10 March, 2011

Pendleton's been around for 140 years... Think they're gonna make it?

Let me preface this little tidbit by saying I love David Bowie. Love him.

Two years ago I read a quote from Bowie in response to the question: "So who do you see some potential in musically today?" Admittedly, now I can't remember if he said Radiohead or Coldplay (so I might be losing some of the impact here- what else is new?), but he followed one of them with: "Yeah, they seem to be pretty talented. I actually think they'll make it big."


1. Radiohead had made it "big" while I was still in high school.

2. Coldplay has been Coldplay for more than a decade.

Granted, Bowie is BOWIE, so his perception of making it "big" is likely a tad skewed. But regardless of which band it was, this observation of his was so hilarious to me at the time, that it still makes me giggle when I think about it. And I think about it a lot. I fixate like that. Anyway, that's the inside-joke behind this blog title.

End embarrassingly unrelated tangent.

This is about Pendleton. Did your dad have some of their wool shirts when you were growing up? If he did, he likely still does. When I was 16, old Pendleton shirts were the absolute pinacle of cool. Well, figuratively- because when you grow up on a friggin' tropical island, you have absolutely NO BUSINESS WEARING THEM. Tell that to the 10th grader in vintage 100% virgin wool- sporting a terminally uncool sweaty upper lip. :(

I knew that this incredible heritage brand had been chugging along forever, and I've kept a watchful eye on their recent contemporary collaborations (Pendleton for Opening Ceremony, anyone?! WHOOO!). However, until their recent announcement of an in-house contemporary line, I hadn't actually obsessed over them since the good ol' sweaty lip days. Under the (unexpected) guidance of their fellow Portlanders, Nathaniel Crissman and Rachel Turk of cult-favorite, Church + State, along with John Blasioli- stylist behind indie legends' The Decemberists' stage gear, "The Portland Collection" was born.

Targeting the “bridge market” (that’s 25-45 year-olds with disposable ca$hola to you), and building upon Pendleton's refined and timeless aesthetic, this capsule adds an air of urban sensibility to the classic. Pendleton's hallmarks- never-fail wool plaids and Navajo prints, are re-imagined in contemporary ways, with cuffed shorts, oversized pullovers and trim day dresses-gone saucy with cut outs, the collection features both men’s and women’s capsules alongside unisex accessories. Says Mort Bishop, president of Pendleton Woolen Mills: “It’s more progressive in fashion. The fit is trimmer, for a younger customer — and it’s made in America.”

As though we needed another excuse to buy domestic, Mort... I edited an order for these pieces this morning- and as far as I know, NO ONE in SLO is picking it up. I think that's just crazy cakes. I'm betting that The Portland Collection is going to be on everyone's lips (sweaty or otherwise) come Fall.

Though it's the saddest of photos (a great example of what we work off of post-market), this was my very favorite of the Fall preview.

*Lookbook images c/o Pendleton.
**All sketches by Nathaniel Crissman.

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