• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

EW! A Blog.

August 28, 2010 01:48 PM

We've been so focused on Best of Eugene voting that this one almost snuck by me: Eugene band Adventure Galley is one of the six finalists in MySpace's Rock the Space 2 contest. Six finalists! Out of 17,000 entries! That's pretty nifty. The band's entry into the contest is "Addict"; their contest page currently has more than 27,000 pageviews, which is well above four of the other bands — and well behind the 394,000 pageviews boasted by a duo with a corny power ballad as their entry.

Adventure Galley stands to win a load of Fender gear, a recording contract and, I imagine, a decent dose of national attention. A goofy video on the contest page has them playing on the roof of the Lorax Manner and talking about why they want to win. Their Franz Ferdinand-esque, Killersy song is a catchy little number, pretty accurately described by the first press quote on their MySpace page: "Reminiscent of so many bands of yesteryouth, muddled with our generation’s lazing indie spirit."

In an email, drummer Brock (the fellas go by one name apiece, it seems) writes, "Out of all the finalists, we are the only one from the entire Pacific Northwest, so we are kind of representing the Northwest's music scene to the 100,000s who have visited the contest's site. We need votes to win the final round so we are trying let people know about it so they can listen and vote, and support Eugene's local music scene on a national scale."

You heard the man. Go out and vote! The voting period ends on Aug. 30, and you only get one vote, unless you're some crazy geek with a driving need to fool the system. In which case I'm sure you'll figure out some way to get around that.

August 26, 2010 04:58 PM

The Jazz Station — the small, all-ages downtown performance space that's made a home on Broadway between Willamette and Olive for five years — is getting bigger. In a letter sent to Jazz Station members on Monday, board president Chris Orsinger announced the news: The "new, improved" Jazz Station is expected to open in January at 124 W. Broadway, in a space leased from Lord Leebrick and nestled between the theater company and DIVA.

The volunteer-run Jazz Station will remain an all-ages venue. The new space allows for the addition of a rehearsal room and a backstage "green room" for performers.

This weekend, the Jazz Station is one of the downtown venues hosting music for the Eugene Celebration. Stop in and check 'em out before they get bigger! Here's the venue's lineup for the EC:

Friday, Aug. 27
6-8 pm: Souljazz

Saturday, Aug. 28
Noon-2 pm: Zenith Quintet
3-5 pm: Jazz Singers' Showcase
6-8 pm: Joe Manis Trio

Sunday, Aug. 29
4-6 pm: Jazz Station Jam

August 21, 2010 05:41 PM

Nathan Fillion, right, and Jon Huertas in the Arcimoto Pulse prototype

It's not every day that you might spot Captain Tightpants Nathan Fillion cruising the streets of Eugene in a locally built electric car prototype. The current Castle star (and hero to many a nerdy girl and boy thanks to his roles in Joss Whedon's Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) Twittered about Arcimoto's Pulse just a few weeks ago — posting "I found it! I found my spaceship! It's real and I'm getting it!" — and today arrived in town to test-drive said spaceship.

Fillion and his Castle costar Jon Huertas took the Pulse out for a spin (tailed by a posse of men with cameras, shooting footage to use in promoting the Pulse), took photos with fans (some of whom drove down from Portland in hopes of meeting him) and headed to Pizza Research Institute for pizza and beer while the car charged up for a second run. Arcimoto president Mark Frohnmayer invited me to join them as he, Fillion, Huertas, and other Arcimoto staff discussed the Pulse's specifics and, inevitably, everyone's love for Firefly. I didn't directly interview Fillion (to whom I was never introduced to as an EW writer), but listened as he told stories about his favorite Firefly horse, Fred; answered questions about the Pulse for his more than 600,000 Twitter followers; and generally seemed enthusiastic about Arcimoto's commuter car, which his costar described as "like driving a shark."

More to come just as soon as I can get some transcribing done! Look for a longer story soon!

August 18, 2010 01:50 PM

I can't decide which gave me a bigger squee in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: the tinkling fairy fountain music from Zelda? Or Nega Scott's super-resemblance to evil Link. Or maybe ... no ... yes ... I CAN'T PICK!

(You read and watch enough Scott Pilgrim, you'll start being indecisive in all caps too, OK?)

ANYWAY, to my delight, the OC Weekly jumped on the question of Just How Many Video Game References Are There in This Movie, Anyway? They didn't catch 'em all, but the commenters to this blog post have been pretty helpful in that regard.

I totally want to play Ninja Ninja Revolution.

August 16, 2010 01:35 PM

Editor's note: This one slipped right by me, but I figured better late than never. Here's frequent EW contributor Vanessa Salvia on Jucifer, who play tonight! Short notice is no excuse for not leaving the house!

Between the 51 concert-going years Ed and I have between us, we reckon we’ve seen as many bands as there are grains of sand on the Oregon coast. Many of them were forgettable. Some of them quickly became mythic experiences that came alive again each time people start talking about music.

Jucifer is one of those bands for both of us. Some of our stories — like the time Ed’s overly-martini-ed friend stumbled onto Jucifer’s RV, which was parked in front of Indigo District, and got bitten by one of their dogs — may not be quite as hysterical to read in print as it is if you are having a beer or trading anecdotes at work. But when the discussion veers to music, it’s easy to pick out Jucifer from among the many bands we’ve seen that provide a performance worth talking about.

The first time I saw them, I spent money I hadn’t planned on parting with to take home Jucifer’s debut LP, Lambs, and later raved to Ed about this amazing band he missed out on. Since then, we’ve had a competition between us for the title of most Jucifer experiences.

My first experience with Jucifer live on stage was the last night of the original John Henry’s club. If memory serves, it was Friday, May 3, 2002: They had to close so the building could be razed by St. Vincent de Paul for an apartment complex. At that time I had no idea what Jucifer’s music was like, but when Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood took the stage, it was like a dam breaking, sweeping us away on a river of sound. The two of them played in front of a wall of bass amps and speakers stacked from floor to ceiling — equipment I had wrongly assumed was to be shared among the four bands playing on that night’s bill.

I thought that as each band played they would take their stuff and carry it away or stack it back up, but it wasn’t until Jucifer played that I realized that no one else was touching any of the stuff. It was Jucifer’s own arsenal. It was like standing in front of a giant rock and roll wind tunnel, an effect added to by the fact that Livengood played with a large fan blowing his hair around. Wearing a vintage dress and Twiggy-style pale face make-up and dramatic eyes, Valentine crooned in angelic whispers and devilish gutteral utterances. Livengood's arms never stopped wailing the entire time they were playing. With surprising subtlety and personality, given their massive sludgy sound, Valentine's angelic voice floated over the top of crushing drums, then quickly shifted gears into a monstrous groove, with Valentine growling like a death metal goddess. They were incredibly loud and we in the audience were witness to a rare and unbridled display of energy. Anybody who gets lucky enough to see them play “44: Dying In White” from their first album, Calling All Cars to the Vegas Strip, will see an instantaneous creation of more forward momentum than two mere mortals should be capable of.

Since then and the half-dozen other times we’ve seen them play, our appreciation for their creativity and dedication to their music has deepened, even as they’ve experimented with their sound and dynamic over the years. Their newest album, Throned In Blood, their seventh, came out in April. Their previous album, L'autrichienne, was a sprawling concept album that utilized everything from pianos to horns. On Throned In Blood, the duo returns to using just their primary instruments. Decibel magazine calls it their masterpiece, and “a religious experience.” Go see Jucifer’s show at Oak Street Speakeasy tonight and see if they don’t quickly become one of those bands you too just can’t stop talking about.

Jucifer, Parade of Storms and Kemosabe play at 9 pm Monday, Aug. 16, at Oak Street Speakeasy. 21+. $5.— Vanessa Salvia

August 13, 2010 02:01 PM

As promised, here's the fourth of a series of longer Q&As with the designers featured in this week's fashion issue. More to come!

Marcia Knee, 52 (and Norman Lent, 58)

Tell me about what kind of clothes you focus on.
Wrestling wear.

Is that your main focus, or do you do that as part of your job and then there’s the ... it seemed like the stuff that Laura was showing me at Redoux was not so much the wrestling wear but maybe some other things that you’re working on?
There was some ... well, what I wanted to do was — I’m pretty much housebound because I have panic disorder, but I’ve been in the sewing industry for a really long time. Norman’s boss’s daughter was taking some classes at Redoux, so I went down there to check it out and decided I’d make a few things to put in the store, and the she [Laura Lee Laroux] called me to do the fashion show.

So what kind of stuff will you have in the fashion show?
It ranges from full gown to steampunk to what they call fruits, and ..

What’s fruits?
It’s a Japanese trend. And then Lolita and gothic. So, it’s a little span.

(Read more...)

That’s a pretty broad range of stuff. Can you talk a little bit about the wrestling, your job working on wrestling stuff?
Wrestling’s not a job. Norman used to own the Paradise City Café and he had the swimwear store down at the mall, so there was a lot of Lycra spandex left over. So I’ve been teaching him how to sew and he’s been making tights and we have quite a few pro wrestlers — it’s not the WWE, but they are pro, and we make a lot of stretchy spandex pants.

How did you get into that? Because you had the material left over, or ... it seems like kind of an unusual thing to do.
We were selling — we had a few swimsuits left over and were selling them, and a couple people said, Oh, do you have some jammers? Can you make jammers? And so I started making jammers. Then a weightlifting person contacted Norman and asked if they could do tights ... and then we made the tights. And that guy sent more guys and then people just started coming.

How long have you been sewing? Making clothing?
Thirty years.

So this is your full job — you don’t have a day job.
No, I don’t have a job. I’m just doing this — it was a hobby thing, and then I wanted to pass on what I know to other people, and so far, the only taker was Norman.

How did you get into the steampunk-Lolita-gothic kind of stuff?
In 1980 I brought the first tattoo art to market with the ASR, the Action Sports Retailer, and they said that it would never take off and there’d never be a thing such as surf punk. I started out with Life’s a Beach, which is No Fear, and I had teamed up with .... his name was Mark Kaufman but, oh — Mad Marc Rude. He did all the original flyers for like the Misfits, the Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks and stuff like that. And so we printed up a whole bunch of his art onto fabric and started making surf clothes [under Life’s a Beach]. And then I went up to Los Angeles and worked with my friend for a while that had a label called LAX ... and so I’ve been in the surf industry a long time.

How did you get from surf to steampunk? Is it just a natural progression?
Well, I have a lot of years in theater. I can’t even remember my life.

Where do you draw the inspiration for this stuff from?
Um, just in my head. See, everything that’s out now is just regurgitated and changed a little. So, you know, punk has become Lolita, and goth is just a softer, flowing version of punk. So it’s all the same.

How many pieces are you doing for the fashion show?
I’m going to try and do 15. This is my big bang.

Is there a focus, or is it all kinds of different stuff?
It’s all across the board. I figured if it’s going to be a show, I’m going to try to do some big pieces, some fun stuff.

Such as?
Well, I’m one of these people who wait until the last minute. We have some spandex with big boots, some big skirts, there’s gonna be some big, big skirts, and we’re gonna try and do some wings if I can. I’m gonna try. I haven’t done them yet.

Do you do stuff for Faerieworlds, Burning Man, things like that? Do you think your clientele buys for things like that?
On Norman’s internet site they’ve bought heavily for Burning Man.

What’s the site?
It’s Spandex Body. It’s just an eBay thing.

So you sell your stuff on eBay and at Redoux. Is there anywhere else that it’s available?
Kitsch. Because it’s more a hobby, because I’m kind of agoraphobic, so this is major, for me to show up at the show.

Is there anything else that you want to talk about with regards to your stuff? It’s an amazing history, with all kinds of different clothes.
Well, I started out — OK, I started out doing the Del Mar Fair and making side split pants and thse really short hot pants. And then I started doing bikinis. I used to sew them on the boardwalk, with a sewing machine on the boardwalk, while people waited. This was in the ’70s. So they pay their money and then they come back 45 minutes later and they have their swimsuit. Swimsuits were different than they are now. And then I just progressed into learning how to pattern, and I’ve gotten really good at patterning, so I became a patternmaker and I did, I think, six years at the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. And then I just did costuming and different things.

The name of your label is Piranha, is that correct?
I’ve been Piranha since 1979.

Do you do stuff on commission? Do people come to you for specific items?
I have in the past. The most I’ve ever gottn for something was $6,000 for a wedding dress.

You’ve just made the one wedding dress?
I’ve made a few. But... I like to pattern-make.

It’s your one last show?
Yeah. It’s my one and only.

You’ve never done a show like this before?
Oh, back in the old days. Way back, I used to do it all the time.

So why this one particular show?
Because I’ve been housebound and haven’t done anything in years, and it’s a waste of creativity and I was hoping that maybe someone would see that I can make stuff and I could pass on some knowledge to someone that’s interested.

So you’re sort of an ad for an apprentice, it sounds like.
Oh, just young kids who really want to learn.

Piranha is available at Kitsch and the Redoux Parlour.

August 13, 2010 02:50 PM

As promised, here's the sixth and final piece in a series of longer Q&As with the designers featured in this week's fashion issue.

by Rebecca Fischer, 34

What kind of clothes do you focus on?
I really like tailored clothing. I like — I don’t like serging. I like French seams and linings and very finished clothes. I like things that fit. I really like historical patterns of the 1890s, but I want to take elements of that and mix it into things that people might actually wear rather than sew for SCA or something like that. Stylisticaly, I really like those looks but I don’t put them together in historically accurate ways, I’d say.

So it’s a little anachronistic?
A little anachronistic. That works.

How long have you been designing clothes?
A really long time. I used to do the patchwork hippie dresses, back in the day. I’ve done a lot of embellishment, embroidery, surface decoration. I spent some time designing bags. I designed a baby carrier.

So you have a broad array of things that you make.
Yeah. I’ve been sewing since I was 12, so.

(Read more...)

Do you have a day job, or is this what you do?
I was a stay at home mom, homeschooling mom, for 11 years. My kids are 10 and 6. So that’s what I was doing. I didn’t work. After — well, then I had the baby carrier business. ... So right now I’m sewing and I’m working in a bakery, a part time job in a bakery. So I get up at 4 in the morning three days a week and I work a five to ten shift, and then I go home and feel like I should be starting my day, but I’m exhausted. It’s really weird.

That does sound pretty strange, like you’d be out of sync with the rest of the world.
It is a little bit, and then the days I don’t go, I try to slip back into my normal pattern, which is stay up and sew all night. It really doesn’t work.

From where do you draw your inspiration?
Well, from I guess from historical patterns and clothing, and ... I’m inspired by designers like [Madeleine] Vionnet who engineered some really interesting things. When you start to play with her patterns, they’re really quite brilliant.

Or Chanel, who ... I hate her clothes, I mean, they’re awful, but she was a brilliant businesswoman. Her marketing strategies were great, and I like to try to figure out how she did what she did when her stuff’s really, really ugly. Tweed boxes!

When I’m looking for design elements I like to look at historical patterns.

Tell me about the clothes we’re taking pictures of, and the clothes you’re going to have in the show.
Connor is wearing a Victorian vest, a wainscoat, that is actually made from a women’s pattern — it has front shaping — and a pair of bloomer-type underwear. You know, big, poofy and white, and little tucks and frills on the legs. He’s kind of standing there like, [goofy awkward pose]. I think in the context of the show with the rest of the crew he’ll be a lot happier. It’s sort of like, Why am I dressed like this here? It’s very cute. And I have [him in] long stripey socks and a little ascot. It’s very dapper and frilly.

What I was thinking was, this pinstriped vest and knickers. A lot of people are liking knickers for biking because the pants legs don’t get caught in the chain. And so that’s where I was thinking with that: the vest and knickers were kind of the guy outfit, and this little camisole frilly thing and bloomers would be kind of the girl outfit. That look, I can put the vest, in a women’s cut, and the bloomers on a boy, and I can put the same outfit on a girl. So there will be a girl dressed basically the same as he is walking. And so sort of mixing — I’m not putting the frilly camisoles on any boys, but... somebody could have a tuxedo shirt. And then because it is a fall show, I’m also showing a frock coat. Those are nice.

So how many outfits do yu have in the show?
I think I’m walking 10, including two 11-year-olds, 10-11 year olds. I really like my daughter’s age. She’s just starting to transition — she’s got hips now, she’s not little girl shaped anymore, but she’s still 10. And a half. And she and her friend, this boy Coltrane, who is ... a ten year old goth. He’s adorable. He may have dyed his hair, and I don’t know if he’s cut it — last time I saw him it was long, and wavy, and blond and he was just like, black and zippers. So I really want to put him in like a little kid frock coat in dark charcoal gray and lace. Little vampire Lestat. And then I’d really like to see her, my daughter, in just a really simple off-white sort of Greek shaped shift and black boots if I can find them, and have them carry my banner.

Do you feel like you’re part of a community of designers in town? Do you think there is a community?
I do. I think there is, yeah, especially now that I’m working out of Redoux Parlour. I’m sewing there, and it’s so nice to come in and see what everybody’s working on. Everboyd’s real supportive and friendly. There is definitely a community of designers here.

Is there any one thing that you’ve made in your current career that you’re most proud of or most fond of?
Hmm. For so many different reasons — I just made a wedding dress that I’m really pretty happy with. It’s really hard for me to be just fully satisfied with something. I always see all the flaws and I want to do it again better. But this one, I did a reproduction of a Vionnet pattern that I found in a book, so it was just the basic shapes drawn out and some really rudimentary instructions and I draped it rather — usually I will draft on paper with rulers, and just the act of realizing that I could drape, and it’s so imprecise, I’m not measuring specific and adding ...

[technical difficulties temporarily cut her off]

This idea that it seems so fussy and imprecise to just kind of hold up pieces of fabric, but really you’re getting something that fits an individual. Individual bodies aren’t perfectly symmetrical and measured. You know, the reason that we would draft like that is to produce something that can be graded and fit a range of people and be mass produced, and draping is so ... individual, just for one person. I think that I’m really happy not necessarily with how it turned out, because I’m never happy with how anything I make ever turns out, but just knowing that I could design that way has got me thinking about trying to figure out, you know, not just make a pair of pants and change the fly around and change the waistband around, but hold fabric up to something and come up with something sculptural that can be a garment that’s a really different idea.

So is that going to change what you’re working on in the future? Do you have anything that you’re planning?
I’m planning — for the short term, I’m planning to try to do this as a business. To channel Chanel: OK, go talk to the stores and find out what they would like to see that they think their customers might want, and try to work with what I can do to produce something that might actually feed my family. So that’s maybe not the best place for weird stuff. But I would like to be able to do some weird stuff, and some exploration of media.

Her model comes in and describes what he was wearing: “Poofy, poofy, raccoon tail socks. Oh, and the — poofy.”

I like to disregard gender roles. It’s something — it’s one reason I like historical patterns, because one way to look at old-fashioned clothing is it’s all lace on men and pretty peacock boys and stuff that would be so girly these days. It’s not just this straight spear business suit. But that was masculine back then. ...

Do you use a lot of reused fabrics and thrifty stuff?
I do, if it isn’t going to interfere with quality. So I don’t insist on using recycled materials. I happen to like to take a jacket and make a vest out of it. It keeps all the pockets. So this [what the model was wearing] was like, I cut it out yeterday but I sewed it in an hour. It was really easy but it looks nice and finished because most of that was already there on the jacket I got for six bucks at St. Vinny’s.

Augury is available at the Redoux Parlour.

August 13, 2010 02:19 PM

As promised, here's the fifth of a series of longer Q&As with the designers featured in this week's fashion issue. More to come!

by Tarra Hartlauer, 37

What kind of clothes do you focus on?
It’s all skirts so far. I take used jeans or pants and turn them into a skirt, and then I add all sorts of random fabrics that I’ve accumulated from yard sales, thrift stores or trades, and I do appliqué. Some things are T-shirt images that I recycle, and some...

You have a Care Bear! [on her skirt]
Yes! This one I got at a yard sale for like 50 cents. I thought it was cute.

And then I do a lot of original appliqué art.

How long have you been doing this?
Just a year. Just a little over a year. I quit school to do this, basically. I’m a dropout of the university. I was really close to graduating and started sewing, and I just loved it and the fact that I’m able to touch more people’s lives this way and feel more empowered... I’m having a great time. I feel more empowered investing in myself than working towards my degree. I know that’s kind of sad, but I just don’t want to push papers right now. I love to create. I dreamt of going to art school when I was a kid and I’m kind of beelining it back to creating again.

(Read more...)

Do you have a day job?
No. I have a husband that takes care of all my other needs right now. Last year I was living off of Section 8 and financial aid and decided to go ahead and get married and throw myself into my project. I’m having a great time and people come to me with custom orders and I just ... it’s great.

Your stuff is available where?
The Saturday Market and, so far, the Redoux Parlor. That’s it. Or through word of mouth. I do [have an Etsy store]; I set one up. I have like two or three things on there right now. I haven’t had many hits. I put something ... I’m really not technically inclined. I’m looking for someone to help me with promoting and techno stuff and putting myself out there bigger than Eugene.

Eugene’s been pretty good to you so far, it sounds like.
Oh, very good to me. I love Eugene. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and so, the towns are kind of similar.

Yeah, yeah. Very liberal areas.

I was going to ask, From where do you draw your inspiration, but it sounds like ...
Every person I cross, basically. I love to people watch, and ... from my heart. And the Earth.

It sounds like the stuff you find at garage sales might help too.
Oh, yeah!

You don’t really work in collections, you’re just always working?
I just make moody skirts. The way I’ve been thinking of it is, I’m trying to empower women. I’m bringing pants that used to be for men and then pulling the women forward. And, you know, everyone’s kind of getting into a uniform, or a certain hat, and my stuff is really — everyone’s wanting to express themselves. I notice a lot of tattoos, I wear a tattoo, but my stuff is, you can take it off at the end of the day. You can go to work and it’s less permanent, but yet you can express yourself with my wares.

Do you think of it as a feminist thing, what you do?
Yeah. It’s feminist. Yeah. I do.

How many pieces are you doing for this show?
I think I have nine or 10 looks so far. I’m just going to kind of cap things off there. I think I did probably seven or eight last year. This year I was kind of ... I wasn’t really going to do it, I’ve got so much on my plate right now, between the market and then I’m learning how to make garden signs. Well, I’m learning how to make routered signs by my husband. And so I've been knee deep in that, too...

How many skirts do you make? How long does it take to make a skirt?
Anywhere from two to 10 hours. It dpeends on the skirt and how intricate it can get. Usually about four hours. I started 15 this week, but I think I’ll only finish with six. I like to do them in batches now, where I go through a step process for reach one. I’ll do all the matching of the fabric, and then I’ll do all the sewing it in — well, first I have to cut up the jeans, so that’s a process. And then the last thing I do is add some sort of appliqued little image ... and then the last thing I put on is my label. I go through a step process and do them in batches now.

So you’re branching out into routered signs but you’re not making any other kinds of clothes, are you?
No. I’m doing, I do a lot of, at home I do a lot of gardening, so ... and my husband has all these tools. He’s 44 years older than me, and he’s a retired signmaker, so we have all these tools. I was labeling alll my little things in the garden and my son was helping me do that. I’m learning how to play with these wood tools and then we just kind of [went] from there.

I’m pushing garden signs also but my husband is — he does a lot of poetry on the side, and we just mailed a letter to Pete DeFazio and asked him — I asked him to come down to the market and pick up a quagmire garden sign. I know this is strange, but WWII had victory gardens, and this war is not ging to be a victory. Time magazine even said that that we’re, that the Afghanistan war is in a quagmire. So I’d like people to possibly pick up a sign and take a picture of their garden with the quagmire sign. But that’s just another project.

Is there anything that we’ve not really covered about what you’re working on that you’d like to talk about?
No, I just. I’m just sewing and gardening and being myself.

All Together Now skirts are available at the Saturday Market and Redoux Parlour.

August 12, 2010 02:57 PM

As promised, here's the second of a series of longer Q&As with the designers featured in this week's fashion issue. More to come!

by Annie Rupp, 31

You, your card says, focus on lingerie, swimwear and parasols. Can you talk about that a little bit?
I started making organic underwear when my daughter potty-trained really young. So I just started making really cute little kids’ underwear and that quickly expanded into adult underwear, and a lot of organic, bamboo cotton. Then I started getting involved with some stretch lace, and then I bought some gold lamé, and everyone just went crazy when I started making swimsuits. I’ve been having a really hard time like getting an inventory, which has been awesome. I just started this spring, in April. I did the fashion show this — er, I wasn't in the fashion show, but I vended some stuff and it was super fun.

So how do you describe your style?
The swimsuits are kind of a little pinup girl, a little maybe shiny Lycra edgy but kind of something that you can wear and be active in but still look super cute. I do a lot of custom stuff, and custom costumes for Burning Man.

And then the parasols — that was my original idea, like I’m gonna customize parasols, and then I started doing the underwear too. So the parasols, right now, I’m just doing monogram stuff, or if people want — like, I’m doing a bunch of Shady Lady parasols for the fashion show.

(Read more...)

Do you have a day job, or is this your job now?
This is mostly my job now. I live on a farm, so I do ... I don’t really make any money doing that, but it feels like a lot of work sometimes! And then I’m at home with my daughter all the time. So this is something — I really wanted something I could make money doing with her. ... It’s been awesome.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I like the old style of pinup girls a little bit. I don’t know. Sometimes I’ll just start with a vision and then the actual suit I finish with is so different that I’m not even sure if there was a vision. Sometimes it just — they just come out. It just manifests itself, almost.

How many suits have you made?
A couple hundred, probably.

How long do they take?
I can make a suit in less than an hour.

I guess it’s not much material.
No, it’s not. It’s not much material at all! Most of them. So, yeah, they’re for people who aren’t shy, mostly!

That’s a good tagline. So are you part of a community of designers in town? Do you think that there is a community?
I think that there’s an amazing community and I would love to, you know, feel that I can include myself in that, because the girls down at the Redoux Parlour are so awesome and Laura Lee [Laroux] is the one that referred you guys to me and that was so sweet. And Mitra [Chester] at Deluxe and stuff — I’m just so inspired by those girls, and I think what they’re doing is so cool, and they’ve sold my stuff on consignment in the shop. So I’m just super honored and grateful and I just think Eugene is so cool that it can support local handmade stuff. There really is a market for it here.

Are those they only places where your stuff is available?
Currently, but I have an Etsy site, and a Weebly site and then I think Sweet Potato Pie will be carrying stuff too soon. And then I’m hoping to get some stuff in some boutiques, like down in Malibu. ... trying to get it, you know, in areas where there’s a longer swinsuit season!

Are you working on anything new or upcoming, or sticking with swimsuits for a while?
I’d like to do more costumes. I’d like to — I’m involved with the aerial circus community a little bit, so I’m doing lots of like workout gear like leotards and yoga gear and stuff like that. Thre’s a bunch of people who wear that stuff every day year round, so, I want to market to them.

Is there anything in particular that you’ve made that you’re the most fond of or proud of?
Um... my daughter! Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, everything I make is like, I feel like I’m still learning so much so each piece is a little bit better than the one before. I’m learning to use my machine more, how to get the materials I want cheaper, or more local or recycled. I feel like it’s a total evolution and it keeps getting better.

So do you use recycled fabrics and such?
I try to. I’m always looking for cool fabric at thrift stores, and cool trims and stuff like that. ... I spent a lot of time at the Springfield thrift stores because I feel like they’re less picked over.

So is there anything that we haven’t talked about, about your stuff, that you want to put out there?
I love custom orders!

You seem really enthusiastic about it.
Yeah. It’s been really fun. I feel like I’m playing Barbie.

Shady Lady is available at Deluxe, the Redoux Parlour and hopefully soon, Rupp says, at Sweet Potato Pie.

August 12, 2010 03:38 PM

As promised, here's the third of a series of longer Q&As with the designers featured in this week's fashion issue. More to come!

by Laura Lee Laroux, 31

What kind of clothes do you focus on?
I focus on clothes for men that are dapper and clothes for women that are pretty feminine, frilly, lacy, fun, bloomers.

Did you start with the bloomers? Or was that just what I saw first...
I think the bloomers have been my consistent product throughout my sewing, but yeah, I ... My stuff’s really changing right now so it’s kind of fun to see where I’m going to go with it. I think I’m going for more muted colors now, whereas I used to do a lot of really colorful bright stuff. That just doesn’t sell as well. But yeah, fun clothes like mostly dressy, so either festivals or parties or events. And then especially for men, vests and custom pants.

How long have you been designing clothes?
I graduated from FIT in 2003 and then I was sewing beore that, so ... what year is it? I would say probably at least ten years, 8 to 10 years.

Do you have a day job?
I own the Redoux Parlor. I actually, last year, worked full time in social work for Looking Glass at the homeless youth shelter, Station 7. So I used to have a full time job and the store and made clothes. I don’t know how! But now I just have the store and the clothes.

(Read more...)

What are the clothes that they took photos of today?
They took a picture of the shower curtain dress. Which is awesome.

How did you get inspired to make a dress out of a shower curtain?
My friend’s mom lives in Alaska, my roommate’s mom, and she came down and she always comes to visit the shop. And she’s really into buttons and fabrics but she doesn’t really have time to make anything, which is actually how I get a lot of my fabrics. She saw my stuff and was like, “I have this shower curtain, and I’m never going to use it for a shower curtain, but it’s really pretty,” and she sent it to me and I just immediately, when I saw the shower curtain I saw the dress. Which is kind of rare for me. Usually it happens in a wave of, What’s gonna come out of this? But this was kind of like I saw it almost immediately.

From where do you draw inspiration?
I really, I think that a lot of the Eugene and Portland kind of gypsy-musician-performer crowd is where I get a lot of my inspiration. Especially now. And a lot of old stuff, like I really love ’50s housewife type things. I feel like my stuff is always kind of an attempt of an empowerment of the domestic side of women. If that makes sense. I feel like there’s actually a lot of respect that I have for people like my mom who totally took care of the house, had the job, cooked for us when she got home. I think it’s sad that women don’t get respected for that as much as they should because it’s a ridiculous amount of work. So ideally I make stuff that helps women feel really good and confident about themselves and is fun too.

So it’s kind of domestic inspired...
Domestic inspired and then a lot of old cowgirl, Wild West stuff and then Lucille Ball. It’s kind of weird. It’s the performer-gypsy side, the Wild West and then the ’50s housewife.

Are there other designers in town you particularly admire? Is there kind of a community of designers that you are part of?
Yeah. The people at the store and Mitra [Chester]. Her stuff is really amazing. And then there’s this whole group of people that do leatherwork, like this guy Ben and Rachel, their stuff really, really inspires me, just their style really inspires me. But they don’t really have lines of clothing, they just kind of make stuff to wear. Mostly, I think ... mostly Mitra and then there’s some people in Portland.

Do you think that your setup at the store has helped to build a community of designers in Eugene?
Oh, yeah. I mean, hopefully! That’s the goal.

Can you explain how that works?
So basically there are six designers that have studio space at the store, and then they work for five hours a week in the store. Then they get a larger percentage of the consignment stuff, that they sell of their stuff in the store, in hopes that it creates more personal involvement and so that it kind of becomes everybody’s store, because it’s just too much for me to do alone. And I’m really into community. And what’s really exciting is that one of the girls at the store, Aniela, I used to teach her. I taught her sewing classes at Wellspring. And then she was helping me sew my stuff, and now she has her own line of clothing. And now she’s about to go to fashion design school in Portland, too.

But it’s really nice to kind of see, especially within the shop — you can see people’s inspiration from each other, you know, and what people are kind of taking from each other but then revamping into their own style too. It’s really cool.

What are you working on next?
I realy want to focus on bike gear. I’d love to be able to make a skirt that’s ride-able, that you can ride your bike in. And I’m really inspired by tweeds rght now. And then velvet, so velvet and tweed are kind of going to be my thing for my fall collection.

And you do kind of work in collections, right?
I do. Just because I’ve actually had probably some of the most experience as far as a more professional base to start from, as far as working in collections and knowing what buyers are looking for and doing all the fashion shows and stuff. And I try to be consistent with that just because I feel like it’s a recognizable form that people will buy.

So what’s your goal with your — where do you want to be? Do you have a future plan for designing stuff?
I would love to have the store be more of a cooperative in the sense that I can even step back more. I’d also definitely like to continue with the teaching and learning aspect and kind of make it more of an open shop for designers to use and a place for designers to sell their stuff. And then I want to pick just a few things that are going to sell really well and focus on that, and move to the country so I only have to come into town a few days a week. And I want to have a treadle and maybe be doing samples of my stuff out on the farm. And then be able to have people at the studio produce it.

What’s a treadle?
The machine that [makes foot pumping motion] — no electricity.

Go a little off the grid with your sewing.
Yeah. I think that would be such a great balance for me, because it’s really hard to be involved in an industry that is really from a frame of mind that I don’t really subscribe to — but then still have that be my creative talent. I would love to be able to kind of blend both worlds into a perfect little balance.

Revivall Clothing is available at the Redoux Parlour.

August 12, 2010 02:34 PM

As promised, here's the first of a series of longer Q&As with the designers featured in this week's fashion issue. More to come!

by Moria Wheeler, 24

What kind of clothes do you focus on?
I focus on clothes mostly for 16-mid-20some girls. Really bright colors, flashy patterns — clothes that are fun.

How long have you been designing clothes?
Since 2006.

Have you been selling stuff the whole time?
I think I started probably a year after that putting my stuff on consignment at Deluxe and later, when Kitsch evolved, at Kitsch.

Do you have a day job?
No. I’ve been going to school on and off. I’m not currently in classes this semester, but I do go to school, too.

Does designing earn enough to make a living?
Not enough to make a living but enough to have, I guess, pocket money, to be able to do things you want to do.

(Read more...)

What are the clothes that they took photos of today?
An orange gathered skirt with an eclectic print on it. I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s interesting, kind of tribal, kind of out there. I don’t know. And then a lace, a long lace shirt, it’s black with stripes to the lace, so it has kind of see through panels. And then a pair of earrings and two necklaces, one of the necklaces I cast in silver.

So you do jewelry as well as clothes?
Yes. And the bag.

Is is dresses you focus on, is it all kinds of things?
It’s all kinds of things. I’ve done anything from like jackets and leggings and sweaters and vests, and then also I dabble in silkscreening some of my clothes too. So I do a lot of different stuff. It just depends.

From where do you draw inspiration?
Really all over. I mean, it’s not a lot of specific things. I definitely follow more high fashion than I used to. I have an interest in just seeing what’s being pushed at people in terms of like what they put out in the market. It’s weird to go to the mall and see what all the girls are buying, all that kind of stuff. It’s interesting. I find it really interesting. And then I still just do my own thing, but I like kind of looking into that.

Are there other designers in town you particularly admire? Is there kind of a community of designers that you are part of?
I don’t work with anybody but I’m friends with several people. I would consider Mitra [Chester], who works at Deluxe, a friend, and she’s the one who’s putting together these amazing shows for the last few years.

Have you been involved with all of the shows, or a lot of them?
Yes. This will be my seventh show.

Do you tend to do your things in collections, or are you just constantly working on stuff?
I am kind of constantly working on stuff. I go through kind of a break period after I do a big show where I just don’t really work for a little bit — just kind of put things on the rack and lay back for a minute before I start working again. It’s also kind of daunting you know, when you’re like — for the spring show I did 21 outfits and they all had like accessories and bags and all that stuff. It was 38 pieces all together of clothing, and then 15 pieces of jewelry and four bags, and it’s just a lot of work. So after that I have to kind of take a break for a while.

How many pieces are you doing for this one?
There’s a cap. The cap is 15, so I’m doing 10 but I’ll probably walk in an outfit that I designed, so technically 11.

What are you working on next, for the show or in the future?
I would really like to work more in jackets. I started doing that a little bit this last year and they’re just really fun and really exciting, really rewarding, when you complete something that has so many pieces involved and its very complicated to get a good fit with a jacket from scratch. So I’d like to work more in that before it gets too wintery.

I really prefer like the spring/summertime shows just because I like to make a lot of bright colored dresss and bright colored things in general and so it’s kind of hard when fall comes around — not that I don’t appreciate most color palettes; it’s just, it’s more exciting to see all these like flashy things coming down the runway than it is to have a bunch of mauve, and beige, and autumn tones, it’s just not as much fun for me.

Do you have one particular thing that you’ve made that you’re the most proud of, or most fond of?
I guess ... I made this one dress that was pleated and silk that I was really proud of. It just came out really incredible, and I’d never done pleats in anything before, and silk is a very difficult fabric to work in. So I was pretty excited about that dress.

Jaunty Designs are available at Deluxe.

August 9, 2010 06:40 PM

You could — and should — go see Winter's Bone at the Bijou. But this weekend there's an extra-special reason to get over to the theater: Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's incredible, whimsical, strange, dark and lovely The City of Lost Children is playing. Why? "Just a wild hair," says the Bijou's Louise Thomas. Works for me.

I've lost track of how many times I've seen this movie, and yet I still fail at a quick summary: In a bizarre city, One (Ron Perlman) and a beautiful little urchin named Miette (Judith Vittet) set out to find One's little brother, who's been kidnapped by a scientist who employs a small army of Dominique Pinons to help him study dreams in hopes of stopping the aging process? That doesn't even begin to cover it.

(Click here for a perfectly mystifying trailer.)

Jeunet (sans Caro) has a new film coming out soon, but Micmacs, while moderately charming, has nothing on City. Go, go, go!

July 26, 2010 04:07 PM

Hot on the heels of last weekend's Bite of Eugene — at which we hear Rabbit Bistro chef Gabriel Gil won the Iron Chef competition — comes a smaller but still charming way to try a variety of Eugene eats: Ninkasi's Carts & Cold One Cookoff. All we know is what's on that flyer, but as frequent consumers of Eugene's food cart offerings, we can't help but be intrigued by the chance to eat from lots of carts at once while sipping pints on Ninkasi's shiny new patio. It's kind of like the super Kesey Plaza food cart pod — but, y'know, with beer.

Snack on stuff from Devour, Chick'n Shack, Eddo Buger, Casa de Dilla, The Nosh Pit, Bianacala Pork Growers and more from 5-8 pm Sunday, Aug. 1, at Ninkasi Brewing (272 Van Buren). Proceeds benefit the School Garden Project, Farm to School and the Terra Madre Network.

June 17, 2010 04:58 PM

The really, really, good (via everyone and their mother on Twitter):

The iffy, shiny, what-the-fuck-is-going-on-here? bad (via Cinematical):

(Can someone please put my annoyed mind at ease by identifying the unnecessarily epic and swoopy music toward the end?)

... and the ever so aptly named weird. If this looks like your kind of thing? It probably is.

The Good the Bad the Weird opens tomorrow at the Bijou. Voyage of the Dawn Treader comes out December 10. And Scott Pilgrim, which I've been looking forward to for two years, is out Aug. 13. Please don't disappoint me, Edgar Wright.