Around Portland

indie designers : frond

June 6, 2017

Photo by Eva Verbeeck

Portlander by way of Texas, Krysta McDaniel turned her hobby of sewing into up and coming indie apparel label Frond after sharing her signature deep-v neck tops on social media. The resulting demand for those tops was immediate and has shown no signs of slowing, thus Frond was born and has since added more staple worthy designs to it’s roster including jumpsuits, rompers (perfect for summer!), dresses and wrap tanks. With the focus on reclaimed materials and natural fibers, designs are small batch and sometimes even one of a kind given the reclaimed aspect of much of the fabric used.

I love Frond’s sustainable approach, easy silhouettes and unique fabrics. Once Krysta finds a fabric that fits the Frond aesthetic (think neutrals and vintage florals) she creates her design and cuts and sews the fabric in her home studio. The approach is slow but Krysta has obviously found a system that works as in addition to limited custom work, she sells ready made pieces via her website and via local boutique Altar. It’s been a pleasure watching Frond grow and I look forward to whatever comes next, even if it’s just more of the same.

Photos by Hannah Key

 

Shop Frond online and in Portland at Altar Boutique.

Be sure to follow @shopfrond on Instagram to see the latest designs and get info on pop-up events.

Photo by Eva Verbeeck

beauty beat : ceremony salon

February 3, 2017

I love my long-time stylist but after she moved to a salon across town (to one of the busiest, trendiest neighborhoods with no parking, natch), I decided it was time to reach out and find someone closer in. Recalling Ceremony Salon as the place that gave Ragen Fykes, the fly AF manager of West End Select Shop, her rad ‘do as well as the place keeping VGS Sister Style Alumna / food blogger Alison Wu looking sparkling, I decided to try them out.

This is where the universe seemingly pulled some strings because the very next day I received an email from Ceremony manager, Sasha, asking me if I’d be interested in checking out the salon. Uh, yes please. Total kismet.

After researching Ceremony’s carefully selected roster of stylists, I settled on Irisa Elaine. It was a tough decision as everyone had informative bios and an impressive Instagram feed but Irisa’s portfolio showed a diversity of hair types. The biggest issue I have with my hair is that I have a super wonky wave pattern that, if cut incorrectly, causes me all sorts of grief. Not only that, I have extremely thick hair that’s on the coarse side and does whatever the eff it wants. I’ve learned the hard way that not everyone gets it. (Thankfully, and as I predicted, Irisa got it.)

Arriving at Ceremony for my appointment I was immediately dazzled by the salon’s Palm Springs-meets-Portland vibe – in fact, the first thing you see when you walk in is bright pink neon promising Good Vibes Only and you guys, it’s completely true. The large white space is bright and open but anything but boring with resplendent displays of plants, plants, plants all over, beautiful brass light fixtures, cinder blocks reminiscent of The Parker and super fun, groovy wallpaper in unexpected places. Owners Stephanie and Lauren told me to be on the lookout for handmade art objects they’ve picked up over the years and placed throughout the salon and it was super fun to spot a Friend Assembly planter here and Liv and Dom incense holders there.

Best friends and veterans of the industry, Ceremony owners Stephanie Hand and Lauren Kolb, began with the idea of creating their own space and ran with it, tapping top talent (mostly people they’d worked with previously) to join them. The result is a highly curated roster of Portland’s most skilled stylists and those aforementioned Good Vibes.

Ceremony Salon Owners Stephanie Hand and Lauren Kolb
Ceremony Salon Stylist Irisa Elaine

Settling in with Irisa, I was immediately charmed by her easy-going and friendly attitude. Before I could even tell her about the weird things going on with my hair that I wanted to address, she called them out and suggested how we could fix them while taking into account my special instructions: thin my hair but hide the layers so it looks more or less one length and no face framing pieces, please. Off to the groovy shampoo room we went where Irisa made sure not to scrimp on the head massage portion of the wash and kindly refrained from shaming me for my truly greasy hair.

Next up was the cut. Taking all angles into account, I could tell Irisa was fully focused on the task at hand, something I don’t always notice when getting my hair cut. She also asked me questions as she went to ensure she wasn’t over or under doing things. After drying and styling my hair she also gave me tips on cutting my own bangs in the event that I couldn’t make it back in for a free bang trim, something she offers for all clients.

So here’s my Before and After –

Before: An okay cut that I had to keep straightened at all times to hide a weird, random chunk that was cut out on one side only. I also botched my own bang trim so I cut off face framers on one side of my face but not on the other.

After: A freewheeling cut that took the length up a bit to fix the weird and random missing chunk while allowing my weird wave pattern to fly it’s freak flag so I could give the straightening iron a rest. Irisa also fixed my bangs to remove my random remaining face framers and even out the sides. (The stars are obvs a filter, meant to convey just how sparkly I was feeling with my new hairs.)

Overall, I loved my experience at Ceremony. It’s location on East Burnside is much more convenient for me, the space is so lovely and I felt like Irisa was really listening to me and my needs. Plus, she was super easy to talk to! There’s nothing worse than awkward silences when getting your hairs did. I will definitely be going back and can’t wait for my next visit.

 

Check out Ceremony Salon on Instagram for more info and stop in at 1101 E. Burnside in Portland or book an appointment online.

rad ladies : fuchsia lin

November 14, 2016

 

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When I first met Fuchsia Lin through a mutual friend, I was blown away by her personal style. Her mix of print, pattern, color and texture was so deft she appeared to me like a jewel, something so beautiful and special you just have to share it with the world. Of course, Fuchsia is much more than her unicorn style, she’s an amazingly sweet, talented and creative individual as well. With a resume that includes costume and fashion design, textile arts, production and direction, I had to know more and thankfully Fuchsia was willing to let me take a peek into her life and her closet …

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VGS: What was your path to becoming a textile artist? If you hadn’t found this path, what do you think you’d be doing now instead?

F: I was a first generation Taiwanese American wearing overalls as a kid growing up in a small Michigan town. I had no fashion sense at all, but I loved creating art. I was very serious about drawing, calligraphy, painting and Chinese paper cutting. At one point, it was my goal to become a professional calligrapher. It wasn’t until later on in high school and college that I developed an interest in fashion and textiles. When I studied art in college, I was drawn to textiles and surface design techniques because it integrated what I loved doing as a child with my current interests.

After I received my BFA in textiles design, I went onto study fashion at Parsons School of Design. After graduating, I worked a few years in the fashion industry. Eventually I transitioned into costumes because I wanted to create one-of-a-kind pieces for the performing and visual arts. Musicians, Bjork, Karen O and Rebecca Chamberlain wore some of my pieces, and that was super encouraging to continue the path which eventually led me to where I am now.
I can’t imagine myself doing anything other than what I’m doing now. Since I was four years old, I knew I was going to be an artist, and that’s always been the path that I’ve been driven to pursue.

VGS: Though your work primarily consists of costume design and working with textiles you also explore other media such as film, performance, and sculpture. How do these extra elements usually present themselves to you and how do you adapt them to make them flow into your work?

F: I think of myself as a conceptual artist/director/producer now more than a costume designer or textiles artist, although the main focus of my projects will always be the costume. I create a concept for an art project and I find the
collaborators I want to work with and what the most effective medium is to get the message across.

My work has evolved into film for my current project, Crystals of Transformation. I had been producing/directing live performance for many years; however, it seemed natural to evolve into film so that I could incorporate different locations into the performance.

Through this process, I also realized that film is a much more effective medium than live performance is in delivering the details and artistry of a costume. One of my steadfast goals is to bring recognition to the art of costuming and “slow fashion”. Through film, the costume can be seen up close and in detail, in slow motion, with controlled lighting that really shows it off. Film can also create abstraction from chosen compositions of the body in movement. These abstractions resemble forms in nature that are the inspiration for the water crystal costumes in Crystals of Transformation.

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VGS: What drew you to living in Portland?

F: I had always been an east coaster, big city person. I’ve lived in NYC, Paris, and Taipei but when I met my boyfriend in New York City, he just kept talking about the Pacific Northwest. Eventually I took a trip out here to visit Seattle, Portland and San Francisco nine years ago during the beautiful summertime. I chose Portland because I felt like I would be able to live a life of higher quality, as well as being in a unique city.

VGS: What, if anything, do you think is missing from or would improve Portland’s creative / art scene?

F: A costume institute just like the one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York!

VGS: What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?

F: My biggest challenge that has already happened that I overcame was the 2013 fundraising campaign I did through USA Projects and raised over $6,000 to begin my project, Crystals of Transformation. This was the first fundraising effort I have ever made in my whole life. I had a lot of shyness about asking people to donate money and maintaining a strong social media presence to in order to promote my project.

I had a lot of wonderful support from my boyfriend, family, friends, collaborators and co-workers. I also had a great fundraising advisor at USA Projects who believed in me and gave me encouraging pep talks (that I still go back to read now and then). A friend of mine, Kim Dawson, a creative consultant, donated her expertise and coached me on PR tactics.

I don’t know if I would have reached my goal without the help of all these wonderful people, but ultimately, I had to really believe in myself and be courageous and passionate about sharing my mission and my art with the world.

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VGS: How do you stay motivated?

F: It’s many things; the Taiwanese culture I was raised in is all about working hard and striving to excel. Being the first generation of Taiwanese immigrants, I have a lot of pressure to succeed in this country. It’s in my genes – I come from a family of PhD’s.

I am usually working with a personal/professional coach or mentor to improve some aspect of my life. I am grateful to have found wonderful teachers and healers to share their gifts, expertise and skills with me.

I recently received a Regional Arts and Culture Council professional development grant to work with an art coach/film consultant this fall/winter. Also, acupuncture, yoga, swimming, cooking, bike riding, taking naps, and listening to Ted Talks.

VGS: What’s inspiring you most right now?

F: Water is always my inspiration! Dr. Masaru Emoto’s research on water. My Dad. The incredibly talented collaborators I am working with for my Crystals of Transformation film!


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VGS: What can we expect from you in the future?

F: Crystals of Transformation, an environmental film trilogy about water, featuring original water crystal costumes, dance and music composition. The first film has been completed and the second film, Inner Glacial Melt, is currently in production. The third film will begin production in 2018. (You can watch the trailer for the first film here.)

VGS: Lastly, what are you most looking forward to wearing this fall/winter?

F: I’ve always loved capes and ponchos. They are my favorite fall/winter wear! I also love wearing my favorite purple knit hat with huskies on them.

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For more on Fuchsia’s projects, including her Crystals of Transformation trilogy, check out her website www.fuchsialin.com and the Crystals of Transformation Facebook page.

sister style : katy

August 11, 2016

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Meet Katy Seibel; she’s a wardrobe stylist in Portland by way of Kansas, an avid thrifter who has used her skills to build an enviable wardrobe, a designer and artist who crafts accessories and cocktails, mom to a sweet pug named Igby, and a total cutie + total sweetheart.

After I met Katy to talk about her Tarot of Cocktails project last spring (more on that in a sec), I was totally smitten with her sweet and refined vintage style. In a city that at times seems ruled by black + white minimalist style it’s refreshing to see someone wearing color as boldly as Katy, who looks particularly stunning in yellow.

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That Samantha Pleet number? A thrifting find. Nearly everything Katy wore for our shoot was a thrift store find, including all of her perfect shoes. She favors Goodwill but frequents multiple shops regularly. Did I mention Katy’s apartment is super cute and that I fawned over her pug, Igby, a lot? After that and mimosas, we hit up some neighborhood spots the style blogger likes to frequent …

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VGS: What is your first fashion related memory?

K: As a little kid, I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween. While I’m sure this was a source of incredible amusement for the adults in my life, I took my role as the legendary bombshell quite seriously. Sure, this was a costume and not an expression of my personal style per se, but I distinctly remember the transformative feeling that donning that outfit gave me. It was one of the first times I recognized the power of clothing to affect my confidence, mood, perception of myself, and others’ impression of me. This realization fostered an early interest in clothing and led to a love of fashion that endures to this day.

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VGS: As a wardrobe stylist, what is the number one lesson you’ve learned when it comes to dressing?

K: Don’t force it. Trust your instincts and allow your true taste to inform your decisions. In my early days of fashion blogging, I was concerned about following every trend and measuring up to my peers. I’d pile on jewelry when I actually prefer minimal accessories. I’d wear fussy dresses when I feel best in a pair of jeans. I’d mimic other people’s looks instead of coming up with my own. That said, there’s nothing wrong with deriving inspiration from others or going along with trends – just make sure you wear what you love and not what you think you’re supposed to wear. My style is still kind of all over the place, but it’s a harmonious hodgepodge. More than ever before, I know what I like, and I embrace it wholeheartedly. On the flip side, don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone. One of the most common comments I get is, “Oh, I love your (fill in the blank), but I could never pull it off!” So not true. If you love something, wear it – even if it’s on the wild side.

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

K: Denim! I wear jeans nearly every day, so I’m not shy about stockpiling many a pair. Close runners up are vintage pieces from the ’60s (the decade to which my heart belongs), bee jewelry (I collect it), and anything yellow (my all-time favorite color).

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

K: I’m a thrift junkie. Here in Portland, I frequent several Goodwill locations, William Temple House Thrift Store, Artifact, and House of Vintage. I enjoy browsing at Backtalk and Frances May and checking out Bona Drag, Reformation, and the Man Repeller blog online. Admittedly, I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to the designer world, but I’m obsessed with what Gucci has been doing lately, particularly the embroidered appliques.

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Back to Katy’s Tarot of Cocktails project, she conceived and created a tarot style deck of drink recipe cards. As a fan of fancy cocktails myself, it’s evident that Katy pulled out all the stops with her recipes and corresponding illustrations rendered in traditional tarot style. Not only do I love Katy’s illustrations but her inventive recipes which have not done me wrong yet. Check out Tarot of Cocktails here and follow @tarotofcocktails on Instagram.

 

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You didn’t think I’d leave Igby out, did you?

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around portland : sundaze collective

August 1, 2016

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Conceived and organized by impeccable curator and spot-on tastemaker Sarah Radcliffe of Yo! Vintage, the Sundaze Collective has been Portland’s premier fashion + lifestyle pop-up since it’s early spring debut. Hosted at the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, the first Sunday of each month sees a rotating line-up of Portland’s best and most exciting designers, makers, and retailers gathered together to offer an indie one-stop shopping experience.

This month’s line-up includes apparel from designers Alexa Stark + Reif Haus + Lauren Winter, jewelry from Barrow + Polaris, ceramics from Mimi Ceramics + Little Garage Shop, goods from Yo! Vintage + Oko, apothecary from Topaz, plus many other rad vendors. Whether you’re looking to check out some amazing local talent, shop until you drop, or both, Sundaze is the place to be this Sunday.

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Join Sundaze this Sunday, 8/7 at the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel from 11AM to 6PM.

Follow @sundazecollective on Instagram for info, previews of goods and future pop-ups.

For more happenings around Portland, check out our handy events calendar.

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 –

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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.

around portland : tannerann x west end select shop

February 1, 2016

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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.

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Photo Editing | Hillary Boles

Styling | Hillary Boles + Ragen Fykes

 

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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.

indie designers + giveaway! : filling spaces

January 19, 2016

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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 FillingSpaces.com 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.

look book : distracted darlings

December 11, 2015

The cutest gift and stationary store in all of Portland, Darling Distraction, just dropped a super cute look book showing off the newest additions to the house line. Hot on the heels of her stationary collection, owner Karina Lopez recently entered the #pingame arena with her own designs including a muy Mexcellent sombrero, shells in pink and purple, a hair dryer straight out of the 80’s and some limited edition hearts for all the Distracted Darlings out there. Oh but there’s more – Karina even designed a few patches to make sure your denim jacket has all it needs to dazzle. Don’t just take my word for it, check out Distracted Darlings Kailey Flyte (aka @mermaidens) and Ari Bardallis (aka @slitherydee) showing off the latest designs …

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Shop Darling Distraction online and if you’re in Portland be sure to head to Darling Distraction for the premier of the video version of this look book next Friday, 12/18. The amazing palm leaf wall will be open for photo ops, plus enjoy prizes, drinks, and gifts! 6pm – 9pm.

 

around portland : yi zhou’s body memory

November 30, 2015

Beijing-based artist Yi Zhou began working on her Body Memory project in 2013 based on the hypothesis that ‘the body itself is capable of storing memories, as opposed to only the brain’. The project has since evolved into Body Memory clinics and workshops wherein ‘Dr.’ Yi Zhou, complete with white lab coat, casts body parts which can then be turned into jewelry. Having cast fingers, toes, noses, mouths, ears, and even breasts, Yi Zhou views the plaster models as ‘memory containers’, further explaining ‘although the person is not physically present [the casted body part] could recall memories associated with that person.’

Currently, Yi Zhou is in NYC completing an artist-in-residence program with Flux Factory and will be taking a quick hiatus to visit Portland Thursday, December 3rd through Monday, December 7th. I’ve been excitedly helping to set up Body Memory workshops during her stay here and wanted to share when and where you’ll have the opportunity to meet Yi Zhou and even cast your own body part …

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If you’re interested in a Body Memory workshop choose the option you prefer (Thursday at Composition Gallery, Sunday at Milk Milk Lemonade or Monday at The Jupiter) and sign up here. You can also stop into any of the above events to simply meet Yi Zhou, view her in action, or see previous work from her. We hope to see you at one – or all – of Yi Zhou’s events!

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