Portland Fashion Week 2011 Day 1: The Emerging Designers Competition

It’s early October again, which means Portland Fashion Week (truncated to only 4 days this year) once again begins nightly runway shows down at Vigor Shipyard.  PFW is the only fashion week in the world that is entirely carbon neutral, and this year the runway is made entirely of PET textile provided by EarthTec.  Many designers are showcasing collections made not only of organic fibers, but also recycled plastic bottles, videotape, and locally-sourced and woven wool. (more…)

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Interview with Tiffany Gong of Six Six Sick

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing a well-known DIY diva…and the other day I was able to hook up with Tiffany Gong from the popular Six Six Sick blog (and group of the same name).  Back when I started my own blog, this one was one I was constantly checking – one of the authorities when it came to DIY, fashion, and fun.  Online since 2008, Tiffany and her good friend Christina Rodriguez first launched the blog to showcase their amazing Six Six Sick parties (which won PAPER 2007 Best New Party at the Nightlife Awards), high-fashion DIY’s, and to provide a window into a whirlwind world of New York nightlife, DJ’ing gigs, creativity, and droolworthy indie designer pieces.  The designers launched their jewelry line Triskaidekaphobia together last year, and continue to share their inspirations, ideas, and creations on their blog.

Could you give some background to both of you?  Did you both go to school for Fashion Design?

I actually went to Swarthmore College and studied Art History. After deciding I wanted to change careers and become a jewelry designer, I went back and got an Associates Degree in Jewelry Design at F.I.T.  Christina studied fashion design in college.

When and how did you two meet?

Christina and I met as interns at Anna Sui, and become quick friends from there!

How did Six Six Sick come about?  What were your goals with it?

It’s a very long story, but to be brief, it started as a party at Happy Endings a few years ago that my friends and I threw. We used to make our matching outfits every week for the party, and after a while I thought it would be fun to document the process, and our other DIY projects, so I started the blog. Along the way, it’s become a place to write about our jewelry line Triskaidekaphobia, or whatever I’m passionate about in fashion at the moment, and a place where I can support all my talented designer friends.

Triskaidekaphobia Saw Teeth and Human Teeth Double necklace, available here

You now have a line called Triskaidekaphobia, seen on celebrities and sold at retailers such as Kabiri, Revolve Clothing, and Screaming Mimi’s.  What goes into the design process?

A lot of different things go into the design process, but we start by going to the library and doing research on a theme that we’ve chosen, and then make an inspiration board filled with images surrounding that theme. After that, we start sketching and making the models for the jewelry, which are designed and developed as we go along.

I understand Christina used to have a line called Arms & Armory…could you tell me a little more about it?

Christina still designs the Arms & Armory line separately with her boyfriend James. You can see the collection on her website, www.armsandarmoryjewelry.com.
Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2011 Collection Dress

You also showcase a number of independent and emerging designers on your blog.  Any favorites in particular?

I have too many favorites to name, but my two ongoing obsessions are Mary Katrantzou and Rodarte. Also, I have plenty of love for all of my super-talented designer friends, who I will always go out my way to feature on the blog.

Are there certain techniques or details you love in fashion – or replicating in DIY?

As a jewelry designer, I feel like 95% of costume jewelry out there is DIYable and easy to replicate.  DIY clothing projects require a little more time, knowledge and experience to get it done properly. I prefer to do DIYs of things that I know how to replicate proficiently, like knitwear.

How would you describe your style(s)?

I don’t know if I would describe my style in any particular way, except that it is always inspired by whatever I feel particularly into at the moment.  Slightly off-kilter, never perfect.

DIY Gareth Pugh Boots

What camera are you shooting with?

Canon EOS Digtal.

What would be a “typical day” for you?

Since I work for myself, my day and my schedule vary depending on what needs to get done. Typically I meet up with Christina in the afternoon and we work, and then I get my blogging done in the evening. During the week, there are also press events, and of course our own parties that happen at night, and this usually occupies about 3-4 nights a week.

Has blogging helped accomplish things or opened doors that you might not have found otherwise?

While blogging has definitely opened doors and introduced opportunities that probably wouldn’t have been available otherwise, I think the most incredible thing that’s come out of blogging is meeting so many incredible people–particularly other bloggers.  I feel very lucky to be part of a community of like-minded individuals, and have developed some great friendships.

Thanks so much for the interview, Tiffany!

Please check out the Six Six Sick blog if you’d like to know more about up-and-coming designers, visit a number of showrooms and drool at the covetable pieces within, follow Christina and Tiffany to the events and parties they attend, stay abreast of developments in their line Triskaidekaphobia, and devour posts on the most amazing DIYs that they share!



All photos from the Six Six Sick blog and used with permission.

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Wardrobe Ave $50 Site Credit Giveaway

Heard of Wardrobe Ave? New on the scene of e-commerce sites selling direct from designers, this growing e-tailer has something for everyone on its pages.

They sell an array of chic and covetable items, all from independent designers, small boutiques and vintage sellers. The platform allows you to shop directly from the designers or shops, and they ship worldwide.

I, for one, am drooling more than a bit over the JANICE white ruffled dress and the Tree Branches Chiffon Scarf.

To help ring in the New Year, Wardrobe Ave has graciously partnered with Chic Steals to offer a $50 credit to their site to one lucky winner!

One lucky Chic Steals reader will win a $50 in credits to WardrobeAve.com!

How to Enter

1. Visit WardrobeAve.com and leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d buy if you won. (1 entry)

2. Tweet this giveaway. Leave a SEPARATE comment on this post with the link to your tweet! (tweet as many times as you’d like for additional entries)

However, if you do not keep your additional entry comments separate from your required entry comment, they WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

Giveaway open to anyone in the world!!
Giveaway period is open from today until Sunday, Jan. 16, 11:59 PM PST.
Winner chosen by Random.org and notified by email.

Also: Wardrobe Ave is currently running a 20% OFF Coupon Code promotion:

Take 20% off their ENTIRE store using code WARDROBE through now through January 31!

Good luck in the giveaway! and even if you aren’t the lucky winner there’s still that promo to take advantage of!


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Portland Fashion Week Day 2: Seattle Designers, Art Institute Grads, and Catapult Competition

Backtracking a little bit to last month’s Portland Fashion Week…since I wasn’t able to post coverage immediately afterwards since I was in France sans internet access.

But on the day of – October 7 – I was not able to get any runway shots.

I only was in the lobby and did not receive clearance to shoot the show.  Over-capacity, apparently.  Whatever!  I saw Seth Aaron stumble and jam himself in the crotch with one of those poles holding up the red velvet ropes, which was all worth it.  (Okay, I’ve probably done the same thing too a thousand times.  I hate those ropes!)

So all the photos below are alllllll courtesy of my wonderful friends from OSI Photography (who, by the way, shot all my photos for the America’s Most Stylish Blogger competition last year – if you ever need an awesome, professional photographer – they’re the ones to go to!)

The shows Thursday night were separated into segments; the first, Cardi Wrap by Kymaro.

If you notice – the tops are all the same garment!  The soft, figure-flattering Cardi Wrap can be worn over 50 ways with its coordinating accessories.

Segment 2 housed the Seattle designer shows, with Lizzie Parker, Jesica Milton, and WyattOrr.

Lizzie Parker

Jesica Milton

Wyatt Orr

The Art Institute of Portland Fashion Show was third in the line-up, with designs by J. Calderon, Sophie Chang, Mihaela Munteanu, Melissa Gaynor, and Johanna Lindstrom.

J. Calderon (menswear)

Sophie Chang Bridal

Mihaela Munteanu

Melissa Gaynor
Johanna Lindstrom

 I really want that first silvery-grey jumpsuit.  I have no idea where I’d wear it exactly, but I still really want it.;-)

The fourth and final segment, entitled Catapult, showcased the Emerging Designer Competition Runway Show.

Devonation  Originally hailing from China, Devon Yam Berrong began his career as an artist .  His watercolor pieces have appeared in numerous publications and boutiques – and his debut collection for men and women for Spring/Summer 2011 contained more than 50 pieces.

Anar Couture  The name Anar is the designer’s first name spelled right-to-left as it would be in her native language; Rana Ghezelayagh (“ge-zell-ah-yahk”) was born in Iran and used all Iranian fabric in her first collection.  Many pieces can be worn in multiple ways to expose more or less skin depending on the wearer’s mood – and the lining fabrics were all exquisite and beautifully-colored contrast in contrast to the sleek outers.


Nelli Millard, who showed last year as part of NelliDru designs (and got flak for her “Michaels wedding dress,” “truly awful” website, and serious lack of design taste from the Portland Mercury), showed a collection with Russian-inspired coats, lame-coated dresses and jackets, and a beautifully-detailed crochet top and fringe skirts, showing growth and maturity compared to her last collection.

Catapult Winner Ms Wood, a Portland-based husband-and-wife team, showed a series of chic kimono wrap tops and dresses, accented with walnut, maple, and paduke wood platform shoes and accessories – all reclaimed from cabinet-makers.  The leather was all recycled from old leather jackets.

As the winner of Catapult, Ms. Wood will receive be featured in a full collection show at Portland Fashion Week 2011, a lookbook shoot with models provided by Ryan Artists, photography by Fashion Wire Press NY, and lookbook graphic design and marketing by 24Notion.

 Bracelets, earrings, a hand-mirror, and the wood-platform shoes with recycled leather ties.
 A cabinet piece after it’s been routed and used for Ms. Wood pieces.
The beautiful wrap-tie shoes.
Designers Alicia and Ben Wood. (last 4 photos taken by me)

What do you think?  Any of the designs catch your eye?


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30 Days of Outfits Challenge: Day 6

Convertible Blouson top: handmade by me.  Rhinestone Friendship Bracelets: handmade by me.  3-strand Hairband: Target.  Rhinestone Studs: Claire’s.  Diamond Wedding Ring: Vintage.  Dark Rinse Skinny Jeans: Paris Blues.  Pointy Suedette Slouch Boots: Payless.

So it’s Day 6 of my 30 Days of Outfits Challenge: November 6.

Today I have to take Lil Tot to a birthday party in Vancouver, WA (about an hour away from where we live).  It’s a party at a place filled with bouncies and activities, and I think that I’m going to have to go in/on some of them to help Lil Tot along.  Thus, I have to wear something that allows for a lot of movement, and have to keep the jewelry minimal.  Plus I have to drive an hour to get there. So, this necessitates a kinda boring outfit.

I made the top out of 3 sweatshirts following the instructions in the book “Kakkoii Couture Remake.”  I adapted the tutorial to Western sizing and changed a bit of the methodology.  Here is my version.  I love the blouson effect to the top – and that it can we worn as a top or a skirt, and upside-down!  (Click the link above to check out how many different ways it can be worn.)

The friendship bracelets I actually made…more than 20 years ago when they were in style!! (I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long since I was in elementary school.  Can it be…?)  I happened to hold onto my friendship bracelets…and guess what!!?!  They’re back in style.  Well, thanks to the brand Frieda & Nellie, who has burst on the scene with a line of friendship bracelets embellished and intertwined with with rhinestones and vintage bracelets.

Just lovely, and such a wonderful update on an old trend! 

I made mine this morning with some of my old bracelets from back in the day, with some bits or rhinestone chain and closures I had sitting around in my jewelry-making drawer.  If you don’t happen to have your own friendship bracelets laying around just begging to be re-used, you can find every. pattern. EVER! for making friendship bracelets here.  (LOVE this site and can’t wait to make some more bracelets following their instructions!!)

My new favorite 3-strand headband from Target.  Love that it has chain in it!  I also added Navana Wig-brand clip-in hair extensions for my long ponytail.

In other news, I have a fabulous treat coming up for you guys soon – in the form of a BRAND-NEW tutorial from someone I really respect – can’t wait to share!

 I think I’m going to have to do some leaf-raking soon!!


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