For the past four years, Ace Hotel in Portland has offered their second floor guest rooms to twenty eight local designers and granted each one free reign to transform a room. We were thrilled to be a part of this inspirational event and chat with some of our favorite local designers.
Where to begin? That’s what I thought when I entered the second floor hallway and that’s what I’m thinking now, so I suppose I’ll start where I did that Saturday, with Betsy + Iya.
Stepping into the Betsy + Iya room was like walking into their notebooks, literally. From the floor to the ceiling and then everywhere in between, the room was wallpapered with notes and designs from Betsy + Iya’s inception to three weeks before Content. It gave us a sense of the chaos that accompanies the design process, while also showcasing the beauty that comes with, and from, that grittiness. There was such candidness conveyed in their display, a clear extension of the warm and genuine brilliance of Betsy and Will, her husband and business partner.
We continued to wander in and out of rooms; I blindly scribbled notes while trying to absorb every ounce of creativity surrounding me. Embarrassingly, when we were in the Portland Garment Factory room, I only managed two words, though I feel those two simple words express everything that I feel about PGF, their room, their designs, and the ladies who run it: COOLEST GIRLS. Truly. Britt Howard and Rosemary Robinson are some of the most fun, welcoming, interesting, and accessible ladies I have met and that fully translates into their contemporary designs.
I thought Alexa Stark had won my heart when I saw her lookbook featuring Glenda Goldwater earlier this year, but then I walked into her room and was met with Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast from 1946 projected onto a sheer backdrop as sudden flashes of light exposed dancers moving silently behind the curtain. In the style of Butoh, a form of Japanese dance based in the individual dancer’s reaction to where they are feeling in the space, Alexa evoked the idea of negative space and shadows to represent the sense of movement in her designs.
Every part of the Olderbrother design process is met with such intention and awareness towards the future, not just of their garments, but of the environment. Sustainability is a driving force of this gender-neutral clothing line, figuring out the line (and if there has to be one) between eco-friendly and fashion forward and in my opinion, succeeding. Each piece, if subtle in its unique quality, somehow seems perfectly crafted to any given body type, regardless of type or gender. We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse into the organic indigo hand-dye process in their room at Content. Some even luckier winners were later able to take home shirts dyed that night.
One of the final rooms I visited also happened to be one of my favorites; Ancliffe. Rachel Ancliffe hails from New Mexico, spent five years in New York, and has now called Portland “home” for the past ten years. Her travel and experience is evident in all of her fresh and wearable pieces. Beautifully hand-dyed clothes are all designed to carry over into different outfits and different years; they are classic while still being unique; and they all need to find a place in my closet.
While I have only highlighted a few of the designers from that weekend, believe me when I tell you that each and every designer is one to follow. I feel so honored to live in a city that is able to not just boast such talent, but support it. By the time I left Content, the halls of the second floor were overflowing with people, all buzzing with excitement. The rooms were inspiring, yes, but so was the effect of a community coming together. It was not an event to miss, but if you did, then I encourage you to look further into the designers, and if you’re not already, keeping your eyes open to the creativity flowing in your own city, and perhaps even yourself.
Most of us have a collection of ideas about ourselves which we believe. Some of them are not so nice. We have listened to them so often, one way or another, that they have become like a familiar sort of playlist. These stories about things that happened in the past, things that may or may not have been true, do not help anyone. It’s old, useless stuff.
What do we do with all that?
Replaying them all and proving them untrue is a lot of work. It could take forever, or at least seem like it could. What about creating some new ones instead? Things you know to be true. Things you can remind yourself about when those old songs start playing again. Listen to the new stories and let them slowly evict the old ones. Patience, love and a little creativity are all you need. What beautiful stories are resting inside your heart. What loves and joys have been patiently waiting to be heard? Let’s listen to those for a while.
Need a reminder? Here’s one – maybe put it somewhere where you can see it from time to time:
‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ – Mary Oliver
Just this morning I was asked by a coworker what my favorite yoga pose was, to which I responded with not one, or two, but five beloved poses. I couldn’t choose just one, as all poses benefit and influence our body and mind differently depending on the day, hour, mood. What then followed was a discussion of what it was that drew us to a particular pose, and a common answer we both shared was not only the feeling, but also the visual of strength and empowerment. I find that when I visualize myself in a pose, I am able to harness that energy of what the pose represents to transform and deepen my practice and then carry that with me out of the studio.
One of the poses that has a strong visual impact on my practice is the Goddess pose, or Utkata Konasana, which literally translates into fierce angle pose. For me, it allows me to awaken the “goddess” within by channeling that feminine force and experience the powerful energy that encompasses the grounding pose.
A great pose to open up your chest and hips while also strengthening your lower body, this pose also allows you to take a moment to bring back awareness to your breath and to observe any discomfort or disquiet physically and mentally.
1. From mountain pose, bring your right foot out so that you are standing with your feet about three feet apart, turned out to a 45 degree angle with your heels facing in. Raise your elbows so that they are actively at shoulder height, bent, and with your palms facing in.
2. Exhale, and bend your knees into a squat, pressing the hips forward while your knees press back to create a deep hip opening. Focus on your shoulders, removing tension from them by dropping your shoulders from your ears and rolling them down the back as if pressing the shoulder blades together, creating a gentle heart opening of the chest.
3. Hold for three or four full rounds of breath, before releasing on your inhale by guiding your hands above your head and then bringing them down to Anjali Mudra, or prayer hands, in front of your heart.
Tip: If you find that you are having difficulty creating a straight spine, try this pose with your back up against the wall for added support.
We usually think of layering for fall in terms of clothing, but layering eyeshadows can evolve a look in a naturally gorgeous way too! Especially lovely together are two By Night shades - Flashback Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow, a radiant shimmering bronze, and After Hours Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow, a soft charcoal black flecked with gold shimmer.
Get the look by prepping your eyes with a base shade to even out any redness on the lids. We love Fleur or Vanilla Satin Matte Eyeshadow for this! Next, dampen a #39 Large Eyeshadow Brush and pick up a small amount of After Hours to apply all over the lids and up to the crease. Since this pigment will be quite intense, let eyeshadow dry and blend out with a #37 Blending Brush for a more smoked look. Next, with your finger or a clean and dry #39 Large Eyeshadow Brush layer Flashback right on top of After Hours. Top it off with a coat of Black Natural Definition Mascara.
We encourage you to layer some of your favorite shades for fall to create something new, different, and naturally gorgeous!
Blue eyes naturally have a calm intensity complimented best by warm tones in a variety of hues – not just your typical shades of brown.
As a blue-eyed gal myself, I have over time, and with a little trial and error, come to understand the best shades to enhance and brighten my baby blues. Since blue is a cool tone, choosing warm colors on the opposite side of the color wheel, in shades of orange and neutrals as example, will bring out the depth and vibrancy in your eyes.
Need a little help? I’ve compiled a little cheat sheet with my favorite recommendations for all you other blue-eyed beauties out there.
Grey tones: Flattering and versatile, grey tones allow for additional depth and dimension without being overpowering or distracting. Try Zen Pearluster Eyeshadow and By Night’s After Hours Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow for a smoky look.
Orange tones: Colors such as peach and rust contrast with your enchanting blue as they fall on opposite sides of the color spectrum. Try Silk, and Cimarron Pearluster Eyeshadows and Auburn and Mohair Satin Matte Eyeshadow to bring out the vibrancy and coolness of the eyes.
Gold tones: These reflect and highlight a subtle and playful glint in your irises. Vertigo Pearluster Eyeshadow from the By Night collection is insanely gorgeous and also Chai and Pyrite Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadows as well as Camel Pearluster Eyeshadow.
Brown tones: Shades of brown are alluring on just about everyone and brilliantly emphasize your blue tones whether worn strong or subtle, smoky or soft. Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadows in Tigereye and Brown Sugar as well as Cappuccino Pearluster Eyeshadow are perfect for an everyday look. If you gravitate towards mattes try out Cocoa Satin Matte Eyeshadow and I promise you won’t regret it!
Wildcard: Labyrinth Pearluster Eyeshadow is a deep teal shade that actually suits blue eyes like you wouldn’t believe. It’s bold but is a dusty green perfect for a night out that looks so naturally gorgeous.
P.S. To finish off your blue eyed look, finish it off with two coats of Brown Natural Definition Mascara.
We’re seriously crazy about By Night’s Vertigo Pearluster Eyeshadow. We like to think of it as the little black dress of eyeshadows because it’s incredibly flattering on everyone. Vertigo is an antiqued bronze shade with subtle shimmer. It is officially our #1 Fall staple. Pair Vertigo with Cranberry Lip Tint for a quick and easy look – perfect for date night or a cocktail party. Get the look in six simple steps below.
3. With your #39 Large Eyeshadow Brush apply a wash of Vertigo Pearluster Eyeshadow all over the base of your lid and into the crease.
4. Line your upper and lower lids with Ink Natural Definition Eye Pencil. For a soft look smudge the eyeliner with a #33 Angle Liner Brush.
5. Use your #33 Angle Liner Brush to define your brows with your brow shade. Our lovely model is wearing Mahogany Satin Matte Eyeshadow on her brows.
6. Coat your lashes with Black Natural Definition Mascara. This mascara will lengthen and add volume that is long-lasting.
7. Time for ruby lips! Apply two coats of Cranberry Lip Tint for a gorgeous red gloss that also keeps your lips moisturized throughout the evening.
Ink Natural Definition Eye Pencil has arrived! Ink is a naturally gorgeous carbon black eyeliner that glides on smoothly and lasts all day. It’s filed with 100% natural ingredients – chamomile flower extract soothes and protects the delicate eye area while a rich blend of jojoba, mango seed, macadamia and meadowfoam seed oils nourish and hydrate the lash line. Like Coffee Natural Definition Eye Pencil, Ink contains beeswax, carnauba and candelilla waxes to deliver water-resistant all day wear. Natural mineral pigments give rich, saturated, lasting color.
Ink complements all eye colors and has the versatility to create many looks. Line your eyes along the lash line for a gorgeous day look or smudge it out with a #33 Angle/Liner for a dramatic evening look, or create a soft, delicate line for a subtle daytime look. Ink is the perfect counterpart to the By Night Fall collection. Our favorite shades to pair with Ink are Vertigo and Breathless, but it’s one of those flexible neutrals that works with everything.