EVERYONE'S DOING IT! It's time to look back over the past year and assess: What were the best moments, images, cultural influences, and trends of 2014? What sucked, and should be left out in the cold for 2015? These pressing questions certainly pertain to the world of personal style, so as is tradition, I hit up the city's many stylish folks for their take on the best and the worst. They had a lot to say! Read the full version at portlandmercury.com, and stay tuned for next week's predictions of what will be hot in 2015!
The best: minimalism (so glad); everyday outdoor lifestyle shoots on Instagram of everyday people crabbing, climbing, camping; feminist and racial issues are a topic again; flat shoes; succulent plants. The worst: floppy hats–They're expensive if they're not vintage, and they're not really flattering. Platinum white hair: When everyone has it, it becomes less interesting. The beard: I passed up so many men this year because I couldn't imagine kissing them. Plus, when everyone has it, it becomes less interesting. Tie-dye and electric-orchid hair (sorry). Everyone being riddled with debt and being underpaid, except the techs.—Sierra Gardiner, founder, Oneironaut, a forthcoming line of "dream wares for serious oneironauts"
Best: any time a celebrity wore something publicly twice; the return of hosiery; men in hats; Crocs have all but disappeared (!); pants offered in silhouettes beyond skinny; and David Sedaris in culottes. Worst: crop tops; jeans with ridiculously large holes; bedazzled Tevas; leggings as pants; pointy manicures; neoprene clothing; and slouching.—Holley Shepard, fashion stylist, puttogether.net
Favorite 2014 styles: Nike Air Max sneakers; oversized grandpa coats; linen and wool fabrics; clogs; 501s; soft vintage T-shirts. Other things that made me happy: Milk Milk Lemonade (milkmilklemonade.virb.com); huge sales at Una (unanegozio.com); fewer pop-ups and more curated events that showcase local craft designers (like Portland Flea, pdxflea.com); vintage shopping going from something you do because you're on a budget to a way to add unique pieces to a thoughtfully collected wardrobe.—Charlotte Wenzel, owner, Palace, palacestore.com
Best: Bryce Black's runway presentation at the Fade to Light Show in August (bryceblack.net). There should be more dancing in fashion shows. Worst of 2014 fashion: Kim Kardashian. Need I say more?—Krystal Gaynor, operations manager, Mercantile Portland, mercantileportland.com
Best on the runway: We loved the newest addition to Public School: women's! The incredibly attractive duo behind the brand introduced their first-ever women's collection at New York Fashion Week, and it was perfect: simple streetwear that never goes out of style. Best movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel, written and directed by Wes Anderson. Loved every inch of this movie.—Emily Backerman and Bridget Donegan, vintage sellers, Milk Money, etsy.com/shop/shopmilkmoney
Worst: With all the excitement over supporting local or independent fashion designers, Portland still doesn't have an economically vibrant or scalable high-fashion company, and that failure is glaring.—Tito Chowdhury, executive producer, FashioNXT, fashionxt.net
My favorite fashion moments and trends of 2014 would include Solange Knowles' white wedding; Kim Kardashian's champagne booty; the midriff cleavage trend (I love high-waisted bottoms and a cropped top); Ryan Roche sweaters; and macramé/weaving. I hope we can leave behind the pastel-colored hair, shaved sides, and Candy Crush!—Anna Fickle, owner, Branch Birdie, branchbirdie.com
One of my favorite things was the huge crop of new retail shops. This boom plainly reaffirms Portland's direction in fashion, wherein people favor high-quality goods over shitty shit, and they prefer their money go into the pockets of people who live in the Portland community rather than some fat cat. I also think Portland designers are continually stepping up their game, and the new ones coming on the scene are adding to this. There is so much talent here that it consistently blows my mind. I have also noticed that more collections and brands are coming from the minds of design duos and collaborators rather than just single designers. I think (and hope) that trend will continue.—Elizabeth Mollo, fashion show producer, elizabethmollo.com
What I was into this year: creative dressing! I love that everyone is feeling free to express themselves. It's especially pleasing to see how people are artfully mixing interesting color and pattern. I never want to see a little black dress again, unless it's got weird cutouts or feathers or something.—Brett Glass, freelance writer
Best movie: I loved Interstellar! I didn't really see too many bad movies. Best trend: I love the sneaker trend this year! I jumped on the bandwagon and I am now obsessed with New Balances. They're so comfy and perfect for busy days while still looking stylish.—Tonya Smith, student and fashion blogger, the Moptop, themoptop.com
Best: the Serial podcast, Transparent, and Advanced Style—it's just plain inspiring! Sons of Anarchy, because you just feel like a little bit of a badass after each episode. Big Sean's hit "I Don't Fuck with You" (it's on repeat in both of our cars); Beyoncé (because duh?); Jenny Slate (because she is very, very funny!); and System, Union, and Adult magazines—all REALLY good! Portland Apothecary's lip balm (portlandapothecary.com); RillRill jewelry (rillrilljewelry.com). The new Frances May made 2014 just a little more special (francesmay.com), and thank god for West End Select Shop (westendselectshop.com)! Also: oversized silhouettes; monochromatic wardrobes; girls in sneakers; tunics over jeans; slow fashion hitting the mainstream. And we love what Olderbrother (olderbrother.us) and Alexa Stark (alexastark.com) are doing in Portland! And sipping on tequila negronis and enjoying bad jokes!
Worst: first dates; the Ebola outbreak; maintaining blonde hair; wedge sneakers (sorry, Nike); ill-fitting mom jeans (invest in a good pair, you won't regret it—but don't forget to embrace the "cowboy crotch"). Later, maxi skirts—we won't miss you!—Jacquelyn Caballero and Mikola Accuardi, co-founders, Portland Supply Co., portlandsupplyco.com
I don't know if it's the ongoing Californication of our fair city, but I am sick of seeing slutty heels and spandex dresses on girls in the middle of winter. Move to LA or grow out your leg hair and/or put on some leggings—stop trying to be the miserable version of what you think a man wants. It's sad. And cold. Stop tweeting and start reading. Time to use those brains, ladies, and stop using the ding-dong method to get laid.—Kelley Roy, founder, ADX, adxportland.com
I really think men will look back on this year and wonder why Amishsexual was the beard they chose. Let's put an end to the insanity. Groom that beard into submission, fellas! I think clogs as heels are a trend that should have never been ("hasbeens" is right—yick). Normcore be gone! Portland helped make you, and I'm not sure I can ever forgive us for it. And I have been seeing people posting/making dreamcatchers lately. I can't believe my eyes... my burning eyes. I like the macramé revisit, but somehow the dreamcatcher takes me right over the edge into a massive eye roll.—Sarah Bibb, owner/designer, Folly, follypdx.com
Disinvited: Kim Kardashian's catastrophic representation of female fame, fortune, and beauty; Willow and Jaden Smith; black lipstick; "witchy" fashion. Best: Sackcloth & Ashes; Whorehound solo acoustic act; Sauvie Island flower picking; Carol Yarrow's One Mahogany Left Standing at Blue Sky Gallery; Kinfolk magazine and Wilder Quarterly; Sou'wester Lodge; the Underdog Railroad Rescue; Heartcave jewelry (shopheartcave.com).—Caroline Marie Griffin, creative consultant and designer, Atelier Cornelia, ateliercornelia.squarespace.com
I would have to say that coochie cutters are the worst of 2014. They do have a place (lookbooks, girls who keep their legs solid, and car washes), but I've never desired to see a girl of any age's butt cheeks—let alone her labia—popping out to say hello while I'm trying to eat my lunch. That horrid trend has got to go. Booty shorts via 1980s Levi's cut off just under the derrière can be smokin' hot... with the "just right" fit that ensures the covering of all lady parts.—Katie Guinn, apparel designer (and Mercury contributor), katieguinn.com
Best: Yay for more rad retail opening up in PDX. Yay for the plus size fashion crowd being around, being supportive of local designers, and putting on amazing events (hello, Summer Strut). Fashioning Cascadia was an awesome focus on the makers here in Portland. Yay for Portland makers, always. Worst: If I see more girls' asses hanging out of ironic '90s mom jeans where I can see two full butt cheeks at Whole Foods, I may lose it. Can the bow tie trend please go away (except the ones for cats!)? As well as poorly executed Shibori—it should look like a pretty pattern, not my mom's home-tie-dyed socks that she wears with Birkenstocks. And I can't get on the new Birkenstock wagon, maybe because of my folks and being a rare
Oregon native. I have had to say many times, "Pick either socks OR sandals before leaving the house" to them. So needless to say they make me shudder.—Alyson Clair, apparel designer, Clair Vintage Inspired, alysonclair.com
Best: The wardrobe and art direction of Peaky Blinders and Boardwalk Empire, and Duchess Clothier (duchessclothier.com), of course! We are jonesing for a new suit in 2015 paired with some wicked Bed|Stü shoes. Hopefully Santa is listening and not face down in the eggnog again. In our chosen medium, we are seeing more clients [consider] rugs that are a bit more adventurous and reflective of personal style. We say, carry on! It's freaking gray outside, punch up your space with some damn color already. Worst: While we could make a rather lengthy list of fashion transgressions, people are doing an outstanding job of recording themselves. The digital archive is damnation enough. Also, our therapist has been encouraging us to look on the sunny side of the street. Of course, at the moment, it is a bit challenging to locate the sunny side of any street in Portland. So occasionally, in lieu of vitamin D, we drink an old fashioned at Pepe Le Moko. At least our insides are sunny and warm.—Brian Robins and Rebecca Laurie, Kush Handmade Rugs, kushrugs.com
My favorite thing about this year's style experience was opening my mind and really appreciating the way people express themselves through clothing—not being limited by what others think or what is on trend, but using clothing as a deliberate expression of themselves and their values.—Anna Cohen, designer and creative director, annacohen.com
My least favorite things were the term "lumbersexual" and how many well-dressed women were wearing Birkenstocks. And I loved the new Karl vonBuck line.—Erik Prowell, founder, Bridge + Burn, bridgeandburn.com