PORTLAND WOMEN have come to rely on Sarah Wizemann of Lille Boutique to introduce them to the best independent lingerie in the world. Not only does she pluck the ones who hit the balance between quality materials and fit, price point, and straight-up cuteness, but often she affords us the opportunity to meet the designers themselves. VPL's Victoria Bartlett, Malia Mills, and many more have come to visit the boutique, hosting meet and greets and advising on fit.
This week Lille hosts Kaya Stuart of Only Hearts, a New York brand started by Kaya's mother, Helena, in 1978. Originally a theme shop that carried only heart-themed items (hence the name), from jewelry to folk art, they've since evolved into a line of what they call "inner outerwear," with Kaya joining the family business just over a decade ago. (Fun local boutique-connection fact: Frances May owner Pamela Baker-Miller once worked for Only Hearts back in her New York days.)
With bras, panties, sleepwear, slips, leggings, and daywear, the Only Hearts look emphasizes layering and blurring the lines between intimates and streetwear. They are the sort of pieces that you find yourself intentionally revealing, a strap or two here, a hem there. Some distort the line so successfully that it's hard to say whether you're holding a slip or a dress, so the best thing to do is to simply call it both, add a few more layers, and be on your way.
The soft, feminine but not frilly pieces are all made in Manhattan's garment district, and the brand is infused with a sense of the importance of ethical business practices and production, something that began with Helena's decision to open her first store in the neighborhood she was living in. While Lille shoppers have already encountered Only Hearts lingerie, the two-day trunk show will offer the opportunity to experience a greater breadth of the brand and understand it through the eyes of one of its visionaries. Only Hearts Trunk Show, Lille Boutique, 1007 E Burnside, Fri July 20, 6-9 pm, Sat July 21, noon-6 pm.