My sister recently treated me to an overnight stay in Portland. Portland, Oregon is about half way between Tacoma, Washington where she lives and Bend, Oregon where I live. We met up and it was great to have some sister time together.
My sister and I are both big fans of Project Runway – we always have a text or phone conversation about each episode after it airs. In Season 11, we were both rooting for Michelle Lesniak and were thrilled when she won. She’s a native Portland girl and when I found out when and where we would be for our getaway, I took a chance and contacted Michelle to see if she had an open studio or shop that we could visit. She doesn’t yet have an open studio, but she’s working on it. However, she was so kind to get back to me and invite us to come for a visit. I wanted to surprise my sister, so I just gave her the address and met her there.
Michelle and her intern were so kind and friendly. We talked a bit about the area the studio is in, Michelle’s fabrics and designs, the fashion business and, of course, Tim Gunn! Apparently, he’s as kind and wonderful as he seems on telly. It was so fun to be able to surprise my sister and a thrill to meet Michelle. She’s on Project Runway All-Stars in the current season and we are still huge fans. She’s funny and ever so talented.
So, what does one wear to meet an amazing designer that you really admire? I’m usually a pretty quick dresser, I don’t take a lot of time choosing outfits or trying on multiple things, but that was not the case this time. I have no idea how many things I tried on. It was super fun though because it had me reaching deeper into my wardrobe than I have in a while and trying different things. I wanted to be comfortable as we would be walking around in downtown Portland, I wanted to look cool and interesting, but I didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard. I have no idea if I succeeded on all counts, but I was comfortable and Michelle didn’t look at me with pity or anything. I wore a knit dress with a tulle skirt from Target, an ancient ballet-style top from Target, red tights from Forever 21, shoes from Blowfish and a vintage, articulated owl necklace.
Stephanie and I had so much fun – we stayed downtown at the amazing Benson Hotel, enjoyed Happy Hour at the Portland City Grill with amazing views of Portland, slept well, wandered around Portland, had breakfast at The Urban Farmer inside The Nines Hotel (a Dungeness Crab Omelet!) and then headed over to IKEA and some other shops before heading home to our families. Such a wonderful time together. I’m so thankful for my sister.