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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Goodwill Hunting

Is that the name of that movie?

Even if it’s not, it’s what I’ve been unintentionally doing. And lo and behold, unintentionally succeeding at! (In my personal opinion of course.) Except ultimately it’s done a great thing in that it’s taught me that you don’t have to be a killer fashionista to find shit at Goodwill that is just as cool as shit you would find online or at some mall. In fact there’s way less pressure because you’re spending $10 on cashmere instead of $11o.

This is important for me because, being as saddled with student loan debt as I am, spending money has always been a major commitment for me. I’ve never been a frivolous shopper for the mere fact that I literally wasn’t able to be a frivolous shopper. Unless, it turns out,  I get a decent raise and I’m at Goodwill and I’m buying stuff that doesn’t matter for the same reason that it costs the same amount of money at Goodwill as it does if I were spending it at some burrito cart the second I find myself stuck at work on a Thursday morning with a massive hangover.

Ok so let’s see.

I got a sweater I really love and that I actually think I will wear. I’ve always, ok for like 4 months I’ve struggled with that fashion “nail in the coffin” where I want to wear shit that doesn’t actually suit me. You know? I really am happiest in jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and simple stuff like that. I suppose the key is focusing in on how to maximize that.

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This sweater  seems like something I’d wear all the time. Awesome. It’s 100% cashmere and blue and has awesome buttons and was made in Scotland and I’m pretty sure I think it’s awesome, which is bound to translate well. Oh, and it cost me $10.

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The print on this sweater is made of bunnies. It’s pretty cute. And always makes me pretty happy when I look at it in the middle of the day. AND it’s good for work, so sometimes that’s great as well. Oh and it was $6.

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Ok. I had this backpack I really loved that I got off the free table at my last apartment. I didn’t even want a backpack. I just found one and I thought it was great so I started using it all the time. Then, when the strap on that one broke, I felt sort of lost.

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This was that backpack.

Then, when my bf needed a backpack … this is a long story. Fact is … I found this cute purse for $6 at Goodwill the other day and it was awesome because … it was comfortable and cute. Just like my cat …

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That’s a $10 100% cashmere crop-top I found at Goodwill. 100% cashmere cropped tops kind of confuse me, but I do think they’re cute and I will, I believe, find the perfect evening to wear this.

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And more purse.

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Let’s see. I also found this mug for $2. I certainly didn’t need a new mug, but … come on.

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And oh shit. Speaking of tumble-upons. I decided for $5 to read Rob Lowe’s autobiography.

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And there. I guess I’ve gone and successfully summed up a trip to Goodwill with me. All for like … $39.

xoxo, Lou

Fashionably Late

See what I did there? So, a couple of Saturdays back, maybe a few at this point since I’ve been hardcore sick and hardcore procrastinating, I spent the day with my lovely friend, Miss Emily Bolles. She recently started an Etsy endeavor (now on virb.com) to house and sell her own personal picks for best vintage pieces around Portland.

It was a no brainer to help her model some of these timeless pieces, which you can find for sale on her website at: http://sturnellecollection.virb.com/

Here’s a little preview of me showing you what you can buy there.

Pretty obsessed with this amazing crop top:

Vintage 100% cotton cream colored crop tank $32

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Also awesome: Women’s vintage pastel blue lambswool/angora rabbit hair sweater by Marnie West $52

Did I mention it’s lambswool/angora rabbit hair? So soft, such a pretty blue. Wear this one on a date to the shake shack.
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To the point: Women’s vintage Hathaway blue and white vertical striped long-sleeved button-up collard shirt $38

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And so on and so forth. But before I show you more of her aesthetic, I wanted to talk about the woman behind the scenes – buyer, photographer, …awesome, awesome drinking buddy.

When I met Em Bolles she had a job seating the visitor elite at Portland’s trendy Clyde Common by night and was a babe-a-licious substitute teacher by day – something she still does in between gigs at another new Portland hotspot, Tasty and Alder, and between her time slangin vintage goods for Sturnelle Collection.

The name Sturnelle comes from the latin “Sturnelle Neglecta” meaning Western Meadowlark aka Portland’s state bird. But don’t you dare get all put a bird on this midwestern girl. She’s from Wisconsin (Midwest represent) and has had a love of birds since she was a little girl. So there.

The name perfectly embodies a personal flare and the state she now calls home. It’s also the place she finds the clothing to stock the virtual shelves of Sturnelle Collection.

Palace on SE 34th, Rock n’ Rose on E. Burnside, Magpie on SW 9th, and Good ol’ Goodwill, rank as some of her favorite places to find quality vintage goods that she’s able to repurpose, alongside modern day fashion picks, into relevant looks that, as she says, “won’t cost you a shit ton”.

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Vintage Red Eugene Rodier stretch pencil skirt $40 

Two months after leaving her job at Clyde Common, Emily realized she had more time to devote to creative pursuits such as fashion and photography.

“I got into vintage clothing because of the history, because of the place it takes you when you look at it. Sometimes this can be hard to incorporate into a modern day wardrobe so for me it was a question of, how do I appreciate these clothes? How do I fit this history into now?”

She also admits that the photography involved in showcasing the clothes was a large part of her decision to pursue an online shop.

“Learning to take photos of people – that’s a huge part of it. How do I turn the clothes into a story that the pictures tell?”

What’s not a huge part of it?

“The shopping!” She laughs. “The shopping is probably my least favorite part of it even though I do think I’m good at picking things out.”

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Vintage Pendleton dark blue and grey pinstripe high-waisted 100% wool pencil skirt $50 

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Vintage silk dark brown pure silk button-up long-sleeved blouse $38

I asked her to give me three words to describe Sturnelle Collection. Her hesitation proved demure as she launched into a confident list:

“Classic, Quality, and Fresh.”

Looking at her collection, these adjectives certainly do seem to lend an ongoing theme only bolstered by her residence in Portland. Not only does she have access to incredible vintage clothing stores, she also has connections that sometimes lend themselves to amazing photography locations, like The Cleaners event space at the Ace Hotel , where we had our photo shoot on an unnaturally nice, summer-like day in the midst of Portland winter.

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The Cleaners

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Let there be light!

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Buying her model lunch xoxo

Working with her on a professional level is easy and fun. She’s low stress about her shoots and really seems to work with what she’s got at any given moment. The day consisted of lunch from Clyde Common (which also occupies space next to the Ace Hotel), Stumptown coffee galore (um yep, also right there … this is a really hip block), and plenty of loud ass hip hop to keep us motivated.

At one point, she dragged me to try some shots outside, and yeah, I said it was unusually warm, but it wasn’t that warm and she had no qualms about asking me to double bra and tape my nipples, which yeah I did … all for this top:

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Women’s vintage navy blue sleeveless flawy top $28 This top was comfortable as fuck.

Which can I just say was totally worth it because look at that wall. It was perfect! Perfectly urban too as I was surrounded by like, bum pee and old Wendy’s bags, but that’s what made the day so extra fun. The girl has a knack for finding spots and an adventurous side that leads her to them.

I don’t get the sense Emily is in any hurry to abandon all her days  jobs to focus on Sturnelle, but watching her work, I don’t get the sense she needs to. She has an ease about her business sense that allows her to indulge in the creative pursuit while still holding down jobs that pay the bills … a skill many young people today strive for. And with clothes as cute as hers, she doesn’t need much more than that.

Oh … and did I mention she provides stuff for the menfolks as well?

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Men’s vintage Arrow Bradstreet vertical white and blue striped button-up collared dress shirt $40

At this point, I think we should enjoy a few more photos before I tell you where you can stalk this babe on all the social media sites.

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Remember my jewelry post? And remember when I mentioned Emily has connections? Well check out her custom BLTN necklace and try not to hate her too much for owning such a gorgeous gem.

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Ew – she encouraged me to try fried oysters. I didn’t die. Or barf. In fact it was quite good.

Ok – so do you want to know where to stalk her now???

Here’s where you can buy her steez: http://sturnellecollection.virb.com/

Here’s where you can go “Like”  her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SturnelleCollection?fref=ts

Instagram, of course: @sturnellecollection

And here is where you can look at her fashion porn: http://sturnellecollection.tumblr.com/

My next Portland fashion showcase is the really really beautiful babe that has done most of my tattoos, Olivia Britz. Did I mention she’s a babe? See ya next time for that and until then – go stalk Sturnelle.

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xoxo, Lou