My upcoming trip to Portland in December/January becomes more exciting every day and my To Do list is growing concurrently. I’m gathering recommendations of restaurants from Lemon Basil, stores from Unruly Things and Modish, and catching up on the street style with Urban Weeds. And the excitement continues to build with Frolic and Honey Kennedy. Etc.
The list is long, but one Must Do is a visit to Wanderlust, a vintage boutique on wheels making its way around Portland (via Modish). What else is new and not to be missed in Portland?
“To enter the designer apparel arena and build something, that’s significant. I think the way to think about The Row is that it offers the perfect blank — the perfect schoolboy blazer, the perfect leather leggings, the perfect peacoat. So many designers are intent on the next great trend that some of the basics are neglected.”
— Jim Gold, the chief executive of Bergdorf Goodman, discussing Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsens’ label The Row.
Chanel famously said: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with the ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Do you believe in this idea and was it important for the film?
I think fashion is not important. It is the style of somebody – the way someone moves and thinks. To have a personality, you have to forget the clothes. Chanel’s instinct and sense of elegance was natural. When you forget the clothes, it is only the style that stays.
Simon Chilvers interviews Anne Fontaine, director of Coco Avant Chanel in The Guardian.
While checking up on the progress of The Uniform Project – a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation that is 80 days underway – I was impressed by the range of styles Sheena Matheiken is pulling off. With only one dress for 365 days, she’s demonstrating how to get more mileage out of your clothing by styling it with layers, accessories, and a range of accoutrements.
There has been a lot of talk during the recent economic upheaval about how to refashion an old wardrobe, but the aim of this project is to raise funds for the education of children living in the slums of India. It also fits nicely within a framework that promotes a more sustainable consciousness of the fabric and materials used in clothing today. Prolonging the lifespan of clothing is explored in depth in a great report by the University of Cambridge entitled Well Dressed. The report recommends a consumer change in mindset, some of which are reflected in The Uniform Project:
- Buy second-hand clothing and textiles where possible
- Buy fewer and more durable clothes
- Choose clothes and textile products made with the lowest energy and toxic emissions, and based on good information on labour standards
- Lease clothing that wouldn’t otherwise reach the end of its natural life
- Wash clothes less often, at lower temperatures, use eco-detergents, hang-dry clothes and avoid ironing where possible
- Repair clothes where possible to extend their natural lives
- Dispose of garments through recycling businesses
I was so pleased to hear Bill Cunningham’s recent On the Street audio slide show featuring the latest It item: the cardigan. As a staple in my wardrobe, it’s great to hear I’ve been ahead of the fashion curve. Cunningham, the New York Time’s candid photographer of street fashion, provides commentary that describes the evolution of the trend and its numerous manifestations. “It’s right back to where Chanel started. She took women out of the Edwardian, overdressed like hothouse orchids, and put them into everyday weeds, as you might say…It’s the modern woman stepping out of the decorative bondage of fashion and yet still looking attractive.” Oh, and there’s a nice jazzy intro for each of his reports.