Fit for a Queen.Posted: 10/28/2010
Palace came heavily recommended to me by a trusted source. I did my research and found out that they are closed on Mondays [keep reading for an update on this… foreshadowing!], so I made a rare Sunday visit to the east side after my time at Folly. As if I needed an excuse to make a venture to my old stomping grounds! After properly caffeinating courtesy of nearby Stumptown on Belmont, I headed across the street to shop/scout/judge.
Stepping into Palace is like stepping into a Sofia Coppola movie. Very Virgin Suicides to me; little details of whimsy here and there, porcelain figures adorned the counter of an antique chest of drawers in the dressing room- a room that is concealed not by a hum drum curtain or door, but by a patchwork quilt [mom, can you hear me?]. I half expected an ethereal Kirsten Dunst as Lux Lisbon to emerge and help me zip up the dress I was trying on. It was amazing and the very essence of why boutique shopping is so special. These shops create an ambiance, an experience that is unattainable in a mall or Nordstrom Rack. And the best part? Palace is actually just as affordable as the generic, mass produced big guys.
Ok, so the BEST part might actually be the cassette of Live Through This that I scored along with the items above, but in any case, Palace is a destination for all ranks of fashion royalty. Immediate Facebook support followed my visit, and I am thrilled to report that starting November 1, they will not only be open on Mondays, but will offer 15% off on all purchases on the most manic day of the week. LIKE.
My visit to Palace clearly got me a few stylish and affordable finds, but in the grand tradition of retail as therapy, it also got my mind working. Life has been ridiculously good lately… so much so, that I am wary to even “put it in writing” for fear of a jinx. Sure, not everything is perfect in PoseLand [shocked?!], but the amount of positive energy I’ve felt since I started writing has been intoxicating. When work/life struggles zap my mind, it is so comforting to know that I have carved out a sanctuary of sorts for my creativity to manifest itself. And the fact that I get to share it with the people that I care about makes it all the more rewarding.
Earlier this week, I got the chance to do my first interview feature for The Neat Sheet. Talking with my charming subject, Red Light store manager Erica Easley, helped me join together a few random thoughts that had been aimlessly wandering in my mind for a while now, thoughts having to do with shopping locally and what that means vs. shopping at a retail powerhouse like H&M [coming at long last to PDX 11.11.10!]. Erica drew the parallel between the trendy movement to eat locally [buying in season fruits/veggies, patronizing restaurants that source from regional farms, giving business to the neighborhood bar, etc.] and what should be an equal push towards shopping locally [boutiques, independent retailers, crafty friends, etc.]. For some reason, when she started talking about those two ideas being connected, my visit to Palace, my time at Folly, my contributions to The Neat Sheet, all started to coalesce into something beyond my original intention of expanding my mind outside of 9-5 life. If communities were collectively committed to supporting local establishments, would it slowly become more affordable to do so? Could a uniting sense of commonality come from the mere act of buyer autonomy? Can I create constant choruses of creatively composed alliteration?
I’m a sucker for Forever 21 and the like just as much as the next underpaid Jane perusing the mall on her day off. I sure as shit do not plan on abandoning my bargain shopping ways anytime soon, but rather I find it essential to the sustainability of the city I inhabit, the city I love, the city in which I strike such a foxy pose (and thus have material to write..) to make an effort to purchase from places like Palace. Of course, in the event of a ginorm raise, I would obvi consider diverting all fashion expenditures to the local yokels.
Until then, I urge you to bring awareness to the power of your dollar. Where it goes can have an impact on what goes up around you. It is the same reason why living in Portland I wouldn’t dream of going out of my way to choose a Starbucks when there countless independent alternatives that offer a better quality cuppa joe than the corporate sludge. If you want to see more gems like Palace, then support those types of establishments. It sounds simple, but spending the extra dollar or twenty to shop at boutiques really gets you so much more than the article(s) you leave with. I describe my visit to Palace as an experience, not an errand. I devoted a whole post to it, for chrissake! And it is prescisely that type of stimulation, of sensory arousal that makes the extra money worthwhile.
Pose-rs spend their bucks wisely. You are what you eat AND where you shop.
Until next meal, er, post…