Holiday Gift Guide: DIY Creative Types
Posted on November 24 2013
Portland is full of DIY Creative Types, from our many talented fashion designers showcasing their collections in unconventional venues like Content at the Ace Hotel, to our Crafty Wonderland moms, Amy Sedaris-wannabees and general fiber nerds scrapping together any little thing their heart desires to sell on Etsy or in small pop-up holiday bazaars around the city. We love these people because they embody the spirit of the West and remind us how lucky we are to live here. 'Doing it my way' has always been a motto of mine, for better or worse, and I love that these people understand and appreciate Lille and have continued to support us over the years. Likewise, we continue to support independent designers and the little guys who are doing things differently, which usually means manufacturing in small quantities locally where workers are paid a fair, living wage, using environmentally-friendly dyes whenever possible, and hand-crafting garments with love, hoping they don't get knocked off by Big Corporate. The most successful of these lingerie entrepreneurs has to be Araks Yeramyan, whose gorgeous designs have been sold in some of the most exclusive boutiques around the globe for years. Her commitment to these principles is unflinching, and we join the leagues of young women just getting started in the design world who admire her immensely. Buying an Araks piece is a bit more of a splurge, but you can rest assured that your garment will stand the test of time. Her swimwear counterpart is definitely Malia Mills, whose motto, "Love thy differences," should be a daily mantra for all of us. Susan Beischel of Skin is another woman who stands by her principles to craft fine loungewear from the best organic materials in the world, going so far as to make her own textiles when they just don't live up to her expectations. This is why her ultra-soft, pima cotton lingerie has a cult following that is quickly growing in Portland. And speaking of comfy loungewear, relative newcomers Sloane and Tate have been making waves in the indie fashion scene, offering up lingerie for girls who don't usually like lingerie. We would be remiss if we didn't point out Daphne Javitch of Ten, whose steadfast devotion to quality control results in the production of our favorite cotton undies EVER. Finally, the ladies at Relique are getting a lot of attention for their amazing use of Japanese hand-dying techniques (shibori) and clever designs. To all of these women, and the many other pioneering ladies we haven't mentioned (Teo, Nikki and Maayan, Samantha, Helena and Kaya, Assya, Anais, Yasmine...the list goes on!) who work tirelessly to create something different, we salute you. I leave you with an inspiring documentary about keeping this flame alive well into your twilight years and wish you all a Happy Holiday!