Dorkychick Diaries: Oprah Where’s My Advil?

I love Oprah. I used to sit and eat my after school snack and watch her give away cars and interview celebrities. Tom Cruise jumping on the couch as I ate Oreos was good livin’. Over the course of the past few years my mom started sending me articles from her magazine, which were always so wonderful. It’s only logical that one of the wealthiest celebrities of all time would be able to tap the brains of those with remarkable wisdom and superior schooling. I ended up loving the inspiration-packed publication and subscribed a few months ago and it has been nothing short of refreshing and thought provoking.

I’m not one for quotes- not in movies, books, or otherwise. It’s got to be really good to get my attention, however an exception caught my attention by way of contributor Gayle:

“Always be more than you appear, and never appear to be more than you are.”

– Horst Kasner

These words singed my brain and have been haunting me ever since. For as deeply as I attempt to immerse myself in the art of appearance, this sentence called me to reflect upon my own self projection. I felt a question mark ricochet around the walls of my noggin; rebounding off of recent dinner conversations, the unfinished sewing projects that are burning my conscious, blearning and other blog shenanigans, shiny sashes in my closet, and the tendrils of ruby bound in elastic on my head. Am I more than I appear… or just a wannabe? Where does one draw the line on these sorts of things? Where does this fit in with my lifestyle and what I project? Or am I thinking honest thoughts but not saying honest words?! Why on earth is this quote getting under my skin?

Oprah, in your next giveaway, can I have some advil?!

I spent some time thinking about all of the ways I wanted to know that balance in my life. As of late, my vision has been muddied by an influx of deadlines and remastering of priorities. I read the quote again and again as if to beam through fog with laser-vision. There, on a summer afternoon in the midst of some quiet time, I was reminded of the importance of knowing one’s own worth, and pursuing conscious humility. At times, such mentalities feel intangible in this world made of stitches. Fashion alludes to something “more” with every choice of material, photo shoot lighting, and hairstyle. I’ve found myself a contributor to such illusion. Right now I’m sitting on the couch, but it is quite possible your brain thinks I am in a goofy pose wearing a trendy outfit such as the one in the background. Objectively this is misleading, and, for me, discouraging as I sit here on the couch with a daunting workload of sewing and writing deadlines in the days to come. Certainly not playtime. It is these times that require words like those to remind myself that I’m still on the uphill battle. Time to get down to the nitty gritty…. I may need some late-night coffee.

This is one of those moments of clarity I created this blog for. I hope to look back on and say “yeah, I grew up a little bit more that day” as I type through the tension of the petty stresses of my week and clear some headspace for more important thoughts.. Thoughts like: “OW! I just poked myself with a needle again!” and “SH*&^^% I thought I did that right the first time!” It is times like these when I take comfort that every “trrreennnday” picture is a small building block and every missed stitch in a sewing project is one I won’t miss in the future.

My Friday night off of my restaurant job will be filled with the repetition of the sewing needle and cranking out tomorrow’s fashion piece for my college newspaper. It certainly won’t appear to be much more, yet as the breeze and the sweet melodies of a street violinist softly fill my quaint apartment, I admittedly am smirking with gratitude, knowing it is so much more than I could ask for.

xo

Blearning Blog: “C” is for Cookie only 99% percent of the time

It’s that time again for a …..

BLEARNING BLOG!

That’s right, gang! It is that magical time where I pick out a name I don’t know from an archive of designers and try and bolster my fashion-lover cred by a couple points. Today’s designer is brought to you by the letter….

Image

Yes, Cookie Monster. The letter ! “C” is always for cookie, of course, but one of it’s less important jobs is being responsible for the alliterative and memorable name of today’s featured design house!

Image

 


This label calls Los Angeles home, and aims to capture the essence of California (which also conveniently starts with a C). Clover Canyon’s idea of fashion is not shy or subdued. Their website uses words like “jubilant” and “joyful” to describe these boldly-printed masterpieces.  Wild prints, forward-thinking silhouettes, and old-fashioned know-how of skilled structure are what make this label both trendy and timeless. 

Here are some of my favorite looks from their Resort 2013 line. The head designer Rozae Nichols chose Cuba (wait, what letter does Cuba start with again? 😉 ) as the inspiration for this year’s fair-weather looks. Bold floral accents and familiar architectural angles intermixed with loose island-worthy shapes and printed images have me captivated! Can somebody get me a plane ticket already?!?!

 

ImageImageImageImageImage

 

I pretty much love everything about this. It is vivid and interesting and flattering and flat-out fun! And 10 bonus points for the model’s shoes being realistic. Heels that aren’t from hell?! I’ll take ’em!

The graphic on the novelty sweatshirt in the last image is of a cigar-roller Mavis Touissant Fuentes who was famous for her eccentric style. This is what she looks like when she is not immortalized on a sweatshirt….

Image

 

I’ll have whatever she’s smoking.

 

Want to check out some more from this designer?

click here

 

Want to weigh in? Drop a comment below! 

Cheers to being a little smarter and cheers to cheers starting with our letter of the day!!! Now about that cookie…..

Image

xo

 

Pictures of my TRRRENNNNDAAYY outfit 7.08

SUMMA SUMMA SUMMA TIIIIIME

Leather shorts + cool and relaxed blouse + shoes  tall enough to make up for the veggies I refused to eat as a kid. (bonus points for matching my hair) These leather shorts have become one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. They are high-quality, versatile, and aren’t obnoxious or tight. They are perfect for summer nights, as long as it isn’t a bajillion degrees outside. This easy breezy shirt is also ideal for summer nights because it can breath, but has just enough fabric to ward of chill as the sun sets.  I was pretty pumped to find these new wedges at a little boutique on my street. I adore the feeling of wearing heels, but lawd knows this city wasn’t made for pumps!

Enjoy this musical edition of TRRRENDDAYY outfit! I’m still so obsessed with this song, and heard on the radio today that Robin Thicke might actually be considering changing his name to “Blurred Lines”… hmm… Let’s pretend like that is a great idea and dance about it…..

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

…. and that was the story of how Caroline split her leather shorts.

Haha just kidding the shorts are fine, but that did make a better story, didn’t it?

Don’t try these dance moves at home. Or wait… actually if you must do them at home go right ahead. They sure as hell don’t belong in public.

xo

Exercising my fashion muscles: Robert 2.0!

12 days of hometown bliss, followed by a week of extended family reunion, sparkles galore, and the crowning of Allison Cook, the new Miss Oregon 2013 has me in a hazy and happy state of mind. Alas, out of pageant  Narnia and into the real world I have come. While hoping to be met with the warm-fuzzy feeling of being home, I was instead met with a hot-sweltering feeling of our 95 degree temps this week. *gasps for air* Needless to say, I was chomping at the bit to get outta there! And what better way to do that then some sangria at lunch followed by a closet overhaul and styling session?!

Meet Robert:

Image

This eligible bachelor completed his 35th year in orbit last January, and now works as a Client Manager for Wold Consulting, a tech-based AMC. A friend of many, this karaoke rockstar loves to spend his free time enjoying nature, CrossFit-ing, and of course enjoying good conversation around town at one of the many scrumptious restaurants Portland has to offer. Robert has taken a hold of his lifestyle in the past 12 months and with that comes time to bring in some new fresh energy into his wardrobe. He is looking great and once I’m done with him, will be shaming Austin Powers with his spike in mojo. 

First thing: closet overhaul. 

dun dun dunnnnnnnnn!!!!!!

To get started, we headed straight for Rob’s house to see what we could keep and what would be good bonfire material. And forget bonfire– we’re going to have  a forest fire!!!!!!

Haha just kidding, Rob. It wasn’t so bad, but there was some intervention. To give you a brief recap, here are the things we pitched:

– shirts with decals, excessive embroidery, and arguably tasteless decorative patches

– clothing items that were too big. A nice problem to have for someone who is getting into shape!

– stretched out or worn-looking garments

– things that weren’t getting worn such as a sport coat with big ol’ shoulder patches and gifted items that didn’t reflect his personality

– “repaired” jeans (a.k.a. the inner handyman in Rob patched holes in the rear of well-loved pants)

And in his words, anything that screamed “douche caboose”.

Check out this massive stack of no-no’s! It’s like they’ve seen the light and are about to cross over into the great Buffalo Exchange in the sky……

Image 

We did keep some things, and got a good idea of what the next steps were. 

Things we kept:

– business professional attire. Rob already has a good handle on what is appropriate for work, but we did find a couple items that will require some tailoring. 

– a couple long-sleeved casual shirts that stood out as a great style guideline for what suited Rob’s personal life- casual, comfortable, and still contemporary.

– jeans that didn’t need repairing and one light blue-grey pair made the cut, even though it had minor repairs

– a t-shirt that says “More Cowbell” with a picture of a cowbell. 1) because I’m not totally evil and 2) because Rob has a great Christopher Walken impression and an indefinite amount of Halloween parties in his future. 

Some of the things we found just needed tweaking in the way they were being worn. For example, a long sleeved button-up went from stuffy to relaxed when we left an additional button unbuttoned at the top and rolled up the sleeves. A unique linen sport coat was too thin to be worn with a traditional button-up, but looked noticeably fly with just a grey v-neck t-shirt underneath.

Shoes were the next thing we took a look at before we took off into the burbs for some treasure hunting. One of the first things I notice about a person is the way they complete themselves with shoes. What we keep on our feet is, more often than not, a direct reflection of our lifestyle. It is no surprise that Rob is a practical guy, so what I found was pretty basic. The black pair, the brown pair, the casual tennis shoe, and a couple randoms that were utility related. These are fine, but for someone who is looking to do better, there was room for improvement. Two brands dominated this footwear collection: Converse and Clark’s. By anyone’s standards, these are both brands that boast well-made shoes, but in the pursuit of refinement, fall short of what will take a man’s presence to the next level. 

Here’s what I mean.

Exhibit A-  the Clark’s:

ImageImage

 

A little worn and a erring on the clunky side, these shoes fit the bill of an Average Joe, but were quickly put to shame as we found some awesome, albeit dusty, boots buried in the depths of the closet.

Exhibit B- the upgrade:

Image

 

Obviously on the left is the clunky Clark’s shoe, and on the right we have the hidden treasure. They are similar in shine and both have the capacity to be worn with jeans. Rob is ready to graduate from the school of thought that just any black shoe will do. Don’t get me wrong, something as practical and well-made as the Clark’s shoe isn’t bad. It is, however, not the best option in menswear for seeking a polished look.  

After we ransacked  through years of accumulated garments, we had a pretty good game plan.

1. Find some casual looks that reflected Rob’s personality and tastes and fit him properly.

2. Upgrade footwear to reflect a mature and evolved sense of style.

3.  Stay realistic with budget. Fortunately there is much less turnover in fashion for men than women, so we were likely to have some luck with quality brands even if we shopped the department discount stores. 

One of the perks of cleaning out old clothes is often finding hidden money in pockets, and fortunately we found a little extra spending cash to take with us on our adventure….

Image

 

Our first stop was Saks off Fifth! Located in the Bridgeport shopping development, Saks off Fifth offers discounted items from the high-end department retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. We rummaged through racks and racks of clothing, but weren’t as overwhelmed with choices as we had hoped. It would have been really easy to dress Rob up like a fashionisto, but my task wasn’t to dress a mannequin, it was to dress a personality. Rob’s only request was color, and with some luck we found a great orange and blue plaid button-up. It wasn’t too loud, the cotton was soft, and it definitely had an underlying “Portland” feel. 

Image

Shirts that met our criteria were scarce, so I pushed the envelope a bit in our hunt for color and found some deep green denim pants. A reluctant Rob took them to the dressing room, and came out striking model poses. Needless to say, I felt pretty good about that one. 🙂

Image

These two made the cut, and new threads in hand, we called it a “win” and moved on to the next stop!

Following Saks off Fifth,  we went to Nordstrom Rack in Beaverton. Another discounted department retailer, the Rack is one of God’s gifts to humankind, so we were quite hopeful for more success.

This experience was a little more hunt-and-peck, but there was much luck to be had. Rob took a mountain of clothing into the dressing room with the focuses being black jeans, more casual shirts, and with my encouragement, some colored, cargo-pocket-less shorts. The hunt had become more intense at this point, and I was getting a little more ruthless. I did spare him, however, from the chick repellant  that is cheetah printed menswear. 

Image

Umpteen pairs of jeans, countless ill-fitting button-ups, and a smattering of unflattering t-shirts later, my head was nearly falling off from shaking “no”. The Mount Everest of fabric had provided little inspiration, and patience was dwindling. With what good fortune was left in the day, we came across two must-haves. I’m not a huge fan of short-sleeved button ups for men, but we found one that might have changed my mind about them, for now. A dark grey denim with a faint sheen, it is definitely a sharp looking shirt for drinks with friends. In addition, we found a pair of solid blue cargo-pocket-less shorts that not only were a great deal, but they also added some color, and will look great with the shirt from Saks off Fifth. 

Image

The biggest accomplishment from Nordy’s Rack came in a pair. That’s right, we even found some shoes that are a serious upgrade! Slim, versatile, and even a little rugged, these are practical in more ways than one. 

Image

Not bad, eh? 

On that note, we called it a day. We were a little exhausted, but feeling fantastic with 1 long sleeve, 1 short sleeve, 1 pair of green pants, 1 pair of blue shorts, and 1 pair of shoes!!! Not only was he able to add five new boosts to his post-purge closet, he was able to get a variety of garment styles that are cohesive with his personality and lifestyle

As I wandered around these stores and shook my head incessantly, thoughts seemed to come loose and I pondered again my philosophy on fashion. It has become increasingly evident to me in the past few years how crucial visual presentation can be in wholly communicating oneself to others. In other words, I don’t think anyone would look at a man in a three piece suit and say “wow, I bet he paints bird feeders and lives in a nudist colony.” If he did, then the life inside his mind truly wouldn’t reflect the way he communicated himself visually. This is, of course, extreme, but generally people want to be understood. It may be the case that people get derailed somewhere and lose fluency in visual language as it evolves the way verbal language does. Nobody says “all that and a bag of chips” for the same reasons people don’t wear Birkenstocks and Hansen tees with as much frequency as in the 90’s. Shopping with Robert felt less like a scene out of Clueless and more like a visual communication tutoring session. If you met him now, at first glance you would be able to tell he was a practical guy that also has personality. He is relaxed, but active. He is mature, but not old. He is rational, and not lazy. There is an endless combination of fabrics, cuts, and colors that could tell you exactly those things about Robert, which makes things a headache for some but a fun game for me! 

I had a ball exercising my fashion muscles and helping Rob feel good about what he’s got goin’ on! I think he is pretty stoked too..unless of course he is lying…. and hates everything… and then I’ll just scream and kick and break into his house and replace every piece of clothing with these!!!

Image

 

MUAHAHAHAHAha….hahah….haha…

Wait… wouldn’t that actually be awesome?

😉

Anyways, HUGE thank you to Robert for letting me play “What Not to Wear” and agreeing to let me put it in my blog 🙂 AND a GIGANTOR thank you  to my faithful readers who have been bugging me to get back to writing– your kind words have me more motivated than ever!!!! 

xo

 

 

Brown chicken brown cowww! I’m gaga for Gatsby!

Oh, my heart is aflutter!!! The beading, the lace, the fringe! And not to mention Leonardo Dicaprio in a tux! Bow chicka bow wow!

Image

Okay, so if you can’t figure out by now, I just got back from seeing The Great Gatsby. Wow. I absolutely loved the cast, music, and of course the costumes! Catherine Martin (pictured below)really nailed it.

Image

I was bug-eyed from start to finish!

Image

(^^I love stupid human tricks and Google images.)

Carey Mulligan  played  a flawless “Daisy Buchanan” and lent her subtle grace to the screen with a flair that is reminiscent of the Hollywood of old. I’d always admired her work, but am officially in the CM fan club after watching that performance. Who better to put inside fantastic outfits like these?!

ImageImageImage

Supporting as “Jordan Baker”, Elizabeth Debicki blew me away with her mysterious on-camera persona and reaffirms that Martin  deserves a high five. Check out the beading on that neck line! Image

Eventually the movie ended, as all good ones do, and I realized I was back in rainy Portland in my jeans, scarf, and water-stained boots. Talk about wah wah! (I was also wearing a sweater and other not mentioned garments… hope I didn’t kill a fantasy there but uhh just want to set the record straight… ;))

I can’t transport myself to Gatsby-land, but I can figure out a way to bring inspirations from the silver screen to summer ’13! Here is an exclusive Dorky Chick in Lipstick look at three ways to Gatsby-erize…uh… Gatsby-ate….er no Gatsba—“Gatsby-fy”  your own closet! From daywear, to dinner, to dancing the night away! Image

Kick it in a chill Gatsby fashion with fringe, bangles, and a big black piece of costume jewelry and you’ll make those Starbucks lattes taste like they worth way more than 4 bucks. When the sun sets go Gatsby-er with an LBD that is fringed out, subtle pearl bangles, and a beaded headband! Trying to get your va-va-voom on? Well then you’d best put on your Gatsby-est with some pretty, shiny things and a hemline that has prohibition written all over it!  There’s hope for all of us Gatsby-crazed out there! Summer 2013 feels like the perfect time to show your millionaire-mansion party-girl side! Even if that means just sushi with the girls on a Saturday 🙂

Ahhhh just looking at those gives hope to my little fashion-crazed world. I’ll drink to that, Gatsby.

Image

But I’d rather give credit where credit is due so if you are reading Catherine Martin … 

Image

xo

My week: fashion show pics and a word on pageant chicks

Currently,  I am sitting on the front steps of my apartment building in a shady spot amongst an impressive amount of potted plants. About two weeks ago, my neighbors decided to add a couple potted plants to our barren front porch, and then they got a little enthusiastic. No matter, however, because I just get to sit here in my own little botanical garden and reflect on what an full week it’s been!

To my loyal readers, I owe you an apology because I am a dirty, rotten liar who said that I would post last week, but then I just started having too much fun! I realized I hadn’t left Portland in 3 months and I’m the type of gal who likes to find an excuse to skip town once a month. Needless to say I didn’t realize how crazy I was going until I started to unplug for Miss Oregon 2013 Pageant Workshop in Seaside. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

REWIND! 

*eeeeerereeeeeeeeereereeeeeerereeeeeee* (rewind noise) … wait, does anyone even know what rewinding sounds like anymore?

TUESDAY!

I went to the fashion show at Produce Row! It was so cool to see the two highlighted designers Brady Lange Rief. But, my iPhone is fired.

Image

It just couldn’t focus! So I’ll leave it to the professionals and include links to the photos.

I was a HUGE fan of the fearless makeup and the pops of color. Here was my favorite look from Brady Lange :

Image

It’s modern, it’s trendy, and it takes me right to the tropics! I think it would be best accessorized with a Mai tai….. 😉

And check out this from Rief! 

Image

Again, those color pops get me every time. The pleated pant is such a wonderfully chic way to be relaxed and adds personality with the tangerine. Those pants were made for struttin’!

There’s more pics where that came from! click here ! 

WEDNESDAY!

Pendleton rounded up a huge crowd at Ron Tom’s and it was so big that it sold out!! I almost thought I was going to have to turn around and call it a night, but the fashion gods saw fit to let me in and it was a perfect way to spend the evening. Pendleton Woolen Mills is famous for their signature bold prints and high quality wool, but in 2011 they broke the mold and developed a line that stays true to their Western inspirations, but brings a bit of city flair. It’s called The Portland Collection. They unleashed their 3rd annual this year at Ron Tom’s on Wednesday and the scene could not have been truer to Portland-chic form. A killer band set an upbeat, yet moody tone and then models began to appear walking down the sidewalk through the floor-to-ceiling windows, in through the front door, and through the maze of people. They stopped on a platform and did their turn so all could ogle the immaculate fabrics, construction, and Portland-worthiness of the Pendleton designs.  

Here are a few highlights! ImageImageImage

For more photos click here! 

For more info on the Portland Collection click here! 

I think that dress/vest look (picture 1) was my fave. Femme, but ready for anything!

THURSDAY!

Firstly, I must announce that my first article was hot off the press today. I covered the Fashion Forward Show from Portland Sewing on Saturday, and had a ball. You can read it here!

Unfortunately, I was unable to make Thursday’s show of mystery designers. I had textiles class, and a girl can only fit so much fashion into one day!!! The textiles class is truly fantastic, and I’m learning more than I can retain. It is so crazy to think that cloth is one of the oldest materials known to man, and is a definite blogspiration. I won’t go on a textile rant today, but keep an eye out because it may be one of the more relevant topics I cover in the near future. 

FRIDAY! (and SATURDAY! and SUNDAY!)

After a week of cramming Cartesian philosophy, I took a midterm and promised myself a mani/pedi to relax before a weekend of pageant mayhem! And let’s face it, sometimes the best thing you can do is just paint your fingernails bright purple. 

Being a retired Miss Oregon, it is really important to me that I continue to give time and effort to the girls pursuing their Miss America dream. I learned so much from the formers during my journey, and really got to experience this fun privilege for the first time on the other side! A huge part of preparation takes place 5 weeks before the annual competition week and consists of a 3 day workshop in Seaside. It provides the girls with bonding time with the other contestants, critiques to motivate and educate them on their potential, and everyone (parents, volunteers, and contestants) gets to learn more about the current Miss Oregon and how she has worked not only to win, but to earn her title as “role model”. (And Nichole has done all that and more!!)  It’s an intense weekend, but it was an incredible recharge! But I might still be on a sugar high…. the best candy on the coast also happens to be the livelihood of the pageant directors who double as my Oregon parents 🙂 nom nom nom… I came away from the weekend feeling reenergized and with new purpose. It is so uplifting to put a microscope on a human experience and be reassured that we are all just people with the common goal of living life with intention. For the women immersed in the Miss Oregon program, their intentions are such good ones. Regardless of hairdo, gown, shape, size, or background, each one is so excited to give fearlessly. It’s an awesome reminder of how I’ve come to be the woman I am today.

I’m rambling, but I think you get the point. I left feeling like I had just been plugged back in. To see these women pursuing their dreams with such devotion reminds me that no goal is too big and hard work will absolutely pay off, even if it takes you on a different path. I’m no longer gunning for a crown, but I’ve got some big, fashionable fish to fry! Thanks, ladies, for inspiring me so much 🙂

One of the cornerstones of the Miss America Organization is “style” along with “scholarship, service, and success”. Style? I like style! So you can imagine that I’ve really been buzzing about how I can lend an eye and some advice in this department. Another blogspiration  for another day, but I definitely have the wheels turning. 

Alas it’s MONDAY!

Other than a little education and catching up with the blogosphere, I dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed, washed, folded, and of course also popped n’ locked it in my kitchen. Twerkin’ n workin’. 

Insert a mental picture here.

Whatever you do, don’t Google that. 

 Lots to come this week! Keep in touch 🙂

xo

FASHION AND BURGERS YAY

Ptown is flashing it’s peacock feathers this week for Portland Mercury‘s Fashion Week (Monday 13- Thurs-16) and enjoyed the pre-party that was the Fashion Forward Show from Portland Sewing on Saturday (the 11th).  It’s extra fun to people watch on these occasions because all the fashion-minded are out to see and be seen. It’s harder to come by such phenomenon in Portlandia, and I’m thrilled to find my kindred souls are out to frolic all in the same venue! Blue hair, red hair, pink hair, top hats, high heels, and funky fashion statements are not out of the ordinary.  The words “I’m a fashion blogger” are overheard countless times as one walks through the crowd, as well as names being called from the recognition of unexpected familiar faces. Of course there’s nothing unexpected about recognizing anyone at these events. It’s a small fashion world here in PDX I’m discovering. So far it’s been a fun start.

Saturday I went to the Fashion Forward Show, and was there as not only a surveyor, but also as a reporter. It felt awesome, and partially like I had a secret. My secret was that I was nervous and had to pretend like I knew what the eff I was doing. Last time I wrote any articles I was fifteen and writing for my high school newspaper, and it was anything but glamorous. The track coach really didn’t want to be interviewed about last week’s meet, and nobody gave a damn about the reconfiguring of the parking lot. I called it quits pretty quick and figured reporting just wasn’t for me. Well,t’s been 7 years and I’m realizing that I’ve got quite a bit more to say than I did when I was 15 (go figure), and since I’m still knee-deep in my undergrad, I applied and was hired as an Arts & Cultures writer for my college newspaper. That means I get to establish my own voice as a fashion writer and will even get some lunch money for exploring and relating fashion to my student counterparts. I’m ecstatic. So much of the fashion world is marketed towards the 18-24 year old age group, that I think it is a great opportunity to learn how to realistically relate the fashion world to that demographic. In addition, I’ll be getting to  create material that establishes my voice as a writer and I’ll be gleefully forced into expanding my horizons as someone with an eye for style!

Back to the show

It was located in a contemporary-looking studio just blocks from Portland Sewing. The designers showcased a handful of outfits each, and I had a ball trying to take decent pics for the paper and also ogling at the handiwork of the artists. The artists ranged from funky to sleek and all of the designs felt very Portland-friendly. I caught up with a couple of the designers post-show and snagged some interviews. You’ll have to check back when I post the article! I can’t give it all away, silly! Haha. Overall, it was an exciting introduction to what the world of Portland fashion looks like, but, rather was a look at what the Portland fashion world could look like. The majority of these designers were new up-and-comers surrounded by supportive friends and family.

Take a peek at some of the pics I snagged!

DSC00073 DSC00090 DSC00095 DSC00142 DSC00152 DSC00162 DSC00167 DSC00172 DSC00176

Conveniently, this week is also a big week for Portland Fashion, and to really get a look at what’s going on with PDX style, you best be blocking out your iCal from 6-8 for the next couple nights. The Portland Mercury, an alternative local newspaper centered around culture and hilarity, is hosting its 9th annual Portland Fashion Week. This is a 4 night event taking place at hot-spot bars around town and showcases some of Portland’s most iconic names. With half of my friends out of town, and the other half busy on a Monday night (go figure) I decided to fly solo and be a silent pair of eyes on this lovely evening at the first event  at the White Owl Social Club. I wasn’t flying solo for long, though, and quickly saw a familiar faces from my talent agency, the Fashion Forward show, and Portland Sewing! Turns out being a fly on the wall with bright red hair is pretty hard, and I must have looked lost because I was quickly invited to sit with two really cool former midwesterners (like me!) What’s crazier- is that one actually knew my sister from high school half a country away! I’m always down to rock it as a party of one, but it was awesome to meet some like-minded people willing to start up some fun conversation.

The designers from tonight’s show are iconic of PDX and included Holly Stalder, Liza Rietz, Emily Ryan. I was dazzled by the clearly skilled and professional quality of the garments, intricacy of the shapes and fabrics, and of the individual flair that each lady added to her collection. Two thumbs down for my iPhone memory needing some emergency deletion as the first outfits waltzed down the rope-lighted runway. And lyk #omg so glad I got in an instagram of the last look (it was featured in the Mercury) the instagods do exist! 😉

Here are a few pics of some of my favorites!  Apologies that the iPhone did them no justice, but I hope that you can get a good idea of what is going on. The structure, accessories, and presentation were all better experienced in person. You’ll just have to come with me tomorrow and see! 🙂

IMG_0026 IMG_0025 IMG_0024_2 IMG_0023_2 IMG_0022_2 IMG_0021_2 IMG_0020_2<<< that was my fave!

Check out the promo pic:

1368117738-liza-rietz_ray-gordon-570.2

This has been a really fun few days of seeing fashion coming to life. Also, it’s a great reminder that Portland is a phenomenal place to be. As one of my new friends said as she was waiting on her sliders:

“Where else can you go to a fashion show and order a cheeseburger?”

I don’t know, but I’m guessing unicorns are there. If not, I’m just fine right here.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be one step closer to making my own creations come to life in my dresses class. I’ll make sure to do a progress report, and if you want more updates I’d love to keep you in the loop!

Follow on twitter @dorkychickPDX and on instagram @dorkychickinlipstick !

xo – until tomorrow!

Men’s Fashion Week 2013: dudes in skirts, dudes with no hands, and dudes that may not be dudes

It’s men’s fashion week in Europe! That means a bunch of dudes are dressing up in designer duds to woo the affections of the fashion world for the Fall of 2013. London, Milan, and Paris. As expected, suits were aplenty. Some stayed classic, of course, but some also ventured into the realm of the unknown. I saw a lot of cheetah print… very “grrr” Austin would be proud…

Image

Here is a quick look at some highlights:

Burberry- the same thing we expect every year with cheetah print shoesImage

J.W. Anderson- I will pay $20 to any of my guy friends to wear this out and use pick up lines on girlsImageSaint Laurent- the edgy cool thing is cool but men also like hamburgers- give him oneImage

Rick Owens- imagine him ordering a frappucino…. Image

Louis Vuitton- okay, had to sneak in a good suit… teeheeImageThom Browne magician maybe? I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a rabbit in that hat….Image

Comme de Garcons : what guy doesn’t want to look like a girl at Disneyland? Image

Versace- hands: who really needs them? 

Image

I barely skimmed the surface, but that’s an idea of  just how..er… creative things can get. I definitely suggest heading over to http://www.nytimes.com and looking at the photo galleries.

What I want to know is who wears these things?  Dandies, I suppose (and my goodness are they fabulous) But what about a cheeseburger-eating-football-watching-whiskey-drinking-pickupline-using-late-twenties dude out and about in this:

Image

Attention readers: if you can find someone that meets above criteria out in a public place wearing a fashion-week-worthy outfit, please take a picture and send it to me. If it’s awesome, I’ll send you $5  which is good for a sizable latte or a dive-bar well drink, and we will cheers.

One thing is for certain though, it may be sunny in Portland, but over in at Fashion Week in Europe ……

😉 xo

DorkyChick Diaries: Just a taquito with a dream and a pickle joke

The good news: it’s been unusually beautiful here in Portland, with clear, blue skies and temps in the 70s and 80s.

More good news: my in-home sauna is included in my rent, and it’s on all the time.

This phenomenon is also known as no air conditioning, which means I am roasting like a Cinco de Mayo taquito. Real talk, though, my apartment is toasty as all hell and that means less time for creative sewing projects and drawing practice. Right now, I’m doing what I can to be an observer of the fashion world outside of the house. I admit, I have really saturated myself and I think I’m seeing metaphorical grey hairs. My house is scattered with magazines, my twitter is filled with style blogs and celebrities, and I’ve been creepily admiring stylish outfits around town. A few times I’ve popped my head in clothing shops and thought to myself “oh, I’ll take a peek and look for some summer stuff”  but in these huntings for warm weather fancies, I’ve found that I’m wanting to smack my head against a brick wall. I’m on sensory overload! There is seemingly no limit to color, shape, size, style, and price point. Gone are the days of simple tops and bottoms, forgotten are the days of the gender specified garments, and one-trend-fits-all mentality.

It’s evident that mainstream fashion has really reached the 21st century, because conformity  isn’t the norm any longer. Why would I settle for pants and a shirt when I could have a silky see-through tunic, a patterned camisole, pleather leggings, and boots that are also sandals!?  And nobody would even think me strange for rocking that in a grocery store! On the other hand, it would be just as sensible for me to go find a standard shorts/sandals/tank look, but therein lies the struggle as I have to sift through manufactured frays, patterns, fabrics, prices, and lengths before I can even get to the dressing room! *gasp for air*

Sure there are trends! The high-low skirt, the printed pant, and the summer scarf are practically everywhere. However, I would suggest a case for the disintegration of trends as being boxes to check for of-the-moment wardrobe relevance.  Variety appears to me as the biggest trend. I think it’s going to be more difficult than ever to say “oh that is such a 2010’s trend”. We’ve made such a habit of recycling the past 100 years of design, that truly “new” hardly exists anymore. Those who claim to be independents are really going to find themselves in a pickle if they think that clothing is truly the answer to deflecting conformity. Or they could just wear this.. then they’d really be in a pickle.

sweat-shirt-for-stoners-7

I hope a ticklish person buys this.

tee hee.

Perhaps it’s unrealistic to consider fashion to have a future as something it isn’t already. But let’s not turn this into  a philosophy blog 🙂  

My time spent these past few beautiful weeks of observation have led me to put down the magazines to attempt a handful of dressing rooms where I found less that suited me than I’d hoped. This led me to Target for some fingers-crossed budget hunting that ended in 4 grey and white tanks and tees.

*snore*

I was looking for trends, but the problem is, trends seemed to evade me! The magazines say they are there, the stores put them in their windows, but with so many stores and so many window and so many “trends” I started to shake my head. Were I relegated to a specific demographic, I’d be set, but I’m not! Specificity doesn’t seem to appeal to me or my peers quite as much as it once did, such as in decades past when standards were more arguably uniform. Today, you can look like a punk-princess/safari-mailman/businesswoman, but then how to differentiate or express oneself next to the nautical-femme/boho-rainforest-clubdancer? Both are a mishmosh of inspirations, ideas, and repeated shapes and colors. Both are so hot right now.

It’s a style trap, with no style map.

I hit a turning point when doing some troubleshooting on Google. I had searched “wardrobe checklist” and up came list after list of must-haves for each season, lifestyle, and every which way in between. No two lists were alike. The bottom line was to just not be naked, I guess, and the only clear pattern was that there was no pattern. You can’t express yourself on a checklist, and I’m more sure than ever that all I really care to do is express myself. If I do that, then I can’t lose.  This doesn’t mean I have to reject all the trends, this doesn’t mean I don’t wish to faun over designers, nor does it mean that the fashion industry has lost it’s ability to captivate me. It just means that we’re in a new era. Which may be a “duh” factor to you, but it really seemed to sink in with me this week as I shook my head at wardrobe lists telling me I needed 4 different kinds of panty-hose and only 3 casual (a.k.a. not spelled out for me) outfits.

I think that’s why I want to be a designer. I know I’m not a punk-princess/safari-mailman/businesswoman or a fraction of it, but I know myself, and I have to express that. I won’t always find what I’m looking for at the mall, and if I can create what I can’t find, then it can become part of my ability to communicate. Each garment can be a word in my fashion language, meant to share with any and all who want in on the conversation.

I came up with a new checklist for Summer 2013

Wardrobe Checklist: Dorky Chick in Lipstick Style

 

images-6  Outfits for kicking ass

images-6 Outfits for laughing really hard in

images-6 Outfits for living it up

images-6 Outfits for feeling like $1,000,000,000 (yes, billion)

images-6 Outfits for matching your outside to your inside ❤

 

This could mean owning half the merch in this month’s InStyle, or this might mean that pantyhose and pantsuits are still key players behind your closet doors. What’s important in 2013 is that we recognize that we’ve hit a privileged sweet spot of more fashion freedom than ever before.  As long as we’re expressing our hearts as our sleeves, we can’t go wrong. 

 

This week I learned a lot, but I know I need to get back to my art supplies. I’m glad I got to take a break, get some sun, and let that vitamin D reinvigorate my spirits. Right now, I’m a sleepy lady with an early morning. And I can think of a perfect outfit that will check the one-billion-dollar box 🙂

….my PJ’s, of course.

Goodnight readers new and old.

xo

 

Met-matics: Beyonce + Miley =

You want a “best/worst” dressed list? They got plenty of blogs for that. Best/worst lists are fun, but seriously- who cares? All of those outfits took some serious TLC to create, are made of luxury fabrics, and showcased the personality of the wearer (which is the most important).  So much of an outfit presentation is experienced through first-person eyes. The camera adds 10 lbs, different fabrics catch light different ways, and head-turning only happens when you aren’t looking dead-on at a screen. I positively loved  some of the looks at the Met Gala last night, but I also thought some stylists got an extra shot of espresso on the day they went shopping…. Let’s take a look at a couple of my favorite looks, and how they “add up” on my terms….

 

 

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

 

 

and this

 

Image

Image

bucket_of_water_by_creativemarkaa-d341ob2

Image

Image 

 P11149409

Image

d33ascissors-cut

Imagemet-gala-2013-models-5

 

 

These women all look amazing in their own right…..

 

they also just happen to look amazingly like other things that make me laugh 😉

 

xo