Saturday, October 27, 2007

Portland Fashion Week: Sustainable Independent Style

Portland Fashion Week wrapped up October 24th, and we were happy to be able to take in a few shows. Portland has long boasted a creative urban environment, so it made perfect sense for the city to jump into the fashion arena in 2003 with the first Portland Fashion Week. In a city known as the country's "#1 Sustainable City" and where many citizens have strong ties to nature, P-Town naturally chose to go with a theme of sustainability in fashion. Now the second longest running fashion week on the West Coast, PFW is specifically targeted towards eco-friendly and independent designers.Though following sometimes chaotic organization, this years PFW showcased an amazing selection of designers and styles for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2008 season. Not only eco-friendly, there was a general trend towards color, comfort, and wearability. Soft cleanly-cut pieces from the collections designers like Sameunderneath and Lizzie Parker will easily transition off the runway and onto the street this spring.
Pieces were bright and cheerful, with simple shapes and contours.We're looking forward to next season, but in the meantime we'll be featuring some of our favorite PFW designers. The Photographers were there and they've captured some great styles in their slide show.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Independent Designers Reach Out During Breast Cancer Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the time when many organizations come together to increase our awareness of breast cancer and encourage women to partake in early detection tests. For some time, the American Breast Cancer Society, Relay for Life, and many other organizations have joined with businesses of all kinds to offer stylish and chic products in support of breast cancer research. You have undoubtedly seen the hundreds of offerings this month for pink varieties of nail polish, lipstick, candles, pants, shirts, flower bouquets, and more. As many of the products have a high cost and the percentage of profit donated to the chosen fund often seems low, it’s easy to become both overwhelmed and unaffected by the promotions.

We’re happy to note, however, that big businesses aren’t the only ones teaming up for a cure this month. Independent designer fashion boutique MadieDeluxe, with its usual array of handmade and original bags and purses, is offering simple and sleek Pink wristlets and clutches. MadieDeluxe has partnered with the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation, and is offering silk bags embroidered with the word “Hope.” Ten percent of the proceeds will go to the foundation. Shop MadieDeluxe to find out more.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sustainable Fashion from Elroy Apparel

We’ve just discovered a new line of sustainable clothing that we love. Elroy Apparel is created by indie fashion designer Leanne McElroy. Created especially for the sophisticated health-conscious woman, this Canadian line features simple clean shapes with a feminine fit.

Leanne McElroy, a native of Vancouver, says her fashion sense began at the young age of 13. She began sewing her own garments to create pieces she couldn’t buy, later enrolling in the Helen Lefeaux fashion design program.

As a strict vegan, McElroy was easily swayed towards sustainable fashion when “organic” and “apparel” began to appear together. Wishing to give women the choice to put something healthy on their skin, McElroy saw that organic fashion centered primarily in the areas of yoga clothes and loungewear.

She set out to create style conscious fashions made from organic materials that women could wear in all aspects of their lives, whether at home, work, or play.

Elroy Apparel combines elegant, sleek shapes with natural materials like organic cotton and bamboo. We love that the pieces look like and sophisticated - perfect for polished career wear – and yet are casual enough to thrown on with jeans for an easy weekend. Shop Elroy Apparel at Paper Doll Independent Clothing Boutique.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Handcrafted clutches and bags from MIYO Design

Coming from a family craftswomen and seamstresses, Malia Okamura of MIYO Design has a long history of handcrafting bags and purses. With a degree in Applied Design from San Diego State University, Malia now puts her talents to work creating original purses, clutches, and accessories under the name MIYO Design. Her boutique bags are fun and functional, and her clutches are one-of-a-kind.

We love the red Record Clutch – made from actual vinyl. The former album is making a come back as a fashion adornment, and we couldn’t be happier to rock and roll with it!The vinyl Polka Clutch has hand-painted shimmering pink dots and a handcut bloom accent as decoration. Summer may be over, but the colorful Poppy Bag is just the right splash of bright to liven up your fall wardrobe and remind you of those luscious summer days at the beach. Small details and handcut flower petals make this bag a conversation piece.
For more great accessories that will make you smile, check out MIYO Design.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How to wear your ballet flats

Audrey Hepburn couldn’t have looked cuter when wearing dainty little flats. This year, the tiny shoe trend hit big when women began embracing the anti-wedge. You don’t have to be a prima ballerina to enjoy the comfort and youthful style of the ballet flat, but it was original dance solesters who brought back the ballet-style shoe. Now a wardrobe staple, the heel-less shoes were originally popular with older women because of the comfort they provided.

Modeled after the light leather slip-on shoes that dancers would wear, the flats began to rise in 2004. With the growing trend towards leggings and skinny jeans, original dance shoe makers like Repetto began taking their ware off the dance floor and into the street. Simple, elegant, and easier to walk in than the sexy stiletto, flats were quickly embraced due to their versatility and easy transition between daytime comfort and nighttime flare.
Evening Flats
It may seem counterintuitive to dress up your look by dressing down, but ballet flats are sophisticated enough to take you out at night and comfortable enough to keep you dancing. Choose flats in metallic colors, satin fabric, or with sequin details to spruce up a black wrap dress or pair with a shiny skirt.
Date Flats
You can look cute and flirty without feeling to girly if you wear flats with your next date attire. And it’s so much easier to stroll down the street, guy in hand, if you’re not worried about twisting your ankle in your new stilettos. Choose a bright color for your shoes – one that will complement your top and purse without matching the color exactly. Pick a different shade in the same color family to look right on, or adorn yourself in opposing colors and risk looking like you dressed in a rubbish bin. Complete the look with tight dark jeans. For an extra eye-grabber, pick flats with a pattern, embroidered detail, or buckle.
Afternoon Flats
For a lazy Saturday or an afternoon outside, choose a sunny shade like turquoise, yellow, or pink. Keep the patterns simple, and wear loose comfortable attire. A flowing skirt or tiny capris both look delicate with flats and are easy to move in during your afternoon activities.
Work Flats
Perfect for on the job, ballet flats are much more modern than your last pair of pumps. Choose basic black for more conservative attire or a solid color in a jewel tone for more creative work environment. Flats made from suede or canvas are great in the office and work well with slim pants or A-line skirts.