Getting Wild … with Western Wear

I have something to admit. I can’t stop watching this terrible reality show called ‘Rodeo Girls’. For those of you that know me this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. I’ve wanted to be a barrel racer in the rodeo since I was about 8 years old. But because I wasn’t born into the rodeo circuit and never had money for my own horse and had to navigate the cards I was dealt (suburban Minnesota), it just hasn’t happened for me.

So instead I’ve done things like spend a summer in Wyoming working on a dude ranch, horse lessons, volunteer work with horses, and annual promises to myself to save up for my own horse. I also very frequently fall into fashion obsessions with Western wear. Lucky for you and me, western wear has actually gotten really COOL. As a little girl, I really only understood it as shit I could find at like Drysdales. No this isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not something I’m going to wear around the streets of Portland either.

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Seriously though. Those brown pants. That SHIRT. That shirt got a lot of play back in the day, no doubt.

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And absolutely nothing has changed. 

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That’s me dude-ranching it and if you want a real trip, check this out http://lucyontheranch.blogspot.com

But back to real time, like I said, I was sitting on the couch ignoring the beautiful, sunny Portland day outside, watching Rodeo girls and I looked down and was like oh snap, this flannel I’m wearing sure is cute and appropriate. Flannels. Wardrobe staple. They make everyone look hot! Cholo/as need I say more? And a girl in an oversized flanned, don’t tell me that doesn’t turn you on. 

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Me today in a not oversized flannel, but it’s still cozy as hell and it automatically makes my un-makeupped, crazy hair, tired eyes situation seem less dire than it actually is. Scored this one from a clothing swap. Long live clothing swaps forever and ever. 

Then I got to thinking about this sweatshirt I recently got from Idylwild. I was pretty drunk when I saw it and realized I had to have it, but you know, I’m sober now and not regretting it at all. Idylwild has tons of cute shit. Follow on IG and check out the website and stock up on staples that will get you through summer because seriously I’m thinking short shorts, cowgirl boots, and turquoise. All day every day come June.

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Cute, right? 

Here’s some more Idylwild pulled from Instagram:

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Another good site and IG to check out is Bandit Brand clothing.  Hotttttttt shit. 

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And for all your jewelry needs, I HIGHLY suggest you check out Honey Fox Jewelry because SWOON. I recently got a new job and one (at least) of her pieces is top of my list for first paychecks.  And she’s local. If anyone wants to gift me with something of hers I won’t complain. Here’s her Etsy for all your shopping and gifting needs http://www.etsy.com/shop/honeyfoxjewelry

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So yeah, I don’t know about you, but now that we’re past the winter solstice I’m already dreaming of summer and it’s going to include horses and western wear galore. Oh and I’m thinking a return trip to Wyoming. Road trip anyone? 

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xoxo, yeehaw, Lou

 

Get Your Hands On Some DEAD THINGS

Guess what, bitches?! It’s October. Which means I should spend the entire month talking only about spooky fashion, right? Because I don’t do that enough already.

Well, here’s a special one for ya. A longtime reader of CWPL, Miss Sarah Moeding, got in touch with me a few weeks ago because SCORE, her beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry is now available for sale on her Etsy site. Guess what it’s called?

Dead Things By Sarah.

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I mean, COME ON. Not only are her pieces perfect for yours truly on a year round basis, they also happen to be seasonally appropriate for those of you looking to delicately tap into your dark side.

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And that’s just it. These pieces manage to stay delicate and pretty, without sacrificing their edge. I played around with a couple pieces to see how they would look with my favorite color – black, as well as with some more feminine ensembles too, just to demonstrate the versatility of her work. As she describes it, her aesthetic is “Victorian Hunting Lodge”. If that doesn’t drive home the juxtaposition, I’m not sure what will.

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She made her first bone brooch from some mink skeletons her sister gave her for Christmas in 2009 and has always been fascinated and collected “dead things”. Her sister remains supportive of her hobby and to this day collects bones for Sarah and thinks of her when she sees dead stuff… (I really like this since my family has the same special connection with me. They LOVE it …ahem).

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So anyway, Sarah began by making the pieces mostly for herself and for her friends, but as she tells it, “only in the last couple of months have I started to branch out into making earrings and necklaces, and selling them to the public. It’s exciting, the response has been resoundingly positive and supportive, and I took part in a craft fair mid-August that found me selling about a dozen pieces in less than a few hours.”

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Fuck yeah! If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know I’m all for supporting talented, hot babes in their creative endeavors. Sounds like Sarah’s is really taking off. Must be in part because her unique pieces “straddle the line of being pretty and even ornate, but also somewhat masculine in form and feeling.”

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Aside from that balance in her work, I also really love the uniqueness of her jewelry. I mean, come on. My mink bone is from my very own little mink! No need to share this little guy or gals curvature with anyone else. All mine!

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If you want to really GO FOR IT when placing your order – she also offers gift wrapping for like, major cheap. Which is TOTALLY worth it because look, just look (genuine, bonafide, Texas armadillo skull not included):

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(genuine, bonafide, Texas armadillo skull not included)

Now how cute is that? And that is a box you can keep forever. Even if you buy a piece for yourself, I vote you still go for the gift wrap. You won’t be sorry when you get this little package in the mail that is so evidently prepared with care and artistry. I know that I was really gleeful as I unwrapped my goodies and I have no doubt you will be too.

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There are a ton of ways to get in touch with Sarah and places to check out/purchase her treasures:

She has a really great selection of pictures showcasing her work on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/objetsdelamort

Ready to buy? Etsy site is where it’s at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeadThingsbySarah

Questions? Custom Orders? Fan Mail? Email a girl: deadthingsbysarah@gmail.com

And let the countdown begin … 30 days to Halloween! Send me all your spooky post ideas. Please and thank you.

Oh and a very special thank you to Sarah! I fucking love my readers … Now go check out her steez stat.

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xoxo,

Lou

Hey – You Want To Win Some MYKITA MYLON Glasses?

When I first met my best friend Jessica (you may also know her as JRa, Jess, JJ, etc), I had no idea that fashion in the optical world was such a ‘thing’. I thought expensive sunglasses were ridiculous and people that wore glasses, well, I just didn’t think much of the fact that they had been needing to pick out an accessory that I myself had been able to ignore my entire life.

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Me and Jessica – the early days (RIP Murder – my fishy)

After three years of bosom buddiness though, that’s all changed. I’ve helped her a number of times at Optik PDX, the small, beautifully designed, startup shop she helped bring into existence along the hip stretch of Mississippi that also houses Mississippi Studios, Miss Delta, Interurban, etc. etc.

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She played a major role in introducing me to my adorable, glasses-wearing boyfriend (who, btw, shelled out for a surprise pair of the most amazing Barton Perriera sunglasses for me about a year ago, which ended up convincing me spendy shades were a worthy investment).

And, she has no problem pointing out the countless, COUNTLESS, number of glasses she herself has designed all around Portland. There is no shortage of people with fashionable eyewear in this town let me tell you. Check out the Optik PDX Facebook page to see some of them!

So yeah. I am surrounded by glasses now. Never saw myself in this situation, but that’s the way the cookie crumbled. And these days I’m up on Mississippi way more than I ever used to be and I’m always stopping in to see her and to say hi to the amazingly genial Dr. Ezra, and oh yeah to help myself to a nice cold Widmer, which they keep fully stocked in the back room for their customers to enjoy while perusing all the fabulous frames.

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The Optik team looking all sorts of precious. 

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Inside the boutique

This isn’t just your typical adoration post even though I do indeed love her and Optik PDX to death. I actually have something really rad to tell you about! Let me get to the point. Aside from setting people up with all their optical needs, they also throw a killer party.

This Thursday is no exception. Please watch the video below where super smart people make 3D stuff using plastic and lasers. There is this glasses line, MYKITA MYLON, that is made like this.

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Jess looking hot in the Mylon line

They’re bendy! They’re strong! They come in the most incredible colors and are like, super crazy hip. And this Thursday, Optik PDX is having a trunk show to showcase all the sexy steez. But oh wait there’s more, they’re also having a contest where you could actually win a pair! It’s an Instagram contest obviously, but that just means it’s super easy to enter.

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Hello, beautiful frames

I’ll be posting the Instagram contest rules later today or tomorrow so watch for those. And if you live in Portland, do yourself a favor and head over to Optik PDX  this Thursday, September 12 (TOMRROW!). The party goes from 1:00 – 7:00 pm and will feature a photo booth, free beer, beautiful people, and a whole host of cool glasses to fawn over.

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See you there babies!

xoxo,

Lou

Need to Know: Bones and Things

Were you kind of starting to think Instagram contests were bullshit? Because I was. I mean, a pretty easy way to get followers without actually having to send out a prize to a winner, right? But OMG! I won something today! Something I really wanted too!

Yeee! This gorgeous print from Bones and Things:

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Obviously go follow her on Instagram and then also check out her Etsy (here) because she makes really beautiful jewelry and art. SWOON. I won! I am a happy girl right now.

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Now I can never say again that I never win anything. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYA. Thank you Bones and Things!

xoxo, Lou

Fashionable Friends: JIMI EDITION!!!

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THIS PICTURE folks. This picture illustrates why it has taken me so long to write this post about one of my most fashionable female friends… she is way too fun a drinking partner! That bitch. After beginning my informal interview at Valentines downtown, we headed to the Eastside to check out one of her favorites, the legendary Lloyd Allen Sr. (never been? It’s worth your while.) at the Blue Diamond on Sandy Blvd. where the above pictured drinks were consumed and from where I took a Radio Cab to a different bar and then to a loft party and then to my bed where I woke up the next morning realizing I had lost the notebook in which I had recorded what I had remembered to be an EPIC conversation.

However, never fear. The notebook was found, waiting patiently for me in the loft where I had left it. Right under this ass poster at the Pizza Friday offices (check them out):

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God damn miracle. Therefore we are now finally able to proceed and I can gush with proper notation over one of my most fashionable, talented, and fucking awesome friends here in Portland, Miss Jimi Pop. About fucking time, I know.

To really get at the heart of it … one of the things I love most about Jimi is that she is so, so, so fucking cool, like, painfully cool, and yet still, one of the sweetest, most unassuming friends I have. Unlike me, her cool quotient is off the charts, but even though I don’t front a seriously kick ass local Portland band, or have an effortless sense of style that translates into second-hand retail sales, or make and successfully sell my own jewelry line, or have epic hair … ok wait, I do have epic hair, but even though I am lacking in all those other areas that would earn me textbook cool points, Jimi never makes me feel like anything less than her equal. If you live in a place like Portland, where “cool” reigns supreme, I’m sure you understand how rare and endearing a characteristic this is in a person of her caliber.

Ok, so meet Jimi:

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Ugh I know. I’ve written about her before a few times on this blog. Like, there was that one time I wrote about her because even though I’ve gotten really used to her being a blonde, she used to have babe-tastic raven black locks:

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Yeah, sorry, she’s totally taken too. By that handsome boy rocking some serious liner on the left, who acts as 1/6 of their band, Thanks. This is a primarily a fashion blog, but what fits better with fashion than rock n’ roll? Correct answer: not much.

The reviews are in … from me, Willamette Week, and the Portland Mercury … Thanks churns out some seriously growly, sexy, soulful music. They’ll soon be recording a full length album, but in the meantime, their EP, Silver Scars Will Be Our Constellations, is available on iTunes for less than $6. So, I mean, I’d check it out if I were you. They also play around Portland pretty frequently and put on a killer live show, so if you’re in the area, follow them on Facebook for upcoming events. Totally worth your while. They’re mega talented and also ALL SO ATTRACTIVE. It’s dumb.

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According to Jimi (omg I’m pulling notes from my once lost notebook! so exciting), she was always obsessed with R&B music – I have Mariah Carey and Boy II Men scrawled down so let’s go with that – and always wanted to be the girl doing runs in the background of said R&B.

And then … well then … I can’t really tell what happens! See for yourself …

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I mean, write your own story here people, and I’ll skip to the point in my notes where it clearly says she has a moment of revelation, exclaiming: “I was sitting in my car and I was like ‘Fuck that! I can sing!”

She goes on to tell me that not only did she realize she had a set of pipes, but she could also write. And since you’ve already gone and listened to the Thanks EP, you know how right she was about that.

Beyond Jimi’s talent, can I also point out the notable camaraderie inherent in this band? It’s tempting to assign Jimi a Gwen Stefani, front-woman stigma, however in this band, it’s anything but. They really actually truly all love each other and pull their weight and when they’re up there on stage your eye is equally drawn to all of them at any given moment. Someday I’ll write fashion profiles on each of them, but for now, let’s get back to Jimi and her fashion steez.

It’s enviable. Mostly because it seems so effortless. Bitch. Some people just got “It”, right?

You want any of these items? Cause they’re totally waiting for you to buy them from her leased space down at Red Fox Vintage’s newest location on Woodstock.

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Guess ankle booties/banana republic oatmeal sweater/dooney & bourke bucket backpack/vintage Abercrombie boyfriend jeans!!!
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“Uhhhmazing vintage Wilson’s leather front zipper pencil skirt/lady sized authentic fatigues. I might not be able to sell these… Space 36! Red Fox on Woodstock.” – Jimi
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Otello Pele thigh length leather vest/Mexico muscle crop tank/classic flannel
She excitedly mentioned to me over happy hour the other day that in her first week leasing this space, she had sold enough to cover her share of the rent AND make a profit. This obviously has something to do with the fact that, as she explains to me, she was born under a “Thrifting Star”. She’s always getting lucky and finding awesome goods. Clearly.
She also has a system she follows when searching for the racks at everyone’s go-to spot Goodwill (or as Jimi calls it, the Mothership): “I start in the shoes, then I move on to the bags, then the dresses, and then I’m warmed up enough to fuck with the shirts and stuff.” But she doesn’t do pants because … wait, I can tell you why, because trying on pants sucks. I mean you actually have to try them on most of the time and screw that. I fucking hate trying on pants, which is why I keep going back to buy the same pair in different colors and variations from Urban Outfitter. I don’t really know if that’s why she doesn’t thrift the slacks section, but it’s universally true enough that I’m going with it.

Oh and guess what, I’ve tried Jimi’s “system” and I am not born under a thrifting star. I know. It’s totally shocking. I never find shit. And I get impatient right around the “bags” part, which is why I collect books instead of clothes. Luckily, now that she has her own leased space, I can just go buy the stuff she picks out. Beats Internet window shopping, which is ALL I do these days. Then I decide to think about a purchase over drinks and next thing you know all the money set aside for clothes is spent on whiskey shots and tacos or something and … this is why I only write about other people’s fashion. Moving along …
The day we met for our interview she had just found these gems at Little Edie’s Five and Dime on N. Williams. Pretty perfect condition of course.
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And she had tie-dyed her own shirt.
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Oh and that jewelry? She made that. Her very own Old Tiger and Peach line. The name is a Charles Bukowski reference, so you know, that’s also hot.
I will take a crystal pendant please and I’ve always been a sucker for the geometric drop necklace too.
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All her jewelry is available on her Etsy site HERE and also at Rad Summer  on Burnside if you’re a local.
So – as you can see – Jimi does a lot of cool shit. And has great style. And is a great drinking partner. And is a totally rad girl. It was a no-brainer profile. I’m thankful she’s in Portland and not tromping around being ultra cool in New York or something.
I’m also thankful for Thanks. I’m excited to see where their future takes them – and I think it will be somewhere wonderful and exotic – so best see them now while you can still get all close and personal up in their shit.
And I think because she’s so nice to look at we’ll just end with some pretty photos! K? K. xoxo, Lou
Modeling for Sturnelle Collection – Photo by Em Bolles (you’ve read about her, right?)
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Dressed as Prince … I know, right?
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And finally being very Portland and very pretty with my FAVORITE GIRL NIKKI! Hi Nikki! We miss you.
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Clothes for Creeps

I have always been a creep. I was born on Halloween. The first adult book I ever read was Stephen King’s “Skeleton Crew”, which I found hiding under my older sister’s bed and which gave me nightmares for weeks, although I didn’t hate the nightmares – I loved them! I was fond of Hitchcock early on, adore slasher films, obsess over Argento, wish I was a witch, and try all the time to write the next great American horror novel. So – watch for that in like, 35 years.

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Anyway, point is, lately I’ve  sort of stumbled across clothing lines (with the help of Instagram) that cater to the inner creep in me. I realize that I could go full on goth, but if you read this blog ever, you know that I’m actually incredibly lazy with my own fashion. You gotta hand it to goths, they take a lot of time to look that awesome.

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No, for me, it is still mostly about jeans and t-shirts, which is why I’ve fallen for the items I can buy from places like San Francisco based Creepstreet.com.

I recently got really drunk and bought this t-shirt online. It was only $15 and well now that I’ve taken the plunge, I only want more!

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You and your friends are dead. GAME OVER! I definitely have to buy the following items from Creep Street:

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And more. Now go follow them on Instagram now and buy some shit too.

So, another funny story. There was this other time I got really drunk and went online shopping and bought this:

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Black Craft Cult

Oh yes. They have gems … and I’d be lying if I said many of them didn’t appeal to my cat-like sensibilities.

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You get the point. If you’re into it, you should also follow them on Instagram and check out their website.

So, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say. That I’m into it. And that I want more of this. And thank you to Black Craft and Creep Street for giving me some fun, creepy shit to buy when I’ve had enough booze to lower my buyers anxiety.

I’ve kicked it off, so now it’s your turn. Tell me who to follow on IG. Tell me more fun places to get more creepy shit!

xoxo, Lou

I Blame Loft Parties

Last thing I remember was taking a cab to our friend’s space in the Portland Storage Building. Ok, I mean, I remember more after that of course, kind of, but what I didn’t remember was where I left my notebook with all my CWPL ramblings and I’m just gonna go ahead and blame two things for this: 1. Jimi Pop and 2. The Blue Diamond.

Those two started it. I was just trying to interview the babe for a blog post and next thing I know I’m cabbing home at 4 am sans interview notes. She is my favorite and you can watch for her MUCH DELAYED article soon. Promise. Because I finally got that mother loving notebook back.

Until then, can we just talk about how I saw Spring Breakers this last weekend and have spent all my time since then singing Britney Spears songs and wishing I could wander around 24/7 in a bikini and some hi tops?? It’s bad.

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This was a surprisingly good movie, right? I mean I knew it would full of boobs and beer and blah blah, but what I didn’t expect was that James Franco would actually be enjoyable to watch and that the girl camaraderie would be so locked in. I mean it’s actually a really girl-friend centric movie and I would write more on this here, but I’ma need to watch it again first. Because let’s face it, I was dog ass tired sitting in that theater. Tired from partying. Honestly the last thing I wanted to do was watch other people party, even that sounded exhausting, but now looking back I am super pleased that it exceeded my expectations.

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Come on! Right? And as much as I am scouring the Dolls Kill website for neon, bud leaf motif, short shorts, I am also dying to do profiles on all of these actresses’ real life fashion because come on, you want to rip on Coachella-happy Vanessa Hudgens’s over-the-top hippie steez too, right?

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I don’t get it. Is the tambourine an accessory? Or does she actually know how to keep a beat with that thing?? Also I would get super annoyed with a purse that low, bumping on my knees and shit as I walk and stomp my feet to the beat of my tambourine, but fuck if I don’t want a fringe purse! I do. Really bad. Have my heart set on one. Will throw up a post about that too so you can see. But for now I’m going to keep looking at The Urban Realist for ideas on which bathing suit/kicks combination I like best …

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Peace out bitches. xoxo, Lou

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Arabella Salon

The trick about Arabella Salon on NE MLK in Portland is finding it. After heeding my excellent advice and making an appointment to see my girl Alex, I typically give friends directions that sound something like this: So it’s really hard to find, it’s pretty much a door, and there’s some graffiti around, and maybe it’s by an alley? But like, just look for the geese on the wall and then go through the door and walk up these stairs and open the door and you’re there.

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See it there? On the left?

Even though it can look a bit sketch from the outside, especially in the dark ass Portland winter, this salon quickly confronts its diffident exterior the moment you walk through the door and start up the steps.

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Taken from the top of the stairs looking back at that plain old gated door. Not bad, right?

And the charm doesn’t stop with that partially exposed brick, red walls, or chandelier either. The inside is equally absorbing with giant windows set against more exposed brick lining the front looking out onto MLK and only a handful of stylist chairs and no receptionist, the salon lends an inviting feel as if you’re supposed to be there.

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Notice – the wine, the adorable stylist stations – unique to each stylist and all with incredible vintage charm, and back there behind the shampoo bowls is where you enter.

There is a small waiting area in the center of the salon with comfortable couches and always updated magazines. And like I said, there’s no receptionist and no need to check in since all of the stylists there run their own show and know most of their clients by sight. And if you’re new and yet to get to know them, take comfort in the fact that they will know you on account of your newness, because regulars are so common – they will know you’re there for them simply on account of being a new face showing up at the appointed time.

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Photo Credit: Portland Mercury

There is also a very small jewelry case and art on the walls that rotates the wares of local Portland artisans – all of it for sale. It is a nice contrast to some salons that throw any old crap in their retail areas hoping just to make a sale. It is clear Arabella attempts to pick artists they think their clients might actually enjoy while also remaining very discreet about their showcasing.

I love this salon, it’s true, but I wouldn’t have ever discovered it if it weren’t for my girl, Alex. She is incredible. We met years ago when I worked as the receptionist at the Aveda salon where she got her start. And … Whatever I don’t need to say anything else about her other than she has phenomenal style, almost all of it mined from thrift stores, and has been doing my hair for … going on 5 years now?

She loves what she does and strives to stay educated about her craft, so even after 5 years, her methods and techniques for styling have evolved and I’m always really thrilled and proud of her when she shows me some weird new French technique she recently picked up at one hair show or another. Plus, she is just really fucking genuinely nice and sweet. And a total goofball.

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Alex being gorgeous.

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Alex showing off her effortless style.

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Alex getting drunk with yours truly.

So Arabella. It’s fucking awesome. And oh yeah, it’s stupidly eco-friendly of course, so you know, if you’re from Portland and obsessed with that like we all are by some sort of default of living here – then don’t fear. They even won an award for it. Read about their rad reputation here.

They were recognized as the winners of the Davines Premier Eco-Salon Contest. They were chosen over thousands of applicants in a world-wide competition and it’s no wonder why when you look at the list of green practices they promote in their salon (see link above).

Also can we just talk about Davines real quick? This is their primary product line and it’s embarrassing to admit, but I have no qualms about spending $25 each on a bottle of shampoo/conditioner. When I go back to my old school less expensive, but always all-organic stuff, I can feel the difference. So of course last night I splurged again on the good stuff.

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I’ve also used their “LOVE” shampoo/conditioner and I well, loved that too. Get it?

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Their hairspray is also the best. And I got a sample of this OI oil, but shit man, I wish I could have afforded an entire bottle last night. Smells SO good. Is SO awesome. Next time.

Oh right, ok, so should we look at my hair now? I started to lighten up my ends. That’s it. That’s what I did. But it’s a start to a process. I guess looking back on my hair post, I realized that while I might change it slowly, I still change it. And so I suspect 9 months from now, we will be looking at a whole different color of hair on this head.

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I like it, I like it, I love it! After all that fucking obsessing, I left a very happy customer. As always. Because Alex and Arabella seriously do so much to make me feel that way.

xoxo, Lou

Preview: Fashionable Friends

You know who doesn’t have problems changing their hair? My friend, Jimi. She went from black to blonde with nary an eyelash bat. See below.

Oh yeah, she also fronts an amazing local Portland band, Thanks, and makes totally swoon-worthy jewelry, and has some seriously killer style. She is all around awesome and lucky for you, she’s my friend so I can definitely drag her to happy hour this Friday and make her tell me all about all the things that I just know will give you a seriously hurtin’ girl-crush.

Honestly, one of the first times we ever sat down for drinks together, we talked about sending an old dildo to my mean ass old apartment neighbor. I love her. You will too. Watch for this next week. ❤

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I know. She still looks amazing … what a bitch.

xoxo, Lou

 

Break for: Portland Steez

It’s Jordan. She’s my style muse again. Whether it looks like she just woke up behind a couch the morning after her own house party(see here) or whether she’s all pretty pretty to get drunk with me … she looks fucking adorable. And oh so very Portland.

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Later on, we’re going to a party where her ex-boyfriend will be, which means when I snap her picture tonight, she’s going to look like a hot hussy! Can’t wait.

Happy Friday everyone!

xoxo, Lou