Tag Archives: ferdinand

new favorite shirt

29 Jul


Althea and I went to Ferdinand on Wednesday, and we immediately noticed a rack of new shirts: soft, perfectly cut tees tie-dyed in dark, mottled shades of purple, blue, and black and printed with constellations. Diane told us that she used an ink discharge screen printing process to create the ghostly image of the night sky over Portland on June 23. Each shirt is slightly different, and I chose the purplest one.

I also got these awesome shoes.


It’s harder than I expected to take pictures of my own feet.

UPDATE: Now my new favorite shirt is available online at Ferdinand’s Etsy store (now featuring my modeling and photography skills).

I’m still here.

28 Jul

my super-stylish bachelorette party

So, I’ve been the laziest blogger ever. Here’s what I’ve been doing instead of writing:

  • Playing bass with the Outfits. We are playing at Picnic Music and Arts Festival on August 27, plus we got a really nice write-up in the Phoenix’s Wax Tablet. I’m psyched about this new column, and not just because they wrote about my band– this is a great alternative to the press-release heavy column Sibilance, and is clearly written by someone who cares about the Portland music scene.
  • Working at Ferdinand! Come see me on Sundays from noon til 5, and stay tuned for details on the Ferd’s 10th anniversary bash! Also, check back tomorrow for a post on the amazing shirts Althea and I got there.
  • Working at the new Pinecone+Chickadee store on Free Street (next to Find). This store has all of the classic P+C shirts, onesies, and cards, as well as vintage housewares, wooden toys, jewelry, prints by Kris Johnsen and other local artists, Ferdinand shirts and cards, and a random assortment of cool things found by Wary Meyers. We will soon be expanding our photography section with vintage cameras, but right now we have camera kits and cyanotype paper and fabric.
  • Selling my jewelry at the Merchant Company on Congress Street. I share a table with Little Eye and eden natural bath and body. The Merchant Company is like an indoor, year-round craft fair/flea market. The whole place is jam-packed with insanely cool stuff that I am trying very hard not to buy, since I have to buy a stupid car instead.
  • Selling my jewelry at Find, a store that never has a window display without at least two items I desperately want.
  • Getting married. Mike and I got married on May 31 in our apartment.

    Photo by Audrey Hotchkiss

    Photo by Kristina Balbo, who also married us and helped me pick out rings (seashell cat and orange peace sign)

I Love Ferdinand

9 May

Last week, I was flipping through the Portland Phoenix as I waited for my delicious sandwich at Punky’s, and I noticed something weird. Ferdinand, one of my favorite local stores, was listed as “Best Last-Minute Costume Shop” in the Portland Best Readers Poll. As someone who buys a good portion of her everyday clothes there, I was kinda offended. The blurb, while no doubt written by someone who loves Ferdinand, does the store a disservice by treating it like a joke.

Ferdinand, which is owned by my friend Diane and staffed by her and Maddie (of Gertrude Knickerbocker, Find, and Moody Lords fame), does have plenty of vintage sweaters, dresses, slips, and shirts, but I’d hardly classify it as a clothing store, let alone a costume shop. It also has the “quirky* brooches” mentioned in the article, but I wear my hamburger pin almost every day, and nobody asks me if I’m wearing a costume.

Ferdinand is the first place I go when I’m looking for a birthday present, because there’s something for everyone there: handmade, stylish jewelry (almost all under fifteen dollars), letterpressed stationery (much of which is made by Diane right in the store), adorable, durable catnip mice by Doonyaya, art prints and posters, cute boots and shoes, four dollar silk scarves, eyeglass cases, journals, stuffed animals, screen-printed tshirts and onesies, sunglasses, mugs, and even hula hoops! The eclectic selection is constantly changing, and features many talented local artists, not to mention the mind-boggling amount of stuff that Diane makes herself.

Most of the clothing I’ve gotten at Ferdinand has gone into heavy rotation, including tshirts, altered vintage skirts, and underpants that feel like they’re custom-made for my butt. I also bought a gorgeous, floor-length vintage halter dress that I wore to Jay and Althea’s wedding reception. It’s fully-lined, fits me perfectly, and has a matching wrap jacket. I paid around fifteen bucks for it.

photo by Audrey Hotchkiss, who can be hired to take photos that make you look this good

I don’t disagree with the “last-minute” part of the Phoenix article: if you need earrings to match your outfit, Ferdinand has them, and they’re five dollars. If you need a card for any occasion, Ferdinand has one (or five). If you get cold, Ferdinand has sweaters in every color.

Diane and I have talked before about how awesome it would be if every day was Halloween, if people could just stop caring what others thought of them and wore whatever they want. But to say that she “cares far more about fun than fashion,” implies that fashion and fun are mutually exclusive, and I don’t buy that. Plus, while Ferdinand may be a store with a sense of humor, that doesn’t mean that Diane isn’t serious about what she’s doing. She works hard to keep her store, and by extension Portland, awesome and unique.

Diane

And she looks great doing it.

*As a person frequently referred to as “quirky,” I am so sick of this word. I feel like it’s become a euphemism, and I wish people weren’t scared to say what they really mean. Seriously, stop calling me “quirky.” I know you meant to say “weird” or possibly “borderline autistic.” I know I’m weird. Weird isn’t a pejorative.

weathered leather

20 Jan

Hey, remember when Dooney & Bourke made classy, durable leather bags instead of overpriced bullshit like this?

Yeah, me either, but before Lindsay Lohan was even born, they totally made gorgeous stuff. Lately I’ve been seeing some awesome old bags on Etsy that are way cheaper (and less likely to be passé after one season) than this initial-encrusted bullshit. Some examples:

Personally, I prefer the bags without the duck logo, because I hate big logos, but the leather duck is still way better than the all-over initial print.

I’m not the type to have any kind of brand loyalty, with the possible exceptions of L.L. Bean and Doc Martens, but I am dismayed that brands that initially became popular due to craftsmanship and timeless style are now popular just for being popular. The bags I posted above would be covetable even if all the logos were removed. The same cannot be said for most of Dooney & Bourke’s recent bags.

if you removed the logos from this bag, you'd be left with just handles

Coach has had the same problem in recent years. Can you believe that the people who brought you these multicolored monstrosities:

…also created these gorgeous, buttery soft purses?

 

Everything I’ve posted here is less than a hundred dollars, some of it way less, and that’s just for these two brands. There’s so many more awesome vintage and handmade handbags on Etsy alone, not to mention stores like Find, Material Objects, Good Cause Thrift Shop, Ferdinand, and Goodwill.

So let's give shit like this a rest, okay?

I am the worst at doing anything in December.

24 Dec

Last night, I dreamt that Find had an amazing sale and I shopped there for hours. I have also had this dream about Ferdinand, and a vintage store that only exists in my dreams. I should not have recurring fashion dreams, but I do.

This week, I got a gorgeous gold fishscale belt at Material Objects to replace my old one that disintegrated. Now I must wear belted dresses forever so I have an excuse for this belt.

Halloween #1: when will we lead a normal life?

2 Nov

In the shower Friday morning, I decided to be an alien for work. Every year, I get so excited about Halloween. I love candy, crunchy leaves, and cheesy horror movies, but most of all, I love costumes. Every year, I come up with about 17 ideas about what I’m going to be. Every year, I change my mind at the last minute.

It wasn’t hard to find alien-appropriate attire in my room full of clothes. The hardest part was deciding between a kelly green lurex minidress or my suction-cup shirt. I figured I should be a modest alien at work, so I went with three layers of ripped tights in blue, green, and yellow for a scaly effect, a knee-length gold skirt from Find, and my suction-cup shirt. I’ve actually gotten a surprising amount of non-costume wear out of that shirt, which I got for $15 a decade ago when I worked at Filene’s Basement. It’s a nice black t-shirt with six suction cups (each of which are embossed with the words “KISS THE FUTURE!”) on the front and a detachable long right sleeve.

the suction cup shirt, not Halloween, 2009. photo stolen from Bryan Bruchman.

I wore rhinestone earrings that are so large that they have a post for the earlobe and a clip at the top, and fan out like little branches. I painted my face with a mixture of white foundation and shimmery purple and green eyeshadow, then added a shit ton of turquoise and green eyeshadow. I pinned a disposable camera flash to a sequined headband, slipped on some sensible shoes, and headed to work.

Nobody else was wearing a costume. Okay, sure, there was one lady with a pretty sweet sparkly witch hat, but I knew that thing would be crammed into her locker by lunchtime. This is not the first time this has happened to me.

Halloween at work, 2004

one other girl was wearing cat ears

All day long, despite my shimmering green face, people asked me if I was a flapper.

I mean, I know the headband is a classic Halloween-flapper thing, but come on! Green face! Suction cup shirt!

After work, I went to Ferdinand to visit Diane.

Diane

 

“Don’t you wish people dressed like this all the time?” she asked. I do! I totally do! Diane is the best.

Later that night, I greeted my boyfriend’s mother, Kristy, at our front door in my alien costume, then wiped off my makeup in the kitchen so we could go to dinner. We went to see Mike’s new band, Sunset Hearts, and his less new band, Huak, at Slainte. Kristy and I danced up front. It was a pretty great start to the Halloweekend.

What Would Light-Up Jesus Do?

9 Oct

Today, Beth and I went to Rise Photography‘s backyard vintage sale (which is still going on if you are reading this before 5pm on October ninth!). They’ve had these vintage sales before, but they always happen to be on days when I’m working, so I was happy to go shop and hang out with cool folks like Mandy and Diane and Hannah. Beth and I also checked out the bicycle tire taxidermy exhibit inside the gallery. All kinds of great stuff is happening there today!

When we first showed up, Mandy was trying on a gorgeous dress that fit her perfectly. I neglected to take a picture, but I did tell her that if she didn’t buy it, I would THROW UP.

Mandy took a picture of my outfit: Continue reading

Stuff and Junk: August 12, 2010

12 Aug
  • Holy crap everybody, I’m gonna be reading stuff I wrote at Scratchpad #3 on Tuesday at Mama’s CrowBar! The Scratchpad Reading Series, started by the wonderful Mary Phillips-Sandy, is a quarterly fiction/nonfiction reading that features works-in-progress. Please come if you live around here!
  • This is old, but hilarious: vandalism of Diesel’s obnoxious “BE STUPID” ads.
  • I would like to draw everyone’s attention to this gorgeous dress.

gorgeous!

  • Please buy my boyfriend’s car, even though he mocks my glorious station wagon in the Craigslist ad.
  • Nobody listens to me: despite my best efforts, everyone will soon give in to the Canadian Business Suit.

PROFESSIONAL MODEL. DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME.

  • Aw look, it’s Diane from Ferdinand! Look how adorable she is and how awesome her store is! Do it now!
  • Another fabulous local store, Find, is celebrating its first birthday, which means snacks and a sale!
  • I don’t understand why I’m not wearing this outfit:

When I Go Shopping: Audrey’s Spring Predictions

11 Apr

My lovely friend, the multitalented Audrey Hotchkiss, has shared her style predictions for spring so that you may obey her unquestioningly when you go shopping. It started in Google chat:

Audrey:

I think when I go shopping, I need a lot of nice, shiny shirts.

slinky

is the name of the game this spring

you can quote me on that

Here are some more tips:
  • Tunic-length lightweight sweaters and little capri-lengths leggings
  • Dresses with pockets: they are functional AND flirty and a great way to get a promotion when you’re bending over to pick up a piece of paper in front of your boss.
  • Scandinavian knits are the coolest thing since we remembered that there were a bunch of people living up there. Thank you, Sigur Ros’ last album for that tidbit.
  • As far as footwear goes: ladies – you are in luck, puddle jumpers for EVERYONE and LL Bean has this new cool thing that goes inside them to keep your feet from smelling like dead peoples’ toenails.
  • garter stitch is hot, purl is not
  • Ladies of Portland, ME will not be caught dead making a “bad decision” at a house party in any underwear other than the ones Diane from Ferdinand makes with her own blood, sweat and tears.
She also has ideas for accessories:
You will be seeing a lot of rocks from Maine beaches, probably bottle caps too. I am my own billboard. As for scarves – I think the chic ‘I accept everyone, especially the cultures my government is oppressing’ middle-eastern scarf is OUT. Sure, it looks awesome and I didn’t get to join that fad, but I’ve had enough. The new cool scarf is…well, it looks like this:

this is the cool scarf now

I panicked. I just googled ‘gorgeous scarf’ and that’s what I got, but I’m comfortable with it.

I think I might try to do more of these predictions if any of my other friends are interested. It’ll be fun! As Audrey said, “I like saying what’s cool and what isn’t. It makes me feel powerful.”

Kate the millionaire and Audrey the Riveter on Halloween

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