Heavy Waxed Cruiser by Best Made Company

Words by Rolan Gregg

Springtime in Portland is turbulent.  The land is shaking itself awake with bursts of hail and rain squalls followed by unexpected afternoons of quiet sunshine.  The cherry blossoms and daffodils are exploding and the light is finally sticking around long enough for happy hour.  When I saw the Heavy Waxed Cruiser by Best Made Company, I knew it was perfect for the wonderfully indecisive days of spring ahead of us.


I love waxed canvas but this jacket really out does itself.  Built to last both time and season, it’s a strong helping of waxed duck canvas reinforced with double needled stitching and solid brass shanks. The neck stand is noteworthy as it not only gives a confident shape to the entire piece but it’s the perfect guard against that sideways rain the Oregon coast is known for.  The softer interior collar and cuffs add a level of coziness that is often forgotten in canvas creations and the inner layer is a brushed cotton twill.


Designed and manufactured in NYC, the Heavy Waxed Cruiser was built for the beautifully unpredictable months ahead in the Pacific Northwest.  The sustainable notions of this jacket are also not be overlooked.  It was crafted for longevity by allowing the seasons to weather it into an aged classic that gets better each year.




Best Made Company | 36 White Street, New York, NY 10013

photo source: Best Made Company

Danner Collaborates with Beckel Canvas Products

Words by Rolan Gregg

Two of Portland’s iconic brands have joined forces to bring us a signature Pacific NW boot just in time for Spring.  Danner and Beckel Canvas have been collaborating on an impressive winter project, the Danner Light Beckel boots.  The boots are a unique merging of Danner’s footwear mastery with the Beckel Canvas craftsmanship usually reserved for their line of tents and canvas bags.


The new Danner Light Beckel boots are available in three men’s styles and one style for women.  The details include premium leather upper and 10-ounce Beckel Canvas quarter panels, DriLex lining, and a Vibram outsole.  With solid construction and timeless aesthetics, these boots are made in Portland, Oregon home to both Danner and Beckel Canvas.


Danner will be welcoming these limited edition boots into the lineup with a launch party this Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 6-9 p.m.  If you haven’t been to the new Danner store in the Union Way alley, it’s certainly worth it for a dose of inspiration and connection to handcrafted heritage style done flawlessly.  Plus there will be live music and drinks, for a little extra motivation.




Danner | 1022 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209

photo source: Danner

Five Years One Moto

Post by Ryan Fish — Photographs and words by Amanda Leigh Smith

Working at the One Motorcycle Show one week after publishing a motorcycle-adventure editorial in Iron and Air magazine, photographer Amanda Leigh Smith was in prime position to capture some behind the scenes photos of the show before guests arrived:

“The weather was pretty crappy, but there was still an amazing turn out of people who came from all over.

It was at the YU. Last few years were at Sandbox Studios, which is a great venue too but I think the YU turned out great. It was 2 levels this year, so there were way more space: a larger stage for the bands, 2 bars, Sizzle Pie set up inside and made a mini See See Coffee shop where you could get See See coffee and food, and a much larger merch table. I think the NW Film Center also set up a space to watch short motorcycle films and they were being judged but I’m not 100% sure on that one. I know short films were playing, but I can’t remember exactly what was going on. All I know I was bummed I didn’t get a chance to watch any of them and I hope they are posted online sometime soon.

There were so many bikes of all different styles, so everyone – no matter what they were into – found something to appreciate. The other thing I loved about the show is how it brings friends and strangers from all over the states and abroad together to have a good time. It’s unlike any event I’ve ever been to and I give major kudos to the folks that put it all together for us to enjoy for free.”






Cloth and Goods: Japanese Vintage Indigo Pillows

Words by Rolan GreggNever have I taken such a firm and committed inventory of my home decor than after being snowed in for three days.  After watching an unhealthy amount of reality television and eating through the dregs of my snack stash, I started really noticing the furniture, textures, and lighting that surrounded me.  I became sharply aware that it was all in need of a little pick me up.  With springtime on the horizon, I wanted to add some life to my living room and a strong swatch of color.  I checked out Cloth & Goods, an online store from Portland-based interior designer Melissa Newirth, and was immediately drawn to the collection of Japanese Vintage Indigo Pillows.

This limited collection was created on hand-operated looms from both new and vintage handwoven Japanese textiles.  Their rich indigo color is the result of a natural plant-based dyeing technique that was achieved by using traditional Japanese methods.  The backs of the pillows are made with new 100% cotton fabric and dyed a vibrant shade of indigo.shark water slide on sale

Cloth & Good is such an inspiring textile and design shop that a stroll through their gallery should be mandatory around this time of year.



photo source: Cloth & Goods

PDX Collective Sale: New Dates! March 1 + 2


(Postponed due to the blizzardly weather!  The new dates are March 1 + 2.)

Thanks to the mysterious polar vortex fashionably savvy shoppers get a few extra weeks to make plans for the PDX Collective Sale at the Ace Hotel’s event space known as The Cleaners.  Eleven impressive shops are banding together for a noteworthy bi-annual sale on past season inventory and new season discounts.  With a focus on women’s wear, the sale features shoes, jewelry, and clothing from creative and thoughtfully crafted boutiques in the Portland and Hood River areas.  Even better news is that all merchants replenish their stock on the second day so it’s truly a two day affair.  So get serious about your wardrobe and check out the shops participating:

physical element
Parallel Portland
Mabel and Zora
Zella Shoes
EcoVibe Apparel
Radish Underground

March 1st, Sat 10-5pm
March 2nd, Sun 11-5pm
The Cleaners | 1022 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205

Valentine’s Day Portland Pink Picks

Words by Rolan Gregg

Valentine’s Day is creeping up fast.  Whether February 14th brings about feelings of love or loathing, a fashionable splash of pink is reason for romance itself.  We rounded up a few favorites that can turn a date with yourself or your better half into a handsome affair during this heartfelt season.


If you didn’t have a date before the Winchester tie, you certainly will after.  From the handcrafters over at Harding & Wilson, the Winchester is a limited run bow tie of 10 pieces all made from 100% cotton.  These ties had a former life as a set of decorative curtains but in the hands of the Harding & Wilson team, they have been transformed into powdery pink bow ties that make a soft, beautiful statement.

Harding & Wilson |  Portland and beyond


The Price Crewneck from Jack Spade may be your classic Pacific Northwest casual fare but the punch of pink gives it a sense of lightness much needed during these gloomy days.  It’s a reminder that spring is on the horizon and the lush landscape of brighter times is within reach.  Made from a heavy terry fleece, the raglan sleeves and v-notch collar with strong outer seams make it a comfortable companion for V-Day.

Jack Spade |  304 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209




The neckerchief is here.  The Pink Shibori Neckerchief from Kiriko was constructed from a vintage shibori dyed kimono jacket.  The pattern is truly handmade through an intense and classic Japanese dyeing technique called Shibori.  The design of this neckerchief was created by shaping, knotting, and folding the actual fabric then dyeing the material in a deep pink hue.  The coloring illuminates the intensity of the texture and visual attraction.

Kiriko | Portland and beyond

Union Special — Denim Repair at Self Edge

I met with Tyler at Self Edge to find out why the Union Special makes a hem pucker like it does. A little background: the Union Special hemming machine is what was used on pre-1950s Levi jeans, and those jeans have a visible twisting pattern at the bottom of the pant leg. Today, most raw denim makers create jeans in a cut and style is inspired by those vintage jeans—and in some cases they’re making very close reproductions. But the pant leg on most new denim needs to be hemmed (every pair of denim you’d find at Self Edge is very, very long so that it can be hemmed to the buyer’s exact leg length), and so even if the denim maker uses a Chain Stitch machine on the original factory hem, you’d lose that puckering and twisting when you purchased the denim and had it hemmed to your length. The solution: Self Edge’s chain stitch machines which are found in all four stores (LA, NYC, SF, & PDX) and are called on for the in-store hemming of newly purchased jeans.


To describe the specific attribute of the Union Special that results in a chain stitch that puckers and twists, Tyler tells me a story from when they opened the PDX store:

“When we first came to the area we had a really good mechanic come by and do some work for us. As he was leaving he told us that the machines we had worked fine, but they weren’t the best for hemming a pant leg, and he felt really bad for us because he didn’t think we knew what we were doing, and that we had all the wrong machinery for this sort of hemming work.

“He knew our Union Special was creating a feed differential: the top and bottom layers of fabric were being fed into the machine at different rates, and a natural puckering was occurring.  When the material is being fed through it’s the feed dogs that are pulling it through, but they only pull on the bottom piece of fabric and the top fabric isn’t being pulled so it goes into the machine at a slightly slower pace. The roping comes from this feed differential, but the Union Special in particular because its feed differential is so dramatic. And then after time it fades and the pattern at the bottom of the pant leg becomes really crazy and nice and dramatic.

“The differential is a defect, yes, and that’s why these aren’t used any more. That’s what our mechanic was concerned about. He thought we blew a bunch of money on an old faulty machine. But that’s  testament to how complicated it is to achieve the correct details. The way we’re doing things isn’t the easiest, but it produces results closest to how it was done in the golden era of jeans, and that’s what we’re dedicated to. These models of Union Specials were used on the Lee and Levi jeans in the 50s and 60s and so that’s what people want when they’re trying to reproduce the look of that era’s denim.”


Hemming is complimentary if you purchased your denim at Self Edge, otherwise it’s $25. They also provide repairs for $40 ($20 if it was purchased at the store), which covers all repairs to a single pair of denim, which I took advantage of to repair a crotch blowout, leg blowout, three loose seams, and a torn back pocket on my old Blue Blue’s. And they darned two medium sized hole in the thigh with their 1950′s Singer Darning machine (seen above). All for $40:

Wood Wood Blot Distress Sweatshirt

Words by Rolan Gregg

We’ve all heard of the Rorschach inkblot test, a series of monochromatic blobs on flashcards that illuminate deep psychological traits and trends.  There’s something about the symmetry, texture, and shape in the Rorschach tests that make it not only fascinating but memorable.  With those ingredients in mind, Wood Wood has created a distressed sweatshirt patterned with the famous inkblots.




Created in a soft, jersey cotton with piping on the seams and ribbed cuffs, there’s a systematic peacefulness from the random patterning of the Rorschach blots.  Easily matched for casual wear, this sweatshirt doesn’t have to be downplayed.  The design appears contemporary and striking enough to be the centerpiece of a more tailored outfit.

If you’re in Portland, try one on at Frances May.

Frances May |  1013 SW Washington Street, Portland, OR 97205

photo source: Wood Wood