sister style : amelia

February 4, 2016

Amelia (18 of 46)

Hailing from Eugene originally, Amelia Hart made the move to Portland with her boyfriend and adorable pit bull, Rowdy, last year. Prior to that, Miss Amelia was already planted firmly on my radar after I found her via the Burger Records IG feed that time a few years ago that I discovered a bunch of Burger acts. I was totally enamored with her ever-changing hair color, rock n’ roll attitude – and I mentioned Rowdy the adorable pit bull, right? After seeing Amelia model for Altar Boutique in last year’s Open Season showcase, I made it my goal to share her style gospel with you by way of a Sister Style feature.

In addition to pushing the style envelope herself (in all the best ways), Amelia is a hair stylist and from what I can tell is just about the best colorist in town. Specializing in, of course, rainbow and pastel coifs her IG feed is an eye-candy-filled testament to her work but really, it’s a close friend who sold me when she recounted how Amelia saved her from a botched dye job that turned her hair green by transforming it to a lovely platinum lavender.

Arriving at Amelia’s house, I was instantly smitten with her abundant vintage + kitsch decor, Rowdy (duh) and Miss Amelia herself: a total sweetheart and the best model a photographer could ask for …

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VGS: What is your first fashion related memory?

A: I remember being a little kid, like 3 or 4, and wanting to wear my “Rainbow Shield” everyday. It was a handmade crocheted poncho, a black base filled with every color of hand formed flower. It was my favorite garment, found at a thrift store on a shopping trip with my mom, and worn until it was much too small for me!

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VGS: Any advice for those who are afraid to wear color?

A: My advice for people who are afraid of color is don’t be! Having grown up in Oregon, the winters can seem perpetually grey and drab and never ending. You know what color pairs wonderfully with grey? Yellow! Color makes me happy, color is more fun, more alive, more exciting. The most beautiful things in the world are bright and colorful, so why not wear them on my body and in my hair?

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

A: I think you can never have too many shoes! You can wear the same solid color dress 5 days in a row, but with different shoes, no one will notice.

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

A: I shop at every vintage store, thrift shop, yard sale, goodwill, junk store, anyyyyywhere!

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Many thanks to Amelia for being such an awesome model and for letting me fawn over her dog! Follow @missameliahart on Instagram and like Amelia Hart Hair and Makeup on Facebook for more of her bitchin’ style, both on herself and her clients.


around portland : tannerann x west end select shop

February 1, 2016

WESS x Tannerann 4

I don’t post about events too often but sometimes an event comes along that makes you feel like shouting from the rooftops … and Tannerann Vintage popping up at West End Select Shop is just one of those amazing happenings. In case you haven’t been in yet, West End Select Shop is Portland’s go-to for contemporary indie labels hailing from around the globe – labels that just happen to mesh perfectly with with Tannerann owner Hillary’s always amazing vintage picks.

The reason I will tell anyone that Tannerann is my favorite vintage seller is because Hillary is so good at curating pieces that fit right in with today’s designs: they’re classic, timeless, and add the perfect amount of interest. In order to prove just how relevant this pairing is, WESS and Tannerann got together for a photo shoot that mixed items from both sellers and the results are just stunning, but then I wouldn’t expect anything less.

WESS x Tannerann 1WESS x Tannerann 5WESS x Tannerann 6WESS x Tannerann 3Wess x Tannerann 2Photos | Andi Bakos

Photo Editing | Hillary Boles

Styling | Hillary Boles + Ragen Fykes




unnamed (1)Join Tannerann and West End Select Shop this Thursday, 2/4 from 5pm to 8pm for wine, treats, and 10% off WESS sale items. For more details, check out the WESS and Tannerann event page on Facebook.

If you can’t make it out Thursday, rest easy as Tannerann selections will be at WESS through 2/13. Those not in Portland can shop West End Select Shop online here and shop Tannerann online here.

look book : betsy + iya unu

January 21, 2016

When I think of Betsy + Iya what comes to mind, besides the sort of attention to detail that only comes from pieces that are each handmade, is contemporary jewelry with world vibes and a minimal edge. It’s a formula that works and has been lovingly applied to their latest collection, Unu. Unmistakably Betsy + Iya as well as a natural progression, Unu is wholly its own while each piece melds seamlessly with past collections.

With major inspiration coming from looking to break people’s conceptions of what they can and can’t wear, Betsy emphatically believes everyone can wear it all. Says Betsy: ‘I always like demolishing boundaries. No one should ever say that he/she can’t wear a certain style, like a large hoop earring or a bold necklace. Nope. You can, and that’s what I wanted to show with this collection and look book.’

As someone who avoided wearing green and yellow for, like, ever I was shocked (and delighted!) to find a few years ago that not only can I wear them, they actually look great against my skin despite my mother’s warnings that they would make my olive skin appear Frankenstein-like. She didn’t know any better and thought she was doing me a favor but I took that as an important lesson in staying open-minded about fashion: just because something doesn’t work today doesn’t mean it isn’t the perfect thing for tomorrow. With that in mind, I present Unu –


Photos | Elizabeth Rudge

HMUA | Erin Skipley

Models | Khadijha and Jennae of Heffner Management


Look at all of those endless possibilities! In highlighting the vibrant hues of both background and lip color, the simplicity of the Unu collection pops allowing the viewer to focus on what really matters: the jewelry and the woman who wears it.




Betsy & Iya is so dedicated to empowering people to overcome arbitrary “do’s & don’ts” they’ve asked their Facebook fans to weigh in on what boundaries they intend to break in 2016, hoping that by seeing others’ intentions they can create a community around the idea of self-expression through jewelry. Join the discussion here and shop the Unu collection online or in person at Betsy + Iya’s delightful Portland store.

indie designers + giveaway! : filling spaces

January 19, 2016

Filling_Spaces_Pillows (3 of 15)

Though fashion has always been my No. 1 love, interior decor has always been close behind which is why I was delighted when Deepali Kalia, owner of interior + lifestyle boutique Filling Spaces, approached me about hosting a giveaway.

Filling Spaces stocks a range of lovely items including furnishings, home accessories, clothing and loungewear, bags, and even apothecary, but their specialty is their extensive collection of textiles. Designed by Deepali, her textiles are hand dyed, block printed and embroidered in India. Often working with women-run production facilities, it is very important to Deepali to pay her production team a fair wage and support their community. With her designs running the gamut from batik and ikat patterns to painterly and minimal designs, her eye for pattern and color are always spot on.

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GIVEAWAY: I’m delighted to offer the opportunity for TWO of my readers to win a set of adorable block printed planter baskets just like the ones pictured above (plants not included). 

To enter, visit and leave a comment below letting me know which item from her shop you’d love to cozy up with this winter. For an additional entry, look for my giveaway post on Instagram and follow the instructions there. Easy peasy.

Good luck! A winner will be chosen and notified Saturday, 1/23.

dj big booty judy resets

January 18, 2016

With a new year comes new opportunities to refresh and reset. With that in mind, VGS resident mix master DJ Big Booty Judy has got a new playlist to help you on your way to renewal and rejuvenation.

Says Judy: Enjoy these songs to start the year to, and pick your pace.

Renew from DJBigBootyJudy on 8tracks Radio.

it’s a sad sad day

January 11, 2016

les-visages-de-david-bowie-en-un-gif-anime,M189939Illustrations by Helen Green

Mere days after his 69th birthday, David Bowie has died after a year and a half long battle with cancer. At least, that’s what woke me up on the radio this morning. At first I scoffed: No, no, no … they’ve got it all wrong! What a cock up! They’ve confused his just past birthday with his death?! Then I broke out into a sweat: Wait, I’m so confused …  could he really be dead?! Then I started crying, because it was true.

As a small child one of my favorite ways to spend the day was listening to records with my mom. She had loads of Bowie albums (all of which live with me now) and I became a fan right away; I couldn’t have been more than two or three when I first became aware of his music so I feel confident saying I didn’t become a music fan until I heard him. He was also my first crush and I watched any film he acted in with equal measures of lust, reverence, fascination and awe. I saw him live once and even though I was miles up in the nosebleeds I felt a connection to him over that immense distance and left that stadium walking on air because for just a few hours, he and I shared the same space, breathed the same air, and saw the same sights.

I feel completely silly crying over the death of a celebrity but it’s been a tough morning. I have cried. A lot. Just when I think I’m done crying, I start all over again. His music, his art, his relentless pursuit of living his life on his terms were so inspirational and I’m seeing that was the case for so many others and not just myself. I’ve held David in a little part of my heart since I was a tiny girl, and as silly as it sounds, that part of me didn’t really think he would ever not be a part of my world. I feel like I lost a family member today. There will never be another David Bowie. Long live David Bowie.

beauty beat : macaron story

January 7, 2016

Today’s post is the result of a collab between photographer Kendra Barber and makeup artist Kylie Sallee. I met Kylie last fall during a look book shoot for Zoe Cope Jewelry (check it out here) and took immediate note of her skill with editorial makeup. Something that is all too often not done well, Kylie’s techniques are current and versatile and her application is impeccable – anyway, that’s what the makeup nerd in me noticed.

An obvious fan of her work, I was all heart eyes when I saw what she and Kendra baked up for this shoot (yes, I went there) featuring my all time favorite dessert, the macaron. With picture perfect cookies provided by Farina Bakery, Kendra and Kylie were inspired by the vivid colors and delicate texture of the gem-like treats and used them as their jumping off point to make some magic –

Beauty Day 3862Beauty Day 570Beauty Day 778Beauty Day 288Beauty Day 443

Photography | Kendra Barber
MUAH | Kylie Sallee
of Option Model and Media
Macarons | Farina Bakery




I love Kylie’s use of sheer glosses ranging from soft pastels to saturated jewel tones, both of which feel perfect this time of year. I’m also in love with that extreme cat eye in the soft pearly yellow – which I’ll have to remember as I remind myself that I should start wearing eye makeup again.

To see more of Kylie and Kendra’s stellar work follow them on Instagram @kyliesallee and @kendramphotog.

miscellany : intentions

January 4, 2016

Stuffs (7 of 13)The final hour of my traditional Swedish Grenljus candle. After singeing a rabbit pelt with it’s drippings and later completely crumpling into masses of hot wax and huge flames, this candle is lovely but dangerous. That said, you should totally get one!

Happy New Year! I’m not a fan of the holidays, or this time of year, but I survived (thus far anyway) and hope you had a great time with friends and family. As we enter the new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my action plan for the next 12 months. It may sound silly but one of the things that helps me with this bleak time of year is the warm glow of candles and I meditated (aka spaced out) on them a lot over the holidays, especially when thinking about my intentions for the upcoming year. I’ve already seen people on social media who claim to have failed their resolutions which is why I have decided to forgo resolutions in favor of intentions. I know, is there difference? The definition of Resolution is ‘a firm decision to do or not do something’ while the definition of Intention is ‘a thing intended; an aim or plan’. I feel like most people fail at their resolutions because it’s too hard to break old habits overnight but having a plan and allowing yourself to work towards it over time is probably going to have better results. Even though I have had success on multiple occasions with quitting things cold turkey (cigarette smoking and eating potato chips being my two biggest examples), I’ve found cold turkey only works when a perfect storm brews and the truth is that rarely happens, and almost never when you want it to. With all that in mind, I wanted to share a few of the intentions I’ve set to comprise my larger plan. They are:

  • No sugar (again). I was pretty good with this one for the majority of last year, but I fell off the wagon hard a few weeks ago when I gave into my instincts to ‘squirrel up’ for winter. It’s been all cookies, cake, and donuts since and I’m feeling it.
  • Exercise daily (again). This is another one that I have been good about in the past despite my lack of athleticism and strong natural inclination to live my life from the couch. I know from experience that regular exercise helps keep my anxiety in check, increases my energy levels, and makes me feel more comfortable in my body. The problem is whenever there is a break in my routine, even for just a day or two, it’s like starting back at square one so my goal is to work on fixing that – once I actually start exercising again, heh.
  • Try harder, work harder, avoid procrastination at all times. This one is pretty self explanatory, and if anyone knows the cure for procrastination please hit me up.
  • Build and stick to routines but do not be ruled by routines. I function best when I have routines in place but as I mentioned about exercise, once my routine is inevitably switched up I feel like I might as well have been propelled into outer space – totally lost and untethered. Since leaving my bank job last summer I’ve struggled to create new routines but I’m determined to get that sorted asap and hopefully to learn to be more flexible with them.
  • Write every day including keeping a daily journal. The two skills I utilize most as a blogger are photography and writing and I’m always looking to improve those skills. The year before last I decided to work toward improving my writing and last year I focused on improving my photography. I felt like I made good progress in both areas but lately I’ve had ideas for articles, think pieces, etc. and have found myself putting them off indefinitely for fear of not being able to write about those topics at the level I want to. Well, practice makes perfect so I’ve decided to spend time each day working on writing, especially those things that pop into my head. Anything that turns out well will make it to the blog, so expect some new content this year. As for journaling, I’ve done it in the past and found it to be helpful in a lot of ways and it feels like a good time to work this practice into my day again.
  • Start a stress log. Different from a journal, I’ve designated a notebook just for logging my stressors. As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder, I overwhelm easily. The idea is to log each stressor as it pops up to help diffuse it and possibly even see patterns in my stress and anxiety to help me avoid getting to that place of overwhelm.
  • Limit TV and read more. Working from home most days means I’m all alone which gets difficult, even for an introvert like me. By the time Nat gets home from work it’s like he’s the first person I’ve seen in a year and I follow him around the house talking non-stop. Enter TV: last September I was sick for over two weeks and I started watching Grimm to kill time. At first it was terrible and I barely watched it except to yell at the TV about how the poison dart frogs they kept calling toads were, in fact, not toads and that no, the B&B I grew up by in Irvington is not in a rural locale and you definitely can’t walk there from Nob Hill in ten minutes or less. Then something crazy happened, by season three I was HOOKED. I started actually watching it and I watched it while putting on makeup, while making and eating lunch, while cooking dinner … and then I had somehow watched all the episodes. So I started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. Then I finished all those episodes and I … well, I started watching Teen Wolf. You just shoosh now because Teen Wolf is actually SUPER good (for a cheesy show about teenage werewolves anyway) but damn it, now I’ve watched all those episodes too. It finally dawned on me that TV is not a substitute for actual human interaction and I could be spending all that time more productively. So, no more daytime tv and less evening tv are what’s in the cards for me. I read A LOT as a kid, sometimes two full novels in one day, and I can only help but feel my time will be better spent reading over time spent watching TV. (Seriously though: TEEN WOLF.)
  • Create a business plan for really reals. This was a goal of mine last year but the thought intimidated me so much I never got around to it, which I blame for how aimless I feel despite the fact that my freelance career is off to a good start. I figure it can only get better, especially if I map out an actual plan with actual goals to focus on. If you have any good resources related to this, please share.
  • Love yourself. I feel like I’ve made good progress in this over the past few years but I can always use the reminder, especially in the winter months when I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and things feel bleak. As RuPaul says, If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Amen, Ru!

As I type this post, the city has been plagued by snow and ice and Mercury enters retrograde tomorrow so I’m vowing now to be gentle with myself this month, and not put too much pressure on myself to bust out of the gates and accomplish all of these things right away. Instead I’ll be working out ideas and being nice to myself via fancy baths, healthy snacks and meditation (aka spacing out) with the idea that I’ll be ready to bust out of the gates and get stuff done come February.

Back to candles, I joked with Nat while watching Scream Queens last fall that I’m on course to become Candle Vlogger. Not really, but here’s another shot of candles anyway …

Stuffs (11 of 13)I love the Ink Shop wood wick candle in Coffee + Tobacco because it smells just like Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn in Lloyd Center and because I love the sweet crackle that comes with wood wicks. Wary Meyers Mainely Manly is another favorite with it’s warm notes of balsam, pine and musk. I’ve been burning it off and on since I got it for my birthday last May and it’s just now below the half way mark. Looking on are my Great Aunt Mildred and Great Uncle Dutch and a bird from my grandparents’ Xmas ornament collection, it’s seen better days but I still love it.

brb : happy solstice

December 22, 2015

Moomin_Solstice‘Preparing for Winter’ from the Moomin Troll series by Tove Jansson

Happy Solstice! Winter is officially upon us but the good news is that the days will slowly begin to get longer again. I don’t know about you, but it’s all I can do to not completely shut down this time of the year. No fan of Xmas, I do my best to continue on with life while burning candles and eating baked goods like theres no tomorrow – my attempts at hygge, the Danish concept of enduring these long dark months with fun and warmth. Though I won’t say it actually works, I admit I’d be completely lost without it. So while I wrap my poor head around the fact that summer is a long, long ways off yet and I try to figure out how to survive winter yet again, I figured now is a good time to recount the past year …

After fifteen long years of slogging along in the real estate industry, I’m happy to say I finally left it all behind at the end of June. Freelance life is a real trip, especially when you come from structured office environments but I’m settling in and working with my amazing clients Honey Kennedy, Alexa Stark, and Juju Papers. Currently, I’m working for all three as a blogging contributor and I’m also working with Alexa and Juju on social media and marketing. I’ve also been doing the retail thing occasionally at Backtalk on Mississippi which has been a lot of fun. Overall, leaving behind what I’ve been doing for what seems like forever was scary as hell but so totally necessary. Here I am, barely six months into my new career and I’m worlds happier and things are looking bright and sparkly. In 2016 I’ll be looking to take on a few more clients, and I’ll be launching a business!! More on that soon …

As for the blog, it’s still my first love. Though I haven’t had as much time for it as I began to navigate my new career, I’m working on fixing that and taking VGS to an all new level in 2016. Despite my reduced activity here, I’m really happy with where VGS is at content-wise. As I always strive to improve my blogging skills, namely writing and photography, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress this year; I think my interviews are more interesting than ever and I’ve learned a lot about lighting in photography. Related, I also learned (once again) that I am very stubborn when I think I know how to do something and that letting go and working even harder at something always results in a great improvement.

With that, I’m bidding you and 2015 a fond adieu … see you again next year!


peace out

sister style : nicole

December 17, 2015

Nicole (2 of 35)

It was almost exactly this time last year when I first met Nicole Funke. It’s probably a Portland thing but I’m always so pleasantly surprised when those in the local fashion scene are genuinely nice and I was blown away by how incredibly sweet – and stylish – Nicole is. A seasoned fashion buyer, you may know Nicole from her days as the owner of beloved boutique Victory. After closing up for good last January to have more time to help out her family, she now lends her talents to everyone’s favorite purveyors of Tomboy fashion, Wildfang. I knew from the get go that Nicole was Sister Style material and I’m so excited that we finally made it happen!

After meeting up with Nicole at the new Wildfang location on SW 10th and Stark, we chatted while oohing and ahhing over the sparkly holiday decor her co-workers had put up the night before. From there we went back to her adorable Goose Hollow apartment where we were greeted by Nicole’s sweet pup, Benny. After giving him some love and more oohing and ahhing over Nicole’s covetable closet, we got down to snapping some pics –

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VGS: What is your first fashion related memory?

N: As long as I can remember I was stealing my mom’s vintage clothes to play dress up. She was a big thrift shopper in her twenties and has so much fun stuff from the 20’s – 70’s. My favorite outfit was her 1960’s knee-high american flag leather go-go boots and red satin pajama set from the 1940’s. So yeah, I was the weird kid!

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VGS: How do you apply your skills as a buyer to building / maintaining your own wardrobe?

N: Everyone is a buyer in their own way, curating a wardrobe based on cost, needs and taste. Buying is quite similar, just on a larger scale and a bit more in advance. Buying has really helped my own wardrobe in that I have become a lot more thoughtful about my purchases, knowing when I need something and when I can let a style pass me by. I see so many garments I’ve really gotten to appreciate classic styles, good quality and getting my moneys worth.

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

N: You can truly never have too many pairs of vintage Levis! Never goes out of style.

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

N: For shops I recommend: West End Select Shop, Palace, Wildfang (of course!) and Frances May. My fave brands right now include: Dusen Dusen, Black Crane, Wood Wood, Acne, Chapter Jewelry and Oak + Fort.

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Thanks to Nicole (and Benny!) for letting me come over and snap pics!

For more of Nicole’s awesome style, follow @victorypdx on Instagram.

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