Eugene Weekly : Fashion : 8.12.2010



Downtown Dress-Up

Feathered Friends Flocking to the new trend in hair style

Getting Undressed With a Crowd Old friends, New clothes and friendly nudity

Sidewalk Style


Words by Molly Templeton | Photography by Trask Bedortha

Looking for something new to brighten up your closet? Local designers of all stripes will be showing (and selling) their wares this Wednesday at downtown’s Runway Masquerade. We’ve rounded up a few of the participating designers to talk about their clothes, their inspiration and what’s percolating in Eugene’s stylish minds. (These Q&As are condensed from longer interviews; you can find much more at Runway Masquerade takes place at 6 pm Wednesday, Aug. 18, at Broadway Plaza (Willamette & Broadway). Suggested donation is one can of food or $1 (donated to Relief Nursery).


SHADY LADY by Annie Rupp, 31

Your card says you focus on lingerie, swimwear and parasols. Can you talk about that a little bit?

I started making organic underwear when my daughter potty-trained really young. So I just started making really cute little kids’ underwear and that quickly expanded into adult underwear, and a lot of organic, bamboo cotton. Then I started getting involved with some stretch lace, and then I bought some gold lamé, and everyone just went crazy when I started making swimsuits. I’ve been having a really hard time getting an inventory, which has been awesome. I just started this spring, in April. 

How many suits have you made?

A couple hundred, probably.

How long do they take?

I can make a suit in less than an hour.

I guess it’s not much material.

No, it’s not. It’s not much material at all! Most of them. So, yeah, they’re for people who aren’t shy, mostly!

How do you describe your style?

The swimsuits are kind of a little pinup girl, a little maybe shiny Lycra edgy, but kind of something that you can wear and be active in but still look super cute. I do a lot of custom stuff, and custom costumes for Burning Man.

Is there anything in particular that you’ve made that you’re the most fond of or proud of?

My daughter! … I feel like I’m still learning so much so each piece is a little bit better than the one before. I’m learning to use my machine more, how to get the materials I want cheaper, or more local or recycled. I feel like it’s a total evolution and it keeps getting better.

Shady Lady is available at Deluxe, the Redoux Parlour and hopefully soon, Rupp says, at Sweet Potato Pie. 


REVIVALL CLOTHING by Laura Lee Laroux, 31

What kind of clothes do you focus on? 

I focus on clothes for men that are dapper and clothes for women that are pretty, feminine, frilly, lacy, fun, bloomers.

Do you have a day job? 

I own the Redoux Parlour. I actually, last year, worked full time in social work for Looking Glass at the homeless youth shelter, Station 7. So I used to have a full time job and the store and made clothes. I don’t know how!  But now I just have the store and the clothes. 

From where do you draw inspiration? 

I think that a lot of the Eugene and Portland kind of gypsy-musician-performer crowd is where I get a lot of my inspiration. Especially now. And a lot of old stuff, like I really love ’50s housewife type things. I feel like my stuff is always kind of an attempt of an empowerment of the domestic side of women. … I feel like there’s actually a lot of respect that I have for people like my mom, who totally took care of the house, had the job, cooked for us when she got home. I think it’s sad that women don’t get respected for that as much as they should because it’s a ridiculous amount of work. So ideally I make stuff that helps women feel really good and confident about themselves — and is fun too. 

What are you working on next?

I really want to focus on bike gear. I’d love to be able to make a skirt that’s ride-able, that you can ride your bike in. I’m really inspired by tweeds right now, and then velvet, so velvet and tweed are kind of going to be my thing for my fall collection.

Revivall Clothing is available at the Redoux Parlour.

JAUNTY DESIGNS by Moria Wheeler, 24

What kind of clothes do you focus on? 

I focus on clothes mostly for 16 to mid-20some girls. Really bright colors, flashy patterns — clothes that are fun.

How long have you been designing clothes? 

Since 2006. 

From where do you draw inspiration? 

Really all over. I mean, it’s not a lot of specific things. I definitely follow more high fashion than I used to. I have an interest in just seeing what’s being pushed at people in terms of what they put out in the market. It’s weird to go to the mall and see what all the girls are buying, all that kind of stuff. I find it really interesting. And then I still just do my own thing, but I like kind of looking into that.

What are you working on next?

I would really like to work more in jackets. I started doing that a little bit this last year and they’re just really fun and really exciting, really rewarding, when you complete something that has so many pieces involved. It’s very complicated to get a good fit with a jacket from scratch. So I’d like to work more in that before it gets too wintery. I really prefer the spring/summertime shows just because I like to make a lot of bright colored dresses and bright colored things in general.

Do you have one particular thing that you’ve made that you’re the most proud of, or most fond of?

I made this one dress that was pleated and silk that I was really proud of. It just came out really incredible, and I’d never done pleats in anything before , and silk is a very difficult fabric to work in. So I was pretty excited about that dress.

Jaunty Designs are available at Deluxe. 

AUGURY by Rebecca Fischer, 34

What kind of clothes do you focus on?

I really like tailored clothing. … I like French seams and linings and very finished clothes. I like things that fit. I really like historical patterns of the 1890s, but I want to take elements of that and mix it into things that people might actually wear rather than sew for SCA or something like that. Stylistically, I really like those looks but I don’t put them together in historically accurate ways, I’d say. 

From where do you draw your inspiration?

I’m inspired by designers like [Madeleine] Vionnet who engineered some really interesting things. When you start to play with her patterns, they’re really quite brilliant. … Or Chanel, who … I hate her clothes — I mean, they’re awful — but she was a brilliant businesswoman. Her marketing strategies were great, and I like to try to figure out, you know, how she did what she did when her stuff’s really, really ugly.

Is there any one thing that you’ve made in your current career that you’re most proud of or most fond of?

I just made a wedding dress that I’m really pretty happy with. It’s really hard for me to be just fully satisfied with something. I always see all the flaws and I want to do it again better. But this one, I did a reproduction of a Vionnet pattern that I found in a book, so it was just the basic shapes drawn out and some really rudimentary instructions and I draped it rather — usually I will draft on paper with rulers, and just the act of realizing that I could drape, and it’s so imprecise, I’m not measuring specifics and adding … The reason that we would draft like that is to produce something that can be graded and fit a range of people and be mass produced, and draping is so individual.

Augury is available at the Redoux Parlour.

ALL TOGETHER NOW by Tarra Hartlauer, 37

What kind of clothes do you focus on?

It’s all skirts so far. I take used jeans or pants and turn them into a skirt, and then I add all sorts of random fabrics that I’ve accumulated from yard sales, thrift stores or trades, and I do appliqué. 

How long have you been doing this?

Just a little over a year. I quit school to do this, basically. I’m a dropout of the university. I was really close to graduating and started sewing, and I just loved it, and the fact that I’m able to touch more people’s lives this way and feel more empowered …  I’m having a great time.

From where do you draw your inspiration?

Every person I cross, basically. I love to people-watch. And from my heart. And the Earth.

You don’t really work in collections, right? 

I just make moody skirts. … The way I’ve been thinking of it is, I’m trying to empower women. I’m bringing pants that used to be for men and then pulling the women forward. And, you know, everyone’s kind of getting into a uniform, or a certain hat, and my stuff is really — everyone’s wanting to express themselves. I notice a lot of tattoos, I wear a tattoo, but my stuff is, you can take it off at the end of the day. You can go to work and it’s less permanent, but yet you can express yourself with my wares.

Do you think of it as a feminist thing, what you do?

Yeah. It’s feminist. Yeah. I do.

All Together Now skirts are available at the Saturday Market and the Redoux Parlour.

PIRANHA / SPANDEX BODY Marcia Knee, 52, & Norman Lent, 58

Tell me about what kind of clothes you focus on.

Wrestling wear.

What kind of stuff will you have in the fashion show?

It ranges from full gown to steampunk to what they call fruits [a Japanese trend], and … then Lolita and gothic. So, it’s a little span.

Can you talk a little bit about the wrestling stuff?

[Norman] had the swimwear store down at the mall, so there was a lot of Lycra spandex left over. I’ve been teaching him how to sew and he’s been making tights and we have quite a few pro wrestlers — it’s not the WWE, but they are pro, and we make a lot of stretchy spandex pants.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Just in my head. See, everything that’s out now is just regurgitated and changed a little. So, you know, punk has become Lolita, and goth is just a softer, flowing version of punk. It’s all the same. 

How many pieces are you doing for the fashion show?

I’m going to try and do 15. This is my big bang. … I figured if it’s going to be a show, I’m going to try to do some big pieces, some fun stuff. … We have some spandex with big boots, some big skirts, and we’re going to try and do some wings if I can. … I’m kind of agoraphobic, so this is major, for me to show up at the show. 

It’s your one last show?

Yeah. It’s my one and only. 

Why this one particular show?

Because I’ve been housebound and haven’t done anything in years, and it’s a waste of creativity and I was hoping that maybe someone would see that I can make stuff, and I could pass on some knowledge to someone that’s interested. 

Piranha is available at Kitsch and the Redoux Parlour; Spandex Body is available on eBay.