narrative personal

i was hoping to see you yesterday              needed to read sure your words are still there          spent so long near the estuary pacing             paid paged visits to so many rivers         swam            whole volumes to find our stories             but couldn’t find you yesterday      wanted to red flag you to make […]

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Be Friends with Rapists

This month, Feministing published an article called “Don’t Be Friends with Rapists,” which was rapidly passed around my friends through social media. I was disappointed by this simplistic and damaging way of handling a major social problem. You shouldn’t defriend rapists (and abusers). (Throughout this post, I will be using gender neutral pronouns for both […]

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VIDA Count 2013

Women writers will get a little lift in their sails this week from the just-published VIDA Count for 2013. VIDA, a volunteer-run nonprofit that seeks equality in publishing, annually publishes pie charts that compare the rates at which men and women are published. This year’s VIDA Count examined the rates that women were published in […]

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On Writing the Serial Novel

I would never be so reductive as to say there were two kinds of writers. But there are two kinds of writers. Every agent website warms against the first kind. “Don’t,” they plead, “scribble out 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo, type ‘the end’ and send us your work without editing.” Today, however, I am interested in […]

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The Reality Dilemma

People either love or despise reality television. The dilemma is that this form of entertainment remains socially relevant and informs Americans of their values. Perceptions of popular culture and our assumptions about our values are influenced by television and the manner that it echoes our own behaviors and pastimes. There are realities on the other […]

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Soft Like Silk and Sky

You are not interested in more pain. No cutting, no corsets, no daylong hangovers, no S&M. You are interested in numbing, a little, in what two glasses of wine does to your lips, in taking a sleeping pill, in putting your head underwater. Ice, scar tissue, that kind of thing. You’ve had enough pain so […]

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Springtime Is Ripe With Possibility


A week before Portland clothing and accessory designer Lindsey Reif’s first solo show for her brand Reif, I arrive at the studio she shares with Seaecho owner and designer Sarah Rapp in the middle of fittings. The show’s producer–the assiduous Jillian Rabe–and team are there in support and models arrive staggered over the next several hours to try on a sampling of Lindsey’s newest creations.

The studio, located in SE Portland within the newly retrofitted creative space called The Bindery, is just how I’d imagine two busy and blossoming designers’ space would be: rolls of Pendleton fabric, sewing machines, racks of clothing, piles of finished clutches, inspiration boards, and the requisite magazine tear of a cat. The Knife plays from a small docking station against the East wall while Lindsey ties a model named Sky into a strappy, striped sundress. I poke through the clothes on rolling rack and can’t help myself from cooing over the soft silks and wearable designs.

Photography: Autumn Northcraft,  Hair and makeup: Clarity Mettler, Models: Ally Ford and Kaila Briann Styling: Lindsey Reif
Photography: Autumn Northcraft,
Hair and makeup: Clarity Mettler, Models: Ally Ford and Kaila Briann
Styling: Lindsey Reif

Lindsey Reif: This line was inspired by this color (holding up a poppy sleeveless button-down shift). I’m really picky about color. I was also inspired by early 90’s minimalism. Kate Moss and Calvin Klein. [The collection includes] a scort. Scorts are awesome. You can actually sit down in them.

Carrie Hamm: I definitely wore my fair share of scorts in the early 90’s.

L: Right! And then they went away and I think people thought they were stupid, but they are perfect.

C: Tell me about the show next Friday.

L: This is my first solo show, so I feel like I can control every element and make everything look like it is in my fantasy.

Jillian Rabe: The choreography and the show for this event is different than anything we’ve ever done. I love traditional runway. The lights turn on and the music turns on and the models start walking and looking amazing, but you don’t get enough stage time with the garments. This collection is really special, so it is going to be cool to have more face time.

L: I wanted to adopt the model of what the smaller designers do in New York. Rather than compete with the big runway shows during New York Fashion week, they’ll put on presentations and installations. I wanted to bring that model to Portland. I want it to be really fun, more like a party.

C: Did you build your brand off of the turbans?

L: I started with clothing, then the turban [got popular] by accident. People started buying them and I was like, ok I guess I’m making these now! A lot of Portlanders have a vintage aesthetic and dress for functionality. If there’s a fashion accessory that is functional for their daily life, they’ll go for that.

C: Like wearing a turban to replace their beanie.

L: Exactly. They still want to look good and show personality in their clothing choices, but they also are busy and riding their bikes.

Reif designer Lindsey Reif, shot by Krystyna Solodenko.
Reif designer Lindsey Reif, shot by Krystyna Solodenko.

C: Your lookbooks are full of all kinds of interesting imagery, with urban, witchy and psychedelic elements. How do you come up with your inspiration?

L: I usually have an era in my head when I’m designing a collection. [The SS2012 Collection] was inspired by disco 70’s era but with a darker energy. I wanted to use a ouiji board.

C: Do you keep a muse in mind while designing?

L: Chloe Sevigny or Alexa Chung: someone who is a style icon without being too flashy. Also Rihanna. She has a really classy, classic style that she edges up with urban elements. She rocks some minimalist, classic clothing and she looks great in it.

C: She’s kind of an accessory by herself.

L: Right, she doesn’t need much. I love that red dress that she wore. I could put Rihanna in a dress like that.

C: Your brand motto is “the time is ripe.” What does time mean to you as a designer?

L: I think that good design is timeless. I liken it to mid-century furniture. Something that was designed in the 50’s, but still looks modern no matter what situation you put it in.

C: We are in Portland and you are a designer, so I have to ask about Project Runway. Would you consider it at this point?

L: I was a finalist last year. It’s kind of like an ex-boyfriend where you say you won’t answer the phone when they call you, but then you pick it up. Tim Gunn loved my clothes, so that’s really all I need!

C: Where can people find your line?

L: This collection will be at Frances May. The turbans and accessories will be at the other stores. I’m working on a line of basics for fall. The idea is to have a daywear to loungewear transition.

Reif show_flyer_instagram
REIF presents Spring/Summer 2014. Friday February 21, 2014. Doors at 6:30, Fashion presentation at 8:00PM. To be held at The Bindery (3115 NE Sandy.) All ages. For tickets and more information,  visit
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