Friday, March 26, 2010

Pretty Eventful

As summer lines fly into boutiques everywhere (although I'm mostly wearing black, grays, and greens, the uniform of the Pacific Northwest), I've been attending as many opening events as I can. Yesterday I stopped by Phlox and Oh Baby.

I had to interrupt my visit to Phlox mid-browse, but the Isaac Hers collection was overall uninspiring and I left without a fight. Everywhere I look, I see solid colored jersey dresses either as a wrap or embellished with another solid. The inspiration behind the line is the forest floor. "Each piece blooms from the underbrush and dead fall, dotting the landscape with renewal and beauty." Past collections have some interesting designs, so I'm hoping that with fall some exploratory pieces will arise. Or more pretty and less jersey:

Willow Creek Dress, Isaac Hers Spring 2009

Speaking of which, if you are in Portland, Oregon and like pretty, check out Oh Baby and happily leave with 15% off your bra purchases through the end of the month. I am much too shy to go around snapping photographs in a lingerie shop, but the women who work there are very helpful and I assure you the shop is brimming with imported lace and so much pretty.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adam Arnold Studio

Last week I took a trip to designer Adam Arold's new, more spacious studio. A girl checked my shoes at the door.

Here's Adam showing me the dress and vest I asked about. It was the "future" dress he created for a "Past, Present, Future" show he was involved with at Portland's own Seaplane. The little vest is the absolute best part. It's a bit aviator inspired and includes a chin strap, which he kindly modeled for me.

I love the details in this child's dress. The punched leather, the boiled wool half sphere ornamentation, and most of all, the hexagons! Hexagons seem to be the only thread I picked up throughout his spring collection.

This was my favorite corner of the new location. The creams and whites called to me, as did the careful folds in this dress peeking out at the side.

Overall, I was about 1/3 happy with the designs and 2/3 unimpressed. I loved the hexagons, but was not wooed by brightly colored shift dresses in stiff, itchy fabric upwards of $400.

When he makes time for the details, Adam Arnold's work is lovely. When he can't put forth the effort, there's no need for you to shop custom made.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Matchy Matchy

Yesterday I was going to venture forth to the Northwest Apparel and Footwear Materials Show, for which I registered weeks ago, but I found myself swamped and had to give it up. I'll have to wait until fall rolls around for another chance. So instead of pictures of what a materials convention looks like, I only have a simple little word to the wise. A rule to live by in your personal style life: never match.

Please coordinate, please balance, please take into consideration whatever else you are wearing, but don't match. If you do, you may find yourself ending up like this:

It's only cute if you're four.

Photo thanks to Andreas Schjønhaug of The Streehearts.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Old is the New New

I've been figuratively wrestling with "vintage" recently. Often, it is the term thrown around just to say you like something. Ironically, it doesn't have to be old. It can be "vintage-y." In my home town of Portland, we worship vintage. I see people everyday cycling in vintage garb, traipsing about in their grandma's old clothes, whatever. It's a great excuse to make something seem special. Instead of a designer name, the response to a compliment is "it's vintage." Now, I own my fair share of vintage. Probably more than my share, in fact. But I'm going to stop. (Mostly. I'm not about to stop collecting brocade dresses.)

To wear vintage properly, you must posses one other thing - taste. The most common mistake is wearing vintage as it was intended to be worn. In other words, do not pair your vintage pumps with your vintage skirt and blouse with your hair in fingerwaves and a vintage hat as the cherry on top. Instead, wear a 1950s house dress with reckless gladiator sandals. Pull out a giant, droopy black hat to spice up your beautifully draping ensemble of grays and blacks. Try brightly colored '60s or '80s pumps with your favorite pencil skirt. Or mix up jeans and a black t-shirt with a vintage hat and red lipstick.

The goal here is not to look like a time machine just dropped you off or like you're channeling your grandmother's mother in her prime. Vintage should be like punctuation. I've seen more than a few cleverly placed commas and appropriate semi-colons, and it can be a beautiful thing. The tasteful use of vintage will get you compliments left and right - and you too can just say, "oh, it's vintage."

Did she just walk out of a movie set? Time machine?

Vintage blazer, pocket square, tie, and glasses? Really? Perhaps a bit much.

This girl is in Sweden, so don't mind the vintage fur. Her hair is a popular style from the 1920s, but she balances this nicely with her very current skinnys and boots.

Vintage specs, trench, and hairstyle, updated with trendy trousers and t-shirt.

Vintage belt with vintage inspired skirt and bangles. The slim fitting tank and loose hairsyle turn a decade party outfit into something stylish and worth a second glance.

Vintage blazer and shoes become chic and clean with cropped skinny trousers and a loose, gray top.

All photos thanks to TheStreethearts. First and third by Andreas Schjonhaug, all others by Eirik Slyngstad.