Fashion doesn't travel at the speed of light. It's a slow progression that eventually ends up with year-old trends hitting the shelves of regional department stores. In Portland the trends come especially slow.
But if you're a clever shopper with a pretty penny to spend, there are a few places to get the freshest styles straight of the streets of Paris, London, New York and L.A. Add another boutique to your list: Reveille on Northwest 23rd Avenue.---
Reveille was opened this month by native Oregon couple Camille Pandian and Jess Carson, and the store is the product of their year-long relationship. The two recently moved back to Oregon (She from London, he from L.A.) and met last summer. They both have backgrounds in fashion: Pandian worked in fashion PR and modeled in London while Carson almost opened a shop on Hollywood Boulevard before moving back to Oregon.
"He brought up the idea of opening a shop and I thought it was a great idea and we'd both been talking about it a lot but it was still something we thought was going to happen in the future. Then in January and February everything just came together…. It's one of those dreams that you always think is far away and then it happens," Pandian said.
The store is an eclectic mix of Americana. The simple black-and-white striped walls are decorated with American flags and various animal heads. Wartime rationing books and other vintage curios are scattered around the store. The floors are covered with cowhide rugs.
The pricing of the clothing isn't exactly recession-friendly, but a true fashion junkie would find the clothes worth the money. Menswear features a line called Mister Freedom, created by a designer who makes suits modeled off vintage '20s and '30s pieces. Going along with the couple's music background is a decent rack of band t-shirts. And if you can't find the specific shirt your looking for, the store takes requests.
Currently the women's section is mostly vintage but the quality is impressive—bright cocktail dresses in fun prints that look like they're straight out of Betty Draper's closet, all in perfect condition.
"We do boutique-level, high-end, collectors-item vintage….We put in effort to find really well-curated vintage pieces," Pandian said.
The new women's clothes are exceptionally trendy. Reveille is currently selling a few pieces by New York designer Samantha Pleet. If you're looking for the perfect summer dress, try on one of her sundresses with a mesh cut-out waist.
The store is still expanding. Though the collection is mostly vintage now, Carson and Pandian plan to incorporate more contemporary designs while maintaining a smaller vintage collection in the future. Carson is even developing his own menswear line, a collection of suits, which should be available in a few months. They are eventually looking to stock pieces from Opening Ceremony, Alice by Temperley, Stone Cold Fox and others. On a street full of fashion, the store's owners aim to become a mainstay.
"I grew up driving up to Portland to explore all the boutiques on Northwest 23rd," said Pandian. "We're honored to be opening Reveille in this incredible neighborhood. We live right around the corner from the shop, and hope that we'll become a must-visit shopping destination for locals and tourists alike."
Reveille is located at 728 NW 23rd Ave., between Johnston and Irving streets.