I Died in the Wool

Are we talking about Rachel Zoe again? Not at all.

July 30, 2009


Pendleton blankets aren’t the last thing I’d expect to see in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar, but I was pretty surprised, very pleasantly so, when it happened. Turns out a super chic international fashion house teamed up with the traditional Northwest mill for the fall/winter 09 season.

And I know: wool is not exactly what you want to think about today, but stay with me for just a few minutes here then you can get back to complaining about the heat.

The neutral-toned blankets with soft hits of cornflower blue, muted watermelon red, and Indian jewelry turquoise in the traditional Navajo patterns in Bazaar’s pages are part of Opening Ceremony’s fall collection. In addition to the blankets, the super-cool, conceptual, collaboration-obsessed (most famously: with Chloe Sevigny) line/store/experiment/world peace facilitator is doing skirts, shirts, jackets and other pieces in Pendleton wool.

I’m going to admit right here that reading the words ‘Pendleton for Opening Ceremony’ gave me a true thrill.

I love this recent return to all things traditional, classic, and American-made—better yet, of course, if we’re talking Northwest-made. The New York Times had a piece this fall about dressing like it’s 1920, and looking really cool while doing it. The Seattle bag maker CC Filson Co. was named checked—thrillling, again—along with other so-called heritage brands. There’s a bit of that in this month’s Meltdown Survival Guide (see Dress for Success for Less), too.

Make it a point to check out the Downtown Pendleton store, (go straight for the blanket selection; they make perfect wedding gifts) and consider studying Chihuly’s collection of genuine Native wovens, upon which the current trends are based. And in general, get used to buffalo plaid checks, the 80s Ralph Lauren prepster vibe and Top-Siders — looks like the classics are here to stay, at least for a little while longer.

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