First up, congratulations to the students at the Art Institute of Portland for Fit 2 Print, which boasted some truly impressive collaborative projects and standout micro-collections from seniors like Janine Ellenbeck and Michele Wright, and marketing grant recipient Bryce Black. Most improved honors go to Tony Dimitri Peniche, who broke out of the screenprinted T-shirt and bullet-belt mold and impressed with a menswear collection that retained its rocker feel without skimping content.
In retail development, the West End of Portland continues to boom, and this week we take a look at the area's latest lingerie get: Lille Trousseau (1124 SW Alder). Situated next door to the recently expanded the English Dept. bridal boutique, this Lille Boutique spin-off caters specifically to the same modern bride as its neighbor, a collaboration that's been years in development between Lille's Sarah Wizemann and the English Dept.'s Elizabeth Dye.
A trousseau is certainly an antique concept: an extension of a woman's dowry in the form of fine lingerie, clothing, and linens, with which she comes equipped to set upon her new married life. While it doesn't exactly exist in modern times, Wizemann's experience at the original Lille has yielded frequent encounters with brides and their mothers, sisters, and friends seeking alternatives to the "cheap padded foam" that typically characterizes much of department stores' bridal underpinning selections. "They don't want to have to change out of their ugly bridal foundation underwear into something else for the wedding night," says Wizemann—and now more than ever they don't have to.
Because of her commitment to smaller lines and natural fabrics, it's been a difficult and slow process to ferret out collections like Rituel by Carine Gilson (a diffusion version of Gilson's painfully expensive Couture collection, which Lille's website declares "the finest lingerie in the world") and Venus et Judes loungewear, but as demand grows so too do the options. Excitingly, Wizemann also plans to relaunch her own line of lingerie, formerly known as Gatsby, and Lille Trousseau's offerings extend to accessories, hosiery, and shoes (particularly Spanish-made pairs from Remix Vintage)—as well as to the single and married woman.
Noting that Portland's young demographic yields a brisk business from 20- and 30-somethings headed for the aisle, Wizemann nonetheless doesn't want to limit the Trousseau purely to brides. In addition to the fact that any modern gal surely knows how to bust boundaries laid by color traditions (we not only wear those white "bridal" shoes to work, we also wear them after Labor Day), Wizemann will keep the Trousseau stocked with the greatest hits from across the river, predicting a 60 percent bridal focus to 40 percent of the cool, insider lines that Lille Boutique got you hooked on in the first place.
THIS WEEK IN
FASHION AND RETAIL
• The name Ms. Wood has been on everyone's lips this year, and this week marks the first-ever Ms. Wood trunk show, presenting a fall preview (and taking pre-orders) alongside Clair Vintage. Shop Adorn, 4715 NE Fremont, Fri June 10, 6-9 pm
• Fancy a road trip in the name of designer jeans? Agave Denim's summer warehouse sale is here, with up to 80 percent markdowns for men and women. Agave Denim Factory Outlet, 6210 S 11th, Ridgefield, WA, Sat June 11, 10 am-5 pm
• Another reason to visit the Yo Vintage! summer pop-up: a one-day trunk show collaboration with jewelry lines AK Vintage and Better Late Than Never featuring bargains and bubblies. 220 Salon + Studio, 213 SW Ash, #211, Sat June 11, noon-6 pm