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September 26th, 2007

Portland’s fashionable upbringing

The Portland fashion scene has always held its own.  From its unique boutiques featuring local designers to department stores carrying major brands, Portland has definitely made its mark in the eyes of fashion.  As with most every locale, cities go through many changes throughout the years from their inception to their present-day character, and Portland is no exception.

Lately the Portland transformations have been more expansive, and largely for the better.  Locations that used to fall under the radar with little attention and even less funding toward up-keep are getting total makeovers complete with artsy coffee shops and candlelit restaurants.  Of course with any addition of coffee shops or restaurants, you must have clothing stores to walk to in order to build up an appetite for the offered morsels.  There are now more micro-neighborhoods exploding with unique clothing lines and peculiar accessories that are just waiting for a body to adorn.

Alberta, Irvington, Belmont, Hawthorne and Overlook are brimming with new stores that my eyes eagerly look over in the hopes of one day entering.  I have a list of ‘found’ stores I keep in my over-sized everyday bag that are waiting to be explored.  It is difficult not stopping the car every other block in this fashion-forward town, but I manage (mostly because I am already 15 minutes late to meet my friend for white wine on the boardwalk and if I stop for one store I have to stop for them all, and that 15 minutes of tardiness will most definitely turn into hours. See, I do care about my friend’s well-being. Oh, at times it is so hard being a shameless fashionista!).

One of my newly discovered favorites is Garnish on the 1500 block of Alberta, (good news Seattle—she will soon be opening an additional store in your neck of the woods!).  Using only the finest of fabrics, Erica Lurie creates timeless pieces that are beautiful in their simplicity, though when sauntering through her store you will frequently find little notes hanging from her tops, skirts, and dresses begging one to “Please ask us about embellishing this item!”  This is when Erica’s simplicity can become a personal venture of which she is more than willing to be an accomplice.  Erica has a vast sensibility toward her environment and making the Garnished experience truly unique for her customers—not to mention a ton of fun.

I can’t wait to continue on my Portland fashion explorations.  And of course, I will keep you privy to all my new finds.  Onward fashionistas!

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