knowing photography will be handled for you make it much harder to flake. Still, I’m a big girl and I need to be able to go somewhere by myself and take pictures if I want to. I can’t promise anything but I do sincerely hope this is the last time I allow myself to miss something I’m genuinely excited about because my dumb brain won’t shut up.

Bottom line: I decided to share this today because dealing with anxiety is something that can be very isolating. When I confide in new friends about my social anxiety and struggle with not becoming a full-on agoraphobic they always seem surprised to hear I deal with these issues. I like to think it’s because I have come so far in my ability to cope and move past them but I’m realizing that no matter how good I get at coping, it’s still coping. I don’t think I will ever get to a point where anxiety isn’t niggling at me but despite hiccups like last night, maybe I’m proof that you can learn ways to deal and move past it more often than not.

So there you go. I am not perfect and the struggle is real.

You’re welcome.

miscellany

February 24, 2015

I watch the Oscars every year. It’s actually kind of a big deal: I spend the weekend leading up to it with a posse of some of my best friends and we hoof it around to various theaters, squeezing in all the day drinking nominated flicks we can before the ceremony airs. Once it does, we put on our comfies, sip prosecco, heat up some pizza rolls, and keep tabs on who’s correctly guessed more winners than anyone else via our pre-completed ballots – usually it’s between me and my friend Stacy, who beat me by one correct guess this year cos I hated ‘Birdman’ and thought ‘Boyhood’ was going to win it (damn it, it should have).

Given all that, who would guess I find the Oscars to be a huge yawn fest every year? Crazily enough, even without amazing friends to enjoy it with, I would still watch. Even if I don’t agree with the academy, I love movies and I like to see who’s getting recognized, fairly or not (*cough Birdman cough*) and duh, I have to see the fashion. I bring this up because my friends proclaimed this year’s ceremony to be uber boring. Welcome to my world. What wasn’t boring though was Tegan and Sara performing ‘Everything is Awesome’ with Lonely Island. There is little I HATE more than musical numbers (sorry, everyone else in the world), so it’s nice when having to sit through the seemingly endless tripe fest, you get a gem like this -
 

 
As for fashion this year, meh. Emma Stone killed it in her Elie Saab number and I honestly can’t recall what anyone else wore – except Zanna Roberts Rassi, who was providing red carpet coverage on E! Of course I can’t find a single pic of her dress but it was similar to Emma’s with neon pink crystals / beads / glitter / whatever on sheer nude but with a more relaxed cut than Emma’s sex pot dress. Anyway, thanks for being interesting, Emma!
 
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Of course, I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

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look book & giveaway : katie guinn

February 23, 2015

Artist and Portland native, Katie Guinn, has been making clothing since 2006. Now with an apparel design degree from the Art Institute of Portland and years of custom, bridal, and ready-to-wear experience under her belt, she recently released the second installation of her latest line, Funk Yeah. Part One incorporated Katie’s beautiful illustration work with groovy 60′s flower power details and a rock n’ roll edge, while Part Two has more of a 70′s rock vibe with a laregely black color palette, graphic tees (two of which Katie just released for pre-sale at a discounted price), and seperates with flirty sheer detailing. Peep the look book below and read on for details of a fun giveaway Katie and I have teamed up on!

 

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Modeled by: Skye Sengelmann
MUAH: Irisa Mcausland
Shot by: Katie Guinn
Jewelry supplied by: Cobra Cult, Iron Oxide, Altar
Metal hair tie by: Caravan Pacific

 

To celebrate the launch of Funk Yeah Part Two and it’s accompanying t-shirt pre-sale, Katie and I have teamed up to offer one lucky winner a beautiful, custom made pencil skirt just like the one seen here -

 

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To enter, visit Katie’s shop and leave a comment on this post telling us which piece you would pair with your pencil skirt. For additional entry opportunities, visit @votregrandesoeur and @katie_guinn_studio on Instagram, look for the giveaway post and follow the instructions there. The winner will be chosen and notified on Monday, 3/2/15.

 

Best of luck, babes!
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around portland : unmentionable 2015

February 19, 2015

The third annual Unmentionable lingerie exposition, produced by Elizabeth Mollo, Cassie Ridgway, and Siren Nation, was held here in Portland early last week. My second year attending, I went with high expectations for lovely lingerie and a fun atmosphere – and I wasn’t disappointed on either front. Focusing on locally produced garments, there were a few exceptions this year with headliner Rachel Rector Lingerie (a former Portlander, Rachel now calls Florida home) and Whiskey Dog Wares (a frequent Portland visitor with a local retail presence). Emceed by the lovely Marissa Sullivan (who looked smoking hot in an all-white number by Opening Ceremony), there were no verboten photography kerfuffles this year (though it was kind of awesome that one time it did happen) and the show went off without a hitch.

Up first and showing her first lingerie collection, Eve Styles (whose Eve Skywalker tights are popular sellers at Altar boutique), presented a flirty collection featuring versatile separates in velvets, laces, and a really lovely metallic brocade -

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Next up was Iron Oxide Designs, which showed designer Amy Fox’s beautifully detailed body chains over black basics. I’ve been an Iron Oxide fan for a while now but I was really blown away by the sophisticated and sexy designs Amy came up with for us and I was especially stunned by the last piece, a veritable flapper dress made of chain -

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KD Designs is produced by local designer and model, Katrina Dimick. This was the first lingerie collection for KD Designs and though pieces were on the simple side and in mostly black, I found the collection to be one of those most impeccably constructed of the evening as well as the most wearable -

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Shawna Farmer of Chubby Cartwheels repped for the plus-size ladies with her first lingerie collection, featuring sensual designs in lace that were definitely a crowd favorite -

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Suite No. 237 is handmade here in Portland and may or may not have taken name inspiration from the infamous Room 237 in ‘The Shining’ – or maybe I just watch too many horror movies. There was nothing scary about the designs though, which were presented in beautiful laces and silks. I would have liked to have seen better pattern placement in the pieces from my favorite look (seen in the first photo below), but otherwise the designs were glamorous and fun -

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The Altar Houseline was another favorite. Designed by Unmentionable producer, Cassie Ridgway and team, and styled with faux fur accessories, I thought the pairing worked well visually if perhaps a little unrealistic IRL. Then again, I’m always cold! Maybe they’re on to something -

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As mentioned earlier, Whiskey Dog Wares hails from Florida but designer Emily Miller is no stranger to Portland. Presenting basics with enough details to keep things from skewing too #basic, I enjoyed the pops of color and flattering silhouettes -

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Local boutique, Lille, reps brands from around the world and their selections are always a highlight of the Unmentionable experience. I’ll give you two guesses as to my favorite …

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Portland-based MoWest Creations followed Lille with it’s offbeat and er, cheeky designs -

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To close the show, former Portlander Rachel Rector showed off her latest designs. While giving a nod to previous seasons with her trademark color blocking, she kept things fresh with a simultaneously soft and bright color palette, the addition of print, and swimwear inspired details. Topped off with porcelain jewelry from Barrow, Rachel Rector Lingerie was definitely the feather in Unmentionable’s cap -

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Overall, Unmentionable was an unforgettable experience and I have to give shout outs to the vendors who rounded it all out: Imaginary Authors Perfume, She-Bop, Missionary Chocolates, Dartheart Pdx, Briana Morrison Photography, and Altar Boutique.

Until next year …

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indie designers : cardinal point

February 18, 2015

 

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Cardinal Point is the product of painter, ceramicist, and mixed media artist, Sam LaMont. Taking up weaving just about a year ago, it’s clear to me that she has already honed the craft and developed a style of her own that is rich with natural themes. Inspired by texture, color, and symbolism, Sam says ‘The language of shapes intrigues me, weaving is a perfect example of shapes and symbols telling a story’.

An occasional wood shop helper, Sam makes her own frames and needles and is working on developing a beginners weaving kit to offer in the future. She also has plans to add her paintings to the shop – I can’t wait to see them!

 

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‘I am very spiritual and my work is often about our expanded consciousness. I have an honest view, it is my own and I just want to convey that in some shape or form. People respond to honesty, something that is authentic, and real. I have always had a distinct aesthetic, I don’t really even know where it comes from. I feel it deeply, it has always existed, like a best friend. It is a wonderful thing to be able to share with others. I love thinking of something I made in someone’s intimate space, like a bedroom. Our spaces are sacred and I am honored to have something my hands worked on for hours included in that space. It is all quite magical to me.’
 

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Shop Cardinal Point here and follow @cardinalpointpdx on Instagram to keep up on Sam’s newest works and future pop-up shop dates.

indie designers : small spells

February 16, 2015

Small Spells is a Brooklyn based ceramics line produced by fine artist Rachel Howe … and well, I’m not ashamed to say I am OBSESSED with everything she makes. Jumping back and forth between elegant designs, geometric patterns and doodles of ghosts, eyes, and palm trees, she covers all the bases - which is perfect for someone like me who loves it all. The Small Spells insta feed has recently become one of my faves too as Rachel regularly offers lunar and astrological guidance that always hits home. Recently she branched into tee’s and sweatshirts featuring her amazing Bart Simpson doodles too. If you ask me, there’s nothing this gal can’t do -

 

Shop Small Spells here and follow @smallspells on Instagram for horoscopes, doodles, lovely vignettes, and new item announcments.

sister style : hillary

February 12, 2015

I’ve mentioned it before but after way too long of a hiatus, I’m shopping for vintage again. It’s an over-saturated market, especially here in Portland, but there are a few shops that stand head and shoulders above the riff raff and one of those is Tanner Ann. I’ve been following the shop on Instagram for a while and am forever drooling over the stock - most recently a kimono with a marble / geode print that I’m still kicking myself for not getting. Run by Hillary Tanner, I recently stumbled onto her blog and knew I had to get in touch cos the girl just exudes effortless cool.

Meeting up at her place on a wet, grey day we chatted about photography, discussed styling, and, of course, talked vintage. Working with Hillary was a dream; I loved her outfit choices and she poses like she’s been doing it since birth, somehow reminding me of a 1940′s starlet while rocking (mostly) vintage in a way that feels completely updated and modern -

 

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VGS: What is your first fashion related memory? How has it influenced your style, for better or worse?

Hillary: My parents actually dabbled in selling vintage on eBay in the early 2000’s when ironic ‘70s and ‘80s t-shirts were really popular. I became fascinated with the unique pieces they would bring home and fell in love with thrifting. I still like wearing obscure vintage tees and old levis but most importantly, my personal style has been rooted in creativity because of this.

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VGS: What drew you to thrifting and vintage? What inspired your shop, Tanner Ann Vintage?

Hillary: I grew up thrifting so putting together outfits that incorporated various decades has always been really fun for me. I have been selling vintage on and off again since I was seventeen and finally realized that it’s more than just a side project. When I started Tanner Ann, I wanted to add a lot more attention to detail with the quality of the pieces, styling, and photography. I’m becoming increasingly obsessive over color palettes and textiles. I choose items that are classic, versatile and a little bit offbeat.

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

Hillary: This changes every season for me. Right now, my closet is full of oversized sweaters, feeling constantly cozy is a big priority for me in the winter. Also, I often make excuses for why I need more jeans. Maybe it’s a Northwest thing but, I love denim!

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VGS: Which designers, brands, etc. do you think VGS readers should be checking out? 

Hillary: I do a lot of daydream shopping online. Over the last few years, it seems that there has been this explosion of amazing product representation, so many online shops look like high fashion magazines. My current favorites are Apiece Apart, Elizabeth Suzann, Lauren Winter, Black Crane and anything featured on Of a Kind. However, I’m trying to shop less online and more at actual stores in Portland because it’s so important to support local designers and shop keepers. During the shoot, I wore this beautiful necklace from Hazel Cox and my new favorite, a kimono top from Laurs Kemp, both from Portland.

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I had a great time shooting with Hillary and hanging in her super cute house! I definitely felt inspired by her style and am looking forward to working with her again soon.

Check out Tanner Ann here and follow @tannerannshop to keep up on new items as they hit the shop.

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