April 14, 2014

i know it’s a little late in the game to be taking a spring break hiatus but the first rule of blogging is, there are no rules! i do promise i have lots of great posts on the horizon- including new rad ladies and sister styles!

in the meantime, here is a video from turkish prison, which is one of the members of my fave australian electro-rock band of the moment, midnight juggernauts, doing the production / dj thing.

see you next week!


what i wore : bag edition

April 10, 2014

we all know them: ladies that are like, ‘i’m a shoe-aholic!’ or ‘i’m a purse fiend!’. that’s not me. i love it all but tend to collect articles of clothing more than accessories, especially when it comes to bags. oddly enough, i’ve always viewed bags as more of a utilitarian item of necessity than an opportunity to make a fashion statement and as you might expect, it’s catching up with me. mainly because i super hate all of the bags i’ve collected over the years -


IMG_9968- bags of shame : the VGS collection -


as you can see, i tend to gravitate towards odd colors and patterns, which is great for something you don’t wear every single day. to top it off, they’re all functionally retarded. the most recent addition to this collection is the clava in the upper right hand corner which i got because it’s fairly neutral in its color scheme without being too boring and it’s chock full of pockets and compartments. it seemed great on paper but it isn’t very structurally sound and won’t stand up straight without constant prodding and adjustment, which is a problem when you’re a perfectionist. perhaps more importantly, the handles are too small for me to be able to wear it over my shoulder comfortably (or even at all), meaning i usually have to carry it queen elizabeth style which makes me self-conscious and really limits my freedom of movement. ugh! and don’t even get me started on the others or we’ll be here all night.

i’ve been scouring the interwebs this last year for my dream bag but excepting options costing upwards of $600, i haven’t been able to find anything that appears to be ‘the one’. growing ever more frustrated as i cycle through my collection of sad sacks, i lost it very recently while carrying that rasta/goth l.a.m.b. x le sportsac monstrosity (seriously, what was i thinking when i bought that??!! i don’t like gwen stefani even a little bit!!). in a fit of desperation, i decided at this point i may as well just start using a tote. you know what i’m talking about, just a plain ol’ cheapie cotton tote bag. i know you have a bunch, i totally have a bunch but have been using them solely to carry my lunch stuffs to work. well no longer!


IMG_9921- tote bag by reif plus pouches by paperchase, seaecho & poketo for target -


turns out it’s perfect! perhaps you’ve noticed all my pouch-centric posts lately? as i’ve suspected but only just now tested, they’re really all that’s needed to keep an open bag from becoming a disorganized quagmire. all this time i thought i needed built-in pockets & compartments but they never did the job i expected of them. pouches come in practically any size you want- and look at the fun variety! i can get my color & print fix without causing any outfit clashes! i don’t know why i didn’t try this sooner but i’m hooked now. i love this reif tote but with others starting at like, $10 i can collect tote bags for my every mood & outfit!







around portland : franz ferdinand & cate le bon

April 9, 2014

i missed the memo but apparently live music in portland is on again. the cold months saw a dearth of acts that piqued my interest and i just sort of forgot to keep up on who’s coming to town and when. i’m now scouring all the live music listings to make sure i don’t miss any more great acts than i have to- this week alone i’ve missed dum dum girls, blouse and la femme!!

one upcoming show i’m psyched for is franz ferdinand and cate le bon.

i honestly haven’t listened to FF in years though i did enjoy their self-titled debut when it came out, oh ten years ago. not enough to keep up with them obviously but listening to their latest single (below) i think seeing them live will be a fun time, allowing me to relive the energy of the early 90′s brit-pop movement i was so caught up in -



truth be told, i’m far more interested in their opener, welsh chanteuse cate le bon. i’ve had her recently released ‘mug museum‘ in heavy rotation for the past two weeks and i am super psyched at the prospect of seeing her live -



tickets for the april 26th show are available here.

look book : young frankk mid-s/s ’14

April 7, 2014

richmond, virginia’s christine young began young frankk jewelry in 2012 as a way to transition her drawings into metal work that is inspired by both graphic geometric lines and organic forms.

young frankk’s s/s ’14 collection is very sleek and modern but still fits in well with the line’s past designs which are on the more organic side of the spectrum.  i really love the simplicity and clean, bold lines of each piece, many of which keep things interesting by mixing shapes and incorporating asymmetry here and there. i also love that the collection appears to lend itself to whatever the wearer is feeling, whether that’s wearing one or many pieces, all young frankk or mixed with other lines -












yf9-9_lo_grande- photos by seychelle stapleford -


miscellany : spring storms mix

April 3, 2014

spring in portland is both lovely and cruel (i suppose spring is likely the same, or at least crazy similar, most everywhere but my frame of reference is portland so let’s stick with that). a mere day or two of warm sun, blue skies, little white butterflies flitting about and the distant sound of lawnmowers inevitably leads to a full week of chilly, dark grey skies dumping water down all day and night. sometimes you get everything jam packed into one day- hail showers, dizzyingly lovely sun breaks, rainbows, black skies, more rain, more sun and on. we’re all so ready to slip winter’s last stranglehold but it just keeps on keeping on, fighting against the coming summer that we want so desperately.

with that looming over me day in and day out, i conjured up a mix which i’m sharing with you today. it’s a little bit euphoric, some parts melancholic, heavily dreamy and definitely optimistic. i hope you enjoy! just remember- summer is coming.


- cover art by ginette lapalme -

trending : dye jobs

April 2, 2014

you may have noticed the avalanche of shibori, tie-dye, bokeh-esque bleach splatter and ombre dip-dyes taking over the indie design world these last few months. honestly, as a print & pattern lover, i am enamored with this trend and want all the things! as with most trends, i am also wary and telling myself not to over do it lest i end up reliving the great ruffles-on-everything trend of 2010. after buying all the ruffles i had to give in to the fact that they overwhelm my curvy, petite frame and had no business ever becoming part of my wardrobe. that said, here are some of my current dye job faves -


KM_Dyed_Tank_dress- indigo and black fractal hand dyed tunic dress by karina manarin -


NW_shibori_bra- shibori tie dye harness bra by norwegian wood -


white_space_top_bc- white space top by martha w mcquade -


marblenotebooks- marbled notebooks by arminho -


Wisteria4_dress_Hackwith- wisteria dress by hackwith design house -


caribou_backpack_cookandgates- caribou backpack by cook & gates -


sara_bergman_top- triangle cut-out trapeze top by sara bergman -


marblescarf.02_scoutandcatalogue- marble scarf by scout & catalogue -


serranecklace- serra necklace by academy-


gatherdress- gather dress by black crane -


violetrosecandle- violet rose candle by oui candles & ceramics -


wild_heart_strawberry_front_1024x1024- wild heart tote by fieldguided -


tiedyebodysuit- tie dye body suit by majorey -


barrowombre- white and pink ombre pendant by barrow -


doommaillot- doom maillot by minnow bathers -

miscellany : unruly things feature

April 1, 2014

oh hai!

i don’t usually post on tuesdays but i just had to share that i was featured on the unruly things blog today, sharing some of my favorite rings in the ‘show me your stack‘ series … click here for all the details. many thanks to alyson for sharing my stack!!



look book : seaecho spring ’14

March 31, 2014

yup, i’m writing about pouches again. this time, it’s regarding my favorite local pouch purveyor, seaecho. they just released their spring line-up look book in both photo and video forms and i’m totally smitten with their outdoorsy babe and her seaecho for every mood & occasion -




seaecho_spring14_8- photos by hannah rosa lewis-lopes -


i’m still eagerly awaiting the not yet released kingston carry-all but in the meantime i am planning on picking up a few ramona & fherin pouches as well as the marley half & half, a new design for spring which features pendleton wool on one side and leather on the other- i love the contrast between the two when the top half of the clutch is folded over! which are your faves??

rad ladies : kim damio

March 27, 2014



i couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce today’s rad lady, kim damio of portland black lipstick company who i met last month at the unmentionable lingerie show. already the owner of PBLC’s classic black lipstick, i was delighted to be able to see all of her colors up close and personal. so much so, i added a few more shades to my collection- most notably bad penny, a gorgeous creamy-metallic copper that has become my go-to lipstick as of late. maybe it’s the old goth in me that was initially attracted to portland black lipstick’s wares but don’t be scared, there really is a shade for everyone and i’m telling you, you’ll be hard pressed to find another brand offering up the natural, high quality ingredients and awesome wearability that you’ll get in a PBLC lipstick. i haven’t even mentioned yet just how lovely and sweet kim is! she totally is. read on to find out how she got started, how she comes up with colors, and her fave hot dog joint (it’s mine too!) -


VGS: how did portland black lipstick co. get its start?

Kim: PBLC has only existed for a few years, but I had been making cosmetics for many years prior to starting the company.  I really enjoyed it as a hobby and never really thought it would become my full time job!!  I mainly sold my makeup at events—which was really fun, since it offered me a chance to talk with people about my craft and to trade with other vendors. Some local boutiques started selling my lipsticks around that time as well. Then my friends encouraged me to go online and the internet side of the business grew from there.

VGS: do you have a background in chemistry or did you learn to formulate cosmetics through trial and error?

Kim: I don’t have a formal background in chemistry, but I’ve been picking it up on an amateur level for some time now because it helps me avoid mistakes in formulation. When I first started making cosmetics I relied much more on trial and error (and less on research.) I would love to study chemistry in a classroom environment—as soon as I have time, I plan on doing just that!!  My educational background is mostly philosophy and foreign language.

VGS: what was your process in deciding on your current color line up? 

Kim: Originally I worked on what I wanted to wear—I just could not find a black lipstick that used all-natural ingredients!!  I kept mixing more and more colors and eventually got to the point where I’d see a pigment and think ‘I bet I could make a good lip color with that!!’ I tend towards wearing black, blues, greens, greys, etc., but I truly enjoy the challenge and aesthetics involved in mixing other colors. Sometimes my colors are the result of requests from friends and/or customers.

VGS: what are your thoughts on portland’s maker scene?

Kim: I love it—people are really open to making just about anything here!

VGS: what is your biggest source of inspiration currently?

Kim: I’ve been really into historical recipes, some of which may translate into new products and some of which are just fun projects. There are so many extant recipes from the late Victorian period alone—I feel like I could experiment forever and never get bored!!

VGS: what challenges do you face in staying motivated and how do you overcome them?

Kim: As anyone with their own business knows, it can be a little overwhelming at times!!  Thankfully, there are lots of things that keep me motivated. I really love what I do and I’m truly grateful that I can make my living this way. It’s always encouraging to get feedback from customers–to hear back from people. I find that research and development is good for avoiding monotony.  If I feel like I’m doing too much repetitious work, then I might mix up a new lip color or try a new face cream recipe.

VGS: what can we expect from portland black lipstick co. in the future?

Kim: More historical recreations and some new lip colors!!  Colors of particular interest include pumpkin, drab violet, icy blue, and golden red…

VGS: what’s your favorite burger spot?

Kim: Honestly, I’m currently more into hot dogs and my favorite place for those is Zach’s Shack :)


PBLC- my own fledgling PBLC collection L to R : bad penny, purple cloud, pewter cauldron and black -


IMG_9852- follow kim / PBLC on facebook and purchase PBLC via etsy & yo! vintage -

miscellany : first quarter recap & a survey

March 26, 2014

specs- photo by kacie tomita -


the first quarter of the year is just about finished up and i’ve decided it’s a great time to step back and take stock of VGS … what originally began as an outlet for my random opinions has grown into a major labor of love.

late last year i decided to tighten VGS’s focus and while i’m still working on honing my content, i feel like i’m making good progress. writing, editing, photography- they’re all passions of mine and though i’m not yet where i want to be skillz-wise, i can definitely see the improvement i’ve made over the last year in all three areas and am pretty proud of myself.

and can we talk about my design update for a sec?! i am beyond happy with it! is it too much to admit that i’ve spent more than a few minutes just staring at my home page on numerous occasions? i loved my old design but at the end of the day, i didn’t feel like it was ‘me’ or that it was giving off the vibe i wanted. enter my new disco-deco logo, which my awesome husband hand-drew from scratch. overall, i think the layout is cleaner and easier to navigate.

i am also thrilled to see growth both in my daily traffic and reader interaction. it’s led me to realize that it’s not just my IRL friends & family reading anymore and i would like to take a moment to get to know everyone! i made up a little survey and would be ever so delighted if you would take a moment to complete it. i’m not going to bribe you with giveaways or the like BUT i will say that i have an exciting one on the horizon and the more responses to the survey, the more inclined i’ll be to get that up and going, wink wink. all you need do is click here.

with that, i want to thank you all so much for keeping up with me and my blog- readers old and new. if you have any additional thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.

stay tuned for a new rad lady interview tomorrow and have a great week!

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