Look Books

indie designers : oru ss17

February 10, 2017

I’m pretty psyched to be sharing the new spring / summer line from Portland-based jewelry line Oru. Designer Agnieszka Zoltowski began making jewelry while in middle school using brightly colored Japanese seed beads, which turned out to be a staple in her designs as the years passed. A few seasons ago, she began casting those beads in metal which resulted in a unique texture that has allowed her to build truly intriguing shapes with a minimal twist. Oru’s latest collection, Praxis, has taken that method and is running with it to great results –



Praxis is coming soon, in the meantime shop all Oru designs online

and follow @love_oru on Instagram for updates.

indie designers : little arrow

August 30, 2016

Little_Arrow (2 of 10)

Eugene, Oregon based illustrator and designer Brianna Bulski’s brand, Little Arrow, has been producing super fun stationary and lapel pins for a while now but really started amping things up recently with the release of vintage-style rhinestone pins, cloisonné jewelry, and now, t-shirts. In fact, three spanking new t-shirt designs hit the Little Arrow shop earlier this week and just as expected their cutesy cool vibes make them must-haves –

Little_Arrow (5 of 10)Little_Arrow (7 of 10)Little_Arrow (6 of 10)Cry Baby tee by Little Arrow 

Little_Arrow (1 of 10)Little_Arrow (3 of 10)Little_Arrow (4 of 10)Iridescent foil Yes tee by Little Arrow

Little_Arrow (10 of 10)Little_Arrow (8 of 10)Little_Arrow (9 of 10)Always Hungry tee by Little Arrow

ice cream


I love ’em all but that Always Hungry tee with it’s neon pink hot dog and mustard lettering especially hits home for this always hungry gal. Shop Little Arrow tees here, all other Little Arrow items here and follow @littlearrowshop on Instagram to keep up on Little Arrow’s frequent new item releases, cause it’s always something good!

look book + giveaway! : lumafina jewelry

July 26, 2016

Getting her start in jewelry design + production in 2008, Lumfina designer Hilary Alexander lives what she calls a handmade life. Based in SE Portland, Hilary continues to create stunning jewelry made in her home studio using brass, sterling silver, linen cord, and semi-precious stones including herkimer diamonds, lapis lazuli, moonstone, and turquoise to name a few. Her designs suit a range of styles but all have an element of primitive design that makes for jewelry that is as timeless as it is edgy. I’m especially feeling her most recent line which has just been released for AW16 …

Lumafina_AW16 (1 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (12 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (11 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (10 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (9 of 12)Lumafina_AW16 (2 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (8 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (7 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (6 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (4 of 12) Lumafina_AW16 (3 of 12)Photos courtesy of Lumafina





To celebrate Lumafina’s newest collection, Hilary and I have teamed up to offer one lucky reader a pair of Linu Suma studs in their choice of size and stone! (Pictured above: large with labradorite)

To enter, simply visit the Lumafina web shop and leave a comment below letting us know which design is your favorite. For a bonus entry opportunity head to the VGS Instagram @votregrandesoeur and look for the giveaway post for details.

A winner will be randomly chosen and notified on Sunday, 7/31. Best of luck!!

east meets west : buried diamond + rogue minx

July 7, 2016

GroundKontrol (3 of 6)

Last year I thought it would be super fun to produce my own photo shoot and though I’d done somewhat similar shoots before, this one was taking things up a notch with borrowed wardrobe, an actual location, and two models. Looking to have some fun and the opportunity for a learning experience, I got both. In fact, that learning experience was so steep I’m just now at a point where I feel the photos are ready to share. Lessons learned? 1. Do work with awesome designers you admire 2. Don’t use photos from your big shoot to test out a new photo editing program that you’ve never used before 3. Don’t be so married to one set result that you sit on your photos for a year. Check, check, and check. Sure, the vision I had in my head was worlds apart from what I ended up with but they’re still cool pics and in the end, that’s the point.

Back to the shoot, I envisioned bored girls in an arcade: anime inspired styling, bright colors, a tinge of goth-ness, garish lights, junk food imagery and the like. I decided on a local arcade as my backdrop and enlisted my friends Hillary Boles and Shola Lawson to be my girls and was psyched to be borrowing clothing from New York based designer Martha Moore Porter of Buried Diamond and Portland based designer Anne Marie Cooper of Rogue Minx. Hence, east meets west – coasts, anyway. I loved the bright colors and cartoony prints of Buried Diamond and couldn’t wait to contrast them with the dark and edgy designs of Rogue Minx in an homage to my own teenage dressing habits circa 1996; a staunch #summergoth (though that wasn’t even a thing then and we certainly didn’t have hashtags!), it was then that I broke up my black habit in truly devoted attempts at emulating Bjork’s wackily colorful ensembles of the time.

So yeah, that but 2015 …

GroundKontrol (9 of 30)GroundKontrol (29 of 30)GroundKontrol (30 of 30)Tops: Rogue Minx | Skirts: Buried Diamond

GroundKontrol (5 of 30) GroundKontrol (4 of 30)GroundKontrol (7 of 30)GroundKontrol (8 of 30)GroundKontrol (2 of 6)Dresses and resin jewelry: Buried Diamond

GroundKontrol (2 of 30) GroundKontrol (1 of 30)GroundKontrol (3 of 30)Custom print tops: Rogue Minx

GroundKontrol (6 of 6)GroundKontrol (20 of 30)GroundKontrol (23 of 30)GroundKontrol (5 of 6)GroundKontrol (26 of 30)Tops: Rogue Minx | Skirts: Buried Diamond

GroundKontrol (12 of 30)
GroundKontrol (10 of 30)GroundKontrol (11 of 30)GroundKontrol (16 of 30)GroundKontrol (17 of 30)GroundKontrol (18 of 30)GroundKontrol (19 of 30)GroundKontrol (13 of 30)GroundKontrol (4 of 6)Dress and jumper: Rogue Minx | Resin jewelry: Buried Diamond

GroundKontrol (28 of 30)


Huge thanks to Rogue Minx and Buried Diamond for lending clothing and being so patient. Huge thanks too to my lovely models Hillary and Shola and to Ground Kontrol for letting us shoot our fashiony stuff around their games.

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!!


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.

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.

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.

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