The street is now fashion's most influential runway. Street fashion blogs are a worldwide phenomenon, with designers, photographers and journalists in every major city snapping pictures of stylish strangers on the street and posting them on the internet.--- Perhaps the most famous is New York's The Sartorialist, but here in Portland, we have Urban Weeds. Run by professional photographer Lisa Warninger, the blog captures the unique style of Portland from Alberta to Hawthorne.
WW chatted to Warninger about what defines Portland's style and where to find the city's best-dressed citizens.
WW: How would you best describe Portland street style?
Lisa Warninger: I think Portland style is pretty unique. I think we have a mix of designer pieces (typically a local designer) mixed in with thrifted, vintage and affordable [pieces]. It's accessible and fun.
What is it about Portland that makes it different from other cities when it comes to fashion?
The fact that we can wear whatever we want here. Certainly the styles I feature on Urban Weeds doesn't represent everyone in Portland. I feature the looks I find inspiring and are done well. One of the things I do love about scouting is that I can go out and see a wide array of styles. In Portland you can truly be whomever you want to be and people don't judge you for it. You could dress like a clown and ride a unicycle and people don't care—in fact we're so used to that here in Portland that we hardly notice. I think that's pretty unique. I saw someone ride by on a unicycle while I was at the coffeehouse today!
How do you find the people you feature in your blog? Do you just walk around town all day?
Yes, I scout. Winter came that first year and I was walking around in the cold with a camera. Even in the summertime it typically takes me about an hour walking for every person that I find. In the winter you just don't even…find anybody. Then I would go out that night and…find all of these amazingly dressed people. What I started doing then was scouting at all hours. I've seen street style photographers in New York and they can just go out and see all of these stylish people around them. Here it's a little tougher. Lauren Hartmann of The Little Things We Do blog has been a major help with scouting. She makes it a lot more fun and she has a great eye.
Were you inspired by any other blogs?
I certainly have a lot of respect for all of the other street blogs out there. There's a ton of them. It's so cool to see what people are wearing all over the world. Really, I'm just inspired by people. One of the things that makes Urban Weeds unique, what makes it worthwhile for me to spend time on, is that I think it is so fun to meet someone and be able to take a portrait of them. I'm endlessly inspired by Portlanders.
What's your favorite area of Portland?
Coffeehouses are my favorite area.
What's the most stylish area of Portland?
Coffeehouses, design firms and artist studios.
Where are your favorite places to shop in Portland?
The bags from Wood & Faulk are amazing, I bought the blue one. I buy all kinds of lovely things for my home at Ink & Peat. I always look forward to the pop-up shops from Le Train Bleu. Wynde at The Golden Rule is crazy cool. She's always up to something fun. Is is weird that I want to list my butcher and dairy? Well, I'm a total foodie so: Chop and Kookoolan.