A lot of Amanda Needham’s job involves running around town. She’ll shop for polar fleeces, cowboy hats and clown props. She schleps armloads of clothes to the dry cleaners. She visits shoot locations. She meets with clients for coffee.
And then she runs home to take care of her baby girl, Nova.
Costume designer Amanda Needham outside the store Frances May on Portland’s SW Washington Street.
The busy two-time Emmy-winning costume designer has to know her city well, and how to dress comfortably to get along in it. She works on IFC’s Portlandia, a sketch comedy show with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein about Portland and its eccentric citizens. She lives there for most of the year. The other forty percent of the time, Needham is in LA working on Baskets, Zach Galifianakis’s show about a Paris-trained clown trying to make it in Bakersfield, California, where he works as a rodeo clown. It’s a black comedy about dreams half met–or trampled.
We met Amanda in Portland, where she took us around to her favorite spots–to shop, to eat, to get things done–and showed us how she dresses for her hectic days. Needham has an ability to mix fun and function in her outfits–perhaps it’s a result of the intention that must inform her clothing selections for comedy characters. The key to her look is fashionable, durable and element-proof shoes by (Portland’s own) SOREL–just watch how she styles them.
Read on to hear about Portland’s hotspots, the evolving PNW style that Amanda cultivates in life and art, and pursuing your dreams in an ideal outfit.
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We visited Kate Young on the bright, sunny morning immediately following the Met Gala and not long before all the craziness of Cannes, and that right there is all the metaphor you really need. Every day in the life of this ultra-cool celebrity stylist is the day after something really major. And probably the day before and during something really major, too. Kate Young … she’s just major.
Celebrity stylist Kate Young showing us some of the tools of her trade
on the morning after the Met Gala this past May; image by Kirby Calvin
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you know her by name or that adorable, blonde-fringed face. As a stylist and brand collaborator/consultant, her genius and finesse live largely beyond the camera’s gaze. Not our camera, mind you. No, Kirby Calvin and I brought our lens right up to Young’s downtown NYC office and talked to her about Kate Young for Tura, the collection of super-chic sunglasses she made in collaboration with the New York City–based eyewear brand and available now at Pop-In Goes Poolside.
Kate Young’s office; image by Kirby Calvin
Here’s what she who dresses Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman and Sienna Miller has to say about summer style, swimming holes of the eastern United States and how frames frame your style.
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If you think design and styling don’t go hand in hand, meet fashion star Cher Coulter. This Central Saint Martin’s grad launched her own line in 1996 and five years later found herself in Hollywood catering to the likes of Nicole Richie, Kirsten Dunst and Emily Mortimer. The stylist reveals her must-haves for fall and more!
Fashion Friends: Nicole Richie and Cher Coulter pop a pose at a Nordstrom store-opening gala in Glendale, California.
Longtime friend and client Kate Bosworth dons a look styled by Cher.
On going from designer to stylist: “When I moved to L.A. about 11 years ago, I immediately began visiting all the top local magazines, one of them being Flaunt, to present my clothes to the editors. Then randomly I bumped into Orlando Bloom at a concert, who happens to be an old friend, and Flaunt was planning to shoot him for the cover. I let them know that I was a friend and they asked me to style the shoot. From then on, I became heavily involved with styling rather than designing.”
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