Friday, October 30, 2009


So incredibly happy for wonderful Lisa of "le bouton studio" for her mention in this profile of Duskin's Stephanie Tran!  Yay!

It's so much fun when the wider world discovers your favorite people...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

3 Things on a Wednesday...


 I want to live in this room.  In a warmer climate.  And swing...

The following is lowbrow, wince-inducing, and hysterically funny.  Todd Selby posted this on Twitter.  I nearly gave it a post of its own entitled "The Case for Celibacy".   You will never put the words "Eighties" and "style" in the same sentence ever again....

Lastly, a great source of pithy insight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

le bouton for chelliswilson.

In the first round of "le bouton for chelliswilson.",  we have the "one tuck dress", the "one tuck tunic", and the "side pleats" skirt, all in beautiful charcoal wool suiting. (the skirt and the dress have pockets lined in blue or pink silk!)  We're also offering bespoke service if the piece you love isn't available in your size.  Email me or call the shop for pricing and availability.


  And for anyone curious about what goes on in the shop on those days when I'm "closed" (but still working!),  I'll leave you with a gratuitous family photo : Miss Margaret diligently working on a writing project, while (out of the frame)  I'm doing my best to distract her, dancing around the room....

Monday, October 19, 2009

What I've been dying to tell you....

 This is going to be amazing!

Forgive my computer illiteracy (can't seem to get this to fit into the post without losing the ability to read the names).  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.  Please click on the postcard to read the names of these wonderful, generous artists!  And feel free to send me technical advice!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The School of Life...

I always had the sneaking suspicion that I was in need of this, but I never realized there was an actual storefront!  Yes, a tutorial on your own existence, edited into a mere five courses: LOVE, POLITICS, WORK, PLAY, FAMILY.  The syllabi for these courses were invented by writers, artists, actors and academics. (the sanest people I know!)

But the enlightenment doesn't stop there!

The School of Life has an in-house travel agency---endorsed by Alain de Botton, no less!--to help send you off on an expansive holiday.

And to make sure your library is relevant:  "blbliotherapists".

Practice the art of stimulating discourse at Conversation Dinners (and Breakfasts).

Even "Sermons" delivered by "maverick cultural figures" (remember: they're Brits. Probably the word "maverick" doesn't automatically make them think of you-know-who...) on topics like "Loving Your Ego", "Envy", "Seduction", "Risk" and, last but not least, "Good Design".

Attend an Event!  How about "How to be Cool" or "How to Eat".  Or the one that should be mandatory, "How to be a Better Lover".  (Hmmm...wonder what kind of party favors they give out at that one...?)

And, if after all that, you still aren't sufficiently "tweaked-up", The School of Life has a coterie of psychotherapists on hand to help you "tour your own psyche".

OH!  I almost forgot!  Don't forget to sign up for your "Daily Aphorism"!

There.  All our problems are solved.  Wasn't that easy?

Monday, October 12, 2009

You inspire me....

I want to share with you four projects.  Each brings beauty, sheds light, and creates community in honorable and innovative ways.  All these people are using their significant talents to foster good. Two originate close to home, the others from further away.  All are superbly executed and creatively engaging.  Initiatives we can all be proud to support.

From textile artist and environmental strategist Sasha Duerr, the Permacouture Institute, an educational  non-profit for "regenerative design in fashion and textiles",  promoting "healthy integration between nature and culture".  One of Sasha's best ideas is an event she calls (with tongue firmly planted in cheek...) "Dinner to Dye For", an enlightening and fun marriage of the Slow Textiles and Slow Food movements.  I think this is something that could be beautifully replicated here in Portland. 

Anyone one who's been reading this blog knows by now that John Bielenberg (of Belfast, Maine!) is one of my heroes.  His "Project M" is an immersion program that inspires young designers to use their skills and talents to positively impact the culture, one community at a time. PieLab, based in Greensboro, Alabama (home to Sam Mockbee's Rural Studio), is a pop-up experimental pie shop which hopes to foster conversation between neighbors in this rural, southern town "by uncovering the ideas, stories, aspirations, and talents of this underserved community."  They are moving to a new space on the Main Street, and are asking for investment in this worthwhile endeavor.

From Portland, Maine based writer/photographers Peter Smith and Natalie Conn a documentary project called "The Sunday Best", an homage to "ordinary people doing extraordinary things".   Each Sunday (hence the name), they feature a member of this community through narrative and portraiture.  Think multimedia Studs Terkel. An integral part of this project is to find out if the public will support it. Please do.

Lastly, I want to honor my dear friend, artist Sara Lemieux, for her commitment and devotion  to "The Barrio Planta Project" in Managua, Nicaragua. She's teaching art, dance, and English to children in this impoverished region, volunteering her time and myriad talents during the month of October.

Thank you all.  You lift me up.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Green Acres is the place to be....

(photo: Valerio Mezzanoti for the New York Times)
Chanel living is the life for me??  If the above isn't the perfect embodiment of an oxymoron, nothing is.  Or perhaps Lagerfeld is as enamored of Li Edelkoort as I am.  When you consider her projects in recent years---"A World of Folk" which suggests a tendency towards a more "unplugged" way of life, highlighting that "many of us want a more "acoustic" lifestyle and believe in a better future with organic food, rainwater, solar energy, biofuel, manually made tools, folk music and modern rural design."; and  the Designhuis (an Edelkoort initiative) exhibit "Farm" by Studio Job, which beautifully elevates the iconography of rural living--- it's not as shocking to think of Chanel going off in this direction (albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way).  I guess we know who's been reading The General Trend Book....

This video gives a fascinating glimpse into her perfectly curated life.  Where do I sign up?

Monday, October 5, 2009

A thing of beauty....

Bright Star movie image Abbie Cornish (1).jpg

Ben Whishaw stars as poet John Keats in a cinematic déjeuner sur l'herbe

Go immediately and see this glorious film.  With "Bright Star", Jane Campion has outdone herself.  For lovers, for lovers of poetry, and lovers of garments.  Costumes by Janet Patterson are beyond perfect.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Night and day...

 are the one.

Through the front window at night.  Love that tin ceiling!

 A slice of our new additions and favorite things.  From Fog Linen Work,  adorable tunics and contrasting (or matching) scarves, all in sublime Lithuanian linen.  Chic tote in black linen and leather, also from Fog.  Propped in my antique pony skin director's chair is "3191:Evenings", a new photographic collaboration by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes. This is the companion to their 2008 book from Princeton Architectural Press, "A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart".  (for those of you who aren't familiar, 3191 is the number of miles between Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon.)   We have signed copies!   And just visible in the photo....

...gorgeous RODIN olio lusso for face and body.  Beautiful, glowy skin, an intoxicating scent, elegant packaging---perfect, streamlined luxury.  The golden box in the foreground is one of the most impressive press packages I've seen.  Samples sit on an antique French "Theatre Guignol" plate.  One way to tell just how honored I am to be carrying RODIN olio lusso, is that it's displayed on my pride-and-joy: the table handmade by my great-grandfather from five different hardwoods.