escape

Libby

Escape by Journey has been my go-to song these past couple weeks. It’s upbeat, great to sing (off-key) to, the lyrics are somewhat relevant to my life and Neal Schon’s guitar riffs are out of this world on the track.

For me, Escape is all about finding your way, or rather making your way through life. So today I figured I’d forego the approach I typically take to styling my look and instead try something a little different.

I purchased a piece that’s unique to my wardrobe and unlike anything currently draped over any of my wooden hangers. I abandoned our minimalistic, neutral color palette for a vintage, black-and-white filter. And for today, this look is my little sweet escape from the chaos of everything else.

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gypsy soul shirt dress, topshop denim, zara booties, work/shop necklace

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first week madness.

Kristin

This week I am commencing my final (fifth) year at portland state. It’s been a little crazy with work and school, so I thought I’d do an honest blog post about what I’ve been up to, and what I’ve been wearing to get me through it! Enjoy.

hm booties, gypsy warrior notebook, french connection sling bag

kat von d liquid lippie in “lolita”, shirt from seesee coffee shop, necklace from buffalo exchange

shirt from gypsy warrior

hm jacket, pins from nordstrom rack, serpent necklace from hautelook

hat from zara, jacket from hm, rings from for love 21

What I Learned at SUITCASE Magazine

Melissa

Entering the office on the first day was probably one of the scariest things of my life, But it was also one of the most exciting. Within three months I had scored an internship at a dream publication, after I had convinced myself that I probably wouldn’t have one this summer.

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But here I stand now in London, a month later, with a completed internship under my belt about ready to come back to the U.S. I’ve learned a lot, had some internal battles, had a few crazy experiences and developed a lot of new skills. Here’s a quick list that doesn’t do the whole experience justice.

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I had the ability to write, edit, pitch and interview.
This definitely isn’t something anyone can say about internships. This wasn’t coffee runs, dress returns and data entry. The team at SUITCASE had trust in me, and that’s something I’ll forever be grateful for. I had a lot of creative freedom as an intern and fine-tuned my writing and editing skills. (Also my UK grammar, which I’m still trying to get the hang of, sorry guys.)

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I can do this.
After sending an embarrassing amount of applications and not getting a single response, I was feeling pretty down about my journalism skills. It also didn’t help that the school I attend isn’t really involved in the lifestyle/fashion/travel/beauty scene of the magazine industry. A lot of my peers were getting internships at newspapers and places that didn’t appeal to me. But after scoring the internship at SUITCASE I realized that this is something I can do, and something I really want to be doing. So takeaway: you don’t have to conform; you can find a way to do WHATEVER it is you love–there aren’t many obstacles that can get in the way if your dreams are big enough.

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the best of V+V

Libby

On March 21, 2016, six months ago today, we announced the relaunch of Velvet + Vinyl. Kristin painted a beautiful watercolor piece, we shared our news with the world and since then it’s been a wild and exciting ride.

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who would’ve thought that we would be where we are now …. ❤️

To commemorate the accomplishment, I want to take a look back at some of our best moments. As individuals and as a team, we’ve made tremendous strides in these last six months. We’ve learned a lot, we’ve defined our passions and have pursued them, and we’ve been persistent in the face of our dreams. Every day I’m thankful that Kristin and Melissa saw potential in a dream I had and that they jumped on board with me, hustling to make it happen. These girls have become two of my greatest inspirations and I feel fortunate that I also get the privilege of calling them my friends. I am so proud of each member of our girl gang + cannot wait to see what the next six months have in store!

So, let’s see. Where to start….

– London Fashion Week: Melissa’s been in London this past month pursuing her dreams of working in a fashion magazine. She’s been kicking butt during her internship at Suitcase Magazine, and during her time there she had the opportunity to cover London Fashion Week. By no surprise, she slayed it. Check out her most recent Suitcase article.

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– Artist spotlight on Anna Auerbach: Kristin has this inexplicably inspiring gnat for tracking down incredible artists and showcasing their work. She’s the music guru behind our team and we’re so lucky to have her. She’s got an ear for great music + does such an admirable job of bringing these artists to life on V+V.

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Sarah Donofrio collaboration: I partnered with Sarah Donofrio from Season 15 of Project Runway and we bonded over our love of fashion and music, especially vinyl. It was such a lovely experience getting to work with someone who is passionate about the same things I am. It was also pretty cool to see her do her thing last week during the premiere of the show.

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– Our first intern: We brought on Baylee this summer and we’re so excited to begin growing our team. She’s been such a seamless addition and we’re so stoked to have her as a part of the girl gang.

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– September playlist: Not only does Kristin have a gift for discovering amazing artists, she also has a talent for compiling music into playlists. I’m telling you, that musical ear of hers is GOLD. This one has been a fan favorite, so if you haven’t listened yet, now’s your chance.

– Thrifted + Threaded collab: I worked with Michaela Rodgers to do a spotlight on her clothing line, Thrifted and Threaded. It was such a neat opportunity, and it reminded me why we initially were inspired by shining light on girlbosses, dreamers and doers. Michaela even made us customized V+V shirts! Women build women, people. No doubt about it.

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Joseph: Another milestone for me was getting to meet and work with the band Joseph. These amazing girls were such an inspiration and a true joy to work with.

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Annie Backs collab: Baylee worked with aspiring designer Annie Backs, a young designer who has demonstrated her ability to take something simple and make it beautiful.

A little reminder: the two-piece you see below was made out of a long, black flowy prom-styled dress. To say this girl is goin’ places is an enormous understatement.

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Feel Good Summer Essentials: Melissa is our beauty guru and is so wise when it comes to beauty routines and go-to, can’t-live-without products. She, and Kristin, are queens and have honestly taught me all I know about how to pose and strut in front of the camera.

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Artist Spotlight on Alia: Kristin worked with Alia to put together a really kick-butt interview that merged her passion for music and the purpose of this blog. I love how this piece embodies our mission and what we’ve set out to do. (I may be biased on this one as it’s one of my faves…)

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The Keys To Wearing Black: In addition to her knowledge of beauty/beauty routines, Melissa is a natural when it comes to styling. We did this shoot with Emma Gaty Photography and M’s styling eye was straight 🔥  for this look!

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Thanks to my girl gang for sticking with me through this ride and making it the most rewarding journey + thanks to our readers, followers and fans who believe in what we’re doing.

Much Love,

L

London Fashion Week Photo Diary

Melissa

It’s only day three and I’m beyond in love with London Fashion Week and the style I’ve seen around here. I’ve snapped a few shots of some amazing people with incredible style, and I’m in awe of the effortlessness and creativity I’ve seen. Here’s just a sampler of the people who make the word fashion hold it’s meaning here in the UK. I’ll have more headed your way as the week carries on.

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project runway spotlight: sarah donofrio

Libby

Season 15 of Project Runway premieres tonight and we had a chance to sit down with girlboss and portland-competitor, Sarah Donofrio. Not only is Sarah an incredibly creative designer, but she’s also a music enthusiast who spins vinyl at night clubs (though not lately) and plays indie tunes for OPB music.

LB: What inspired you to begin designing clothes?

SD: I became interested in fashion from a young age. Early on in life I began collecting records and was extremely influenced by music. I was in a band and would listen to Scott Walker while cutting up band t-shirts and music really began to inspire my designs. I loved The Smiths, ABC, The Cure… alot of post-punk, new wave and pop. I also admired Madonna’s clothing designer, which got me to thinking, “how can I do this?”

Given my love for music and my obsession with the new romantic period of the 80s, I responded to this thought by starting my line, One Imaginary Girl, inspired by The Cure and their song, Three Imaginary Boys.

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LB: You’re competing on Season 15 of Project Runway. What encouraged you to pursue this opportunity? What are you most looking forward to about the experience?

SD: I’ve been watching the show since it aired and had thought about applying, and then finally I said, “Fuck it. Let’s just do it.”

Being on the show, I really enjoyed the challenges and the work I got to do. It was inspiring to see what everyone else did with their ideas, using leather, animals, denim, etc. Also, Tim Gunn gave really great advice that was applicable. All in all, I learned that I’m an amazing designer, not a TV star.

They applauded my energy and described my work as being really commercial, like Equipment or Kate Spade. So, I decided not to focus on sell-ability and to focus instead on the quality of my ideas, and I made a dress entirely out of records. I really learned to take risks, even stupid things, to put yourself out there and don’t worry about what people think. 

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LB: What are your all-time favorite fashion trends?

SD: Everything from the 80s: the boxy blazers, strong silhouettes, nipped waist, the textures, the bold risk-taking prints and high-waisted denim. I also like the 90s take on the 60s. I was 13-14 at the time and loved mod dresses. You also can’t deny the antithesis of norm core aka Kanye West.

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LB: Where do you get inspiration?

SD: Music, pieces that my friends wear that they feel confident in, taking risks with colors and the Memphis Milano movement of the 80s. I really love art, specifically Gilbert and George and other British artists. I’m also inspired by Damien Hirst – his Saatchi collection, use of color, crystal skulls, and his wall of cigarette butts and pills. I’m mesmerized by intricacies like that. 

LB: What can you tell us about your line, One Imaginary Girl?

SD: One Imaginary Girl emerged from the practice of thinking outside the box. I design my own prints and use vintage fabrics to create interesting silhouettes. For my spring 2017 collection, I wanted to integrate inspiration from women role models of the 80s, such as Dale Bozzio, Les Rita Mitsouko + Debbie Harry. You can expect to see jumpsuits, polka dots, bright colors, neon geometrics, and things I used to be shy about doing. 

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LB: Why do you think fashion is important?

SD: Because it gives people confidence and shows their individuality. You can go to HM and buy a shirt, or you can go to a vintage shop and get a Karl Lagerfield dress and that really speaks to you and in turn you speak to other people. Showing people your personal style intrigues people. Putting on something that’s unique to you shows you have personal style and then people want to get to know your personality.

LB: Tell me more about your passion for music. In what way does your taste in music inspire your designs?

SD: My dad had records and saw The Beatles 6 times, and he really inspired me. At age 14, I loved British pop and found blur and pulp to be super influential. America was about grunge, but British musicians were wearing suits or track jackets or polos and girls were wearing mod dresses.

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LB: Favorite album to listen to on vinyl?

SD: Primary Colours by The Horrors because it’s appropriate for anytime of day and appeals to lots of different moods. I also love The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths. 

LB: What can you tell us about this dress made of records?

When I was applying for Project Runway, I considered what types of challenges I might be up against and I realized my dream challenge would be related to records. And then it occurred to me, “What if I made a dress out of records?”

So, I smashed up old records and reconstructed them in to a dress, and I’m making a skirt as well. People don’t know it’s records until they look super close, but I’m interested to see who the customer will be. 

Be sure to watch Sarah on this season of Project Runway! Sarah- best of luck from the V+V team.

the girl gang grows

Libby

Our girl gang continues to grow, and we are so excited to welcome Kenzie Campbell to the squad! She’s radiant, innovative and has an infectious spirit we know you all will love. ⚡️

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LB: Tell me a brief synopsis of your journey in life thus far.

KC: I grew up in Washington and then my family moved us to Oregon when I was thirteen. Growing up I enjoyed cheering and taking art classes and now I’m pursuing a career in journalism.

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beatles t-shirt, high-waisted jeans and booties from urban outfitters

LB: Favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe is:

KC: My blue high waisted jeans.

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LB: The soundtrack to my life is:

KC: Soul, electronic, and rap music. Too hard to pick one.

LB: Why fashion?

KC: Fashion is the most obvious way to express oneself. There are so many different styles and looks to try – you can have a different style/ look every day if you wanted. Fashion allows us to be creative and unique.

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LB: Tell me about your dreams.

KC: My dreams include working for a high end fashion magazine and going to NYFW at some point in my lifetime. I also would love to be able to take a year to myself and travel. I think expanding horizons is so important and forces us to grow and see different perspectives.

LB: What challenge defines your story? In what ways have you learned from it?

KC: Growing up, I struggled with who I wanted to be. I had insecurities and my own internal doubts. Having to overcome those and tell myself that I am a good person who deserves good things. I’ve learned that nobody is perfect, we all have good and bad traits, so love what you have to offer and soar with it.

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LB: If your sense of style could share a single message with the world, what would it be?

KC: Don’t have to stick with one style. That’s the beauty of fashion. Be and dress whatever you are feeling that day. If you are feeling like an edgy bad-ass rocker chick then dress like it! As long as you love what you’re wearing and you feel confident, then that’s what matters.

LB: “These are a few of my favorite things…”

KC: Mochi ice cream, the “Aden” filter on Instagram, Elle magazine, fall colors, celebrity fashion + betcheslovethis.com for when I need a good laugh

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spaces + style

Libby

Lately I’ve been exceptionally inspired by my surroundings, and as a result I’ve been gravitating towards clean, polished looks that are brought about by the contrast of sharp, crisp colors. Here’s a look at the spaces influencing my style.

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outfit inspo – leith button down from nordstrom, topshop denim + topshop booties

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where records and art collide

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sweedeedee restaurant

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blue star donuts, N mississippi ave

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shopping on NW 23rd

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coffeehouse northwest

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caffeine, colors + textures

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blend coffee mastering minimalism