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.