We interviewed Marissa Essex, an amazing wardrobe stylist working in Portland and living in Hood River.
Check out Marissa’s Work at http://marissaessex.com
C: So why did you decide to live in the Northwest over somewhere else?
M : The Northwest is small so you don’t get as much access, and closeness to the fashion scene, but then you also get opportunities to make things happen. You get to create more, so it’s worth it to me to be in a small town with good solid friends. I’ve also been able to do a few things in LA. I went there for about a week in the summer time and made some connections. Having this area as a home base is so refreshing. I feel like Portland is different than other cities which maybe you have noticed being here?
C: Yeah Defiantly!
M: Everyone is so nice! Its almost silly! So I think I would love to stay in the Northwest, use it as a landing pad and travel. Come back re-focus, re-group and get healthy soul wise.
C: Yeah it seems like there’s a real community of people here.
M: Yes, everyone is really supportive. I don’t think that is the case in other places. I went to New York Fashion Week 2 years ago and there were people there who were genuine, so it’s not like people from New York or LA aren’t real, but I don’t feel like there is a concentration of genuine people in those places. People aren’t bull shitting you and stabbing you in the back behind the scenes in Portland. Here people are going to be as nice to you in person as they are behind your back, which is such an encouraging thing for somebody starting out.
C: Do you think this area has influenced your fashion sense at all?
M: Possibly? I love dark elements and perhaps it is because I grew up in the North west. It’s gloomy here, its dark here, it rains a lot here. There’s a lot of layering in the dark. I think the people I meet is what really influences me, I have learned something from every person that I have worked with.
C: Why did you start styling?
M: I accidentally took a class for it. I was taking classes online through the Art institute in San Francisco. I started in just Fashion Design, then from there I took some Fashion Journalism classes. I signed up for a class that was called Fashion Writing And Styling. So I thought it was fashion styling within writing, I guess? The class ended up just being a break down on how to be a stylist. I thought I was totally in the wrong class. I had no interests in doing photo shoots, but then my professor convinced me to stick it out to see if I liked it. I ended up loving it. I worked with some local people for the midterms which really got me thinking about the resources I had In my area. Now I am constantly working. Whenever I finish one shoot I am alway thinking what’s next?
C: What are you working on right now?
M: I just had something published on Oyster’s Website with Solestruck, Brady Lange, and Crystal Liz. I’ve been trying to get things into print.
C: Where do you find inspiration?
M: I like the darker side of things.I just finished “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. When you read stories like that you get reminded of the people who have gone before you that have struggled with thoughts like, “Am I doing the right thing” “Is art foolish?” “Should I continue?” I have been trying to use Patti’s vulnerability and rawness in my work.
C: Ok so what’s the best part of living in Hood River?
M: Hood River is really magical. There’s moments where I’m like “I get to live here?” This is an amazing place it looks like Narnia. There’s like mountains, water sports, water falls, hikes. So there’s that element to it. Then there’s Portland, which is the closest city, it is only an hour away and it’s a good city to be next to. I am also a Mommy. I have a six year old and I think Hood River is the best spot for her right now.
C: It sounds like a great place to grow up.
M: Defiantly, and going back to inspiration…She’s a huge inspiration to me. She creates stuff in head! I don’t know where she is getting ideas, but she’ll put it all together. Sometimes she’s a panda and some days she’s a pirate. I am really striving to somehow have her uninhabited attitude toward creating.
C: Whats the worst part about living in Hood River?
M: The hardest part is not having access to resources I need. If I need to pull for shoots or if I want to see something beyond outdoor sports I’m kind of out of luck. I would love to have the accessibility that I had when I went to New York. It was so beautiful to see that anything you need, anything you want, night or day, is there. The diversity is right there, and to have it at your finger tips would be an amazing thing.
C: Ok one last question! Do you Have any thrift tips for Hood River or Portland?
M: If your in Hood River go to The Dalles, that’s where you find St. Vincent Du Paul and The Salvation Army . Last time I was there I got 2 Pendleton shirts for like under 5 dollars and a guns and roses shirt for like $5. In Portland, there’s The Bins. The whole thing with that place is if you’re willing to dig, you’ll find it, but you might find someone’s used underwear first.
Interviewed by Camilla Carper
All Photos From Marissa Essex’s Website, to see more of her work check out her website:
Models : Alley Frey, and Rene Schroth
Stylist and photographer : Camilla Carper
We got to style Jessica Polaniecki’s Thanksgiving Dinnner in Portland! Best turkey day ever!!!!!
Tuesday’s stripey socks, capped with mary-janes, caught my eye as I was sipping Stumptown Coffee in NE Portland. Turns our this fleecy hooded poncho was actually made for Tuesday by her mother.
Clothing Swap Party in North Portland! Friend trash = friend treasures!
Hannah Kramm our Portland best-ie took us to “Captain Bob” an old spooky steam boat for a photo shoot. Captain Bob is being converted into a music venue/art space/hostel /radio broadcasting station by the project Steam Radio Syndicate. The Boat is Located in ST. Johns region of Portland. Steam Radio Syndicate is a volunteer run organization and is always looking for volunteers. Go to http://www.steamradiosyndicate.com for information about getting involved with the project.
Photos and styling by Camilla Carper
Modeled by: Hannah Kram
I went on a walk with my friend Hannah Kram around north Portland. Hannah is a scavenger by nature. She finds little bits and pieces everywhere she goes. On our walk bright colors and shiny bits rose from the gray of Portland. Hannah collected here treasures and I collected photos.
We visited Content, a group of fashion installations made by Portland Designers showcased at the Ace Hotel. I was really taken back by this magical world.
The Portland Fashion scene appears to be an intimate community of creative sprits working outside of industry norms.
An amazing first night in Portland! Rookie Mag’s Reading Frenzy at the Q Center!! Total fangirls of Tavi Gevinson! Obsessed with the sick style of Portland Teens!