I caught up via email with Laura and Nate, friends who met on North Haven last year. She's 26, he's 25, and they've started a blog, ForeFront Fashion, where they'll document Portland's street styles for the world to see (hopefully). Here, we talk about Bean boots, functional style, singledom, and getting up early.
PHX: What drew you
to fashion/style writing/picture-taking?
Laura: I'm not
really drawn to fashion writing as much as I am to fashion in general. I'm
inspired by street style because I find it to be more accessible than a lot of
the fashion magazines and websites out there. I wanted to start a street style
blog to showcase the individuals of Maine...moreso than to try and make it about
us being a fashion capital, because I don't really think Mainers are about being
super fashionable, they're about being authentic in their own
Nate: I grew up
with a very fashionable mother - who has a lot of ties to the Portland fashion
scene, so I was pleasantly surprised when Laura proposed her plans for our own
PHX: How would you
describe your personal styles?
Laura: It has
changed a lot. I am less obsessed with being on-trend and more about classic
styles and investing in quality pieces. I will say that I like "high" fashion -
meaning high hemlines and high waisted anything. I also have trouble turning
down gold accessories, vintage tweeds and buttery leather
mostly. After spending the last few years working on a commercial fishing boat
in mid-coast Maine I can't help but break out the Grundens jacket on a rainy
day. I love my Bean boots and Levis.
Laura: I love how
guys dress in Maine. They are so functional but it looks so
PHX: What's your
must-have item for Fall?
Laura: The new
black Bean boots from the Signature line. I'd also like a pair of leather shorts
and lots of flannel shirts, though I'll probably just steal my boyfriend's. I
may also invest in flannel-lined jeans since I fear a harsh Maine winter this
Nate: A woman.
Also I need a new pair of Bean boots, and I want a nice wool
Laura: He's not
kidding about the woman thing.
PHX: Are there
certain themes that define Portland/Maine style?
Laura: Before I
came to Maine I thought everyone would have on buffalo plaids and there is some
truth to that. There is a classic New England sensibility among Mainers. But I
think in Portland specifically, there's so many transplants that the style has
become very diverse.
Nate: Laura is
right. Its interesting to walk down Commercial Street during any season. On the
one hand you have fisherman coming straight off the boat in their oil skins, but
you also have stores like Chantal's popping up. I think a lot of Portlanders
have found a happy middle ground.
PHX: What are your
long-term goals for the blog?
Laura: I'd like
people to read it! I think every awesome city has a street style blog and
Portland deserved one too. I'm excited about our Shop Talk series because I love
talking to small business owners and getting their feedback on Maine style. I
want the blog to continue to profile store fronts but also any individuals that
are artisans or designers that want people to know about them! I have discovered
so many awesome people that I can't wait to write about - just through other
shopkeepers and designers in town. I'd also like to capture more of the
fishermen style but we have yet to be able to wake up early enough to get some
snapshots of them. I guess that one's a short-term goal.
Nate: (I think
I've been up early enough!) But I agree with Laura, definitely focusing on a lot
of the great stores in town. I'd also like to see us spread out beyond Portland.
I think some other towns a long the coast have a lot to offer, and for
out-of-state readers (which we are hoping for a lot of) I think it would be
could for them to get a larger picture of the Maine scene.