Julia Studer has always loved creating, taking raw elements and turning them into something beautiful and functional. After picking up the sewing bug in high school, she attended Oregon State University and graduated with honors in Apparel Design and Merchandise Management. With a desire to create clothing that fit real women, not the ideal that most companies mass produce for, she went to work in bridal alterations, where she learned fitting techniques and observed real body proportions. With this platform, she also obtained a skill set for impeccable sewing and construction. In 2009, she launched her own namesake label of two spring jackets, with production happening in her basement.
In 2012, Studer opened up Cloth and Canvas to showcase her own designs and those of other talented Portland designers. Midway through the year, after doing awkward alteration fittings amongst clothing racks, she realized she needed to change her business model to keep up with the alteration demand. In January 2013, Silhouette, a women’s tailoring boutique and design studio, was born and Portland rejoiced.
Clothing should make you feel more beautiful and confident. Sometimes all you need to turn a frumpy look into a stunning ensemble is a little nip here and tuck there. At Silhouette, we strive to have you looking your best, whether it’s for a job interview or on your wedding day.
A little more on Julia
Garment she can’t live without:
Cheeky panties that I started making about 8 years ago. I think I have about 10 pairs and if I could wear them every day, I would. They are the most comfortable and soft underwear, yet they are still sexy!
Greatest sewing achievement:
Designing and sewing my leather jacket. It was crazy walking into the leather store and purchasing an entire cow hide. But I learned a ton and it fits me like a glove!
Favorite part of alterations:
Getting to work on designer garments. There is a thrill you only get with seam ripping Dior, Lanvin, Prada, and Valentino.
Favorite Portland restaurant:
That is a toss up between Dove Vivi and Grain and Gristle. Dove Vivi has the best pizza in town and Grain and Gristle has the best burger in Portland, if not the world. Seriously.
I have never been into an H & M, and I don’t plan on it
Jana Boyl is a Portland based designer with a focus in women’s Ready-to-Wear. Armed with a Bachelors of Science in Apparel Design from Oregon State University, in she began her eponymous woman’s wear label, Jana Marie Apparel, in 2012. Jana took ballet lessons for 10 years, and draws much of her inspiration for her designs from dance and movement. Many of her garments accentuate the fluidity of the female form, play with line and shape, and feature the most comfortable stretch fabrics. You can currently find Jana Marie Apparel exclusively at Silhouette.
Jana has been a part of the Silhouette team since the beginning. She can hem a pair of pants in fifteen minutes flat and sew a button on with her eyes closed and her hands tied behind her back. Now that’s talent. And if you ask her nicely, she’ll help you with a custom project!
And a few more tidbits
Garment she can’t live without:
The Prairie Underground Girdle pants. Possibly the most comfortable and flattering high-waisted garment on the planet! Other than that, I can’t live without my wooly socks.
The experience that first got her into sewing:
I was 8 years old, in third grade, and the next week was spirit week. Everyday had a theme and the only one I didn’t have an outfit for was ‘decade day’. My mother suggested I wear bell bottoms. I had no idea what they were nor did I own a pair. So she guided me and helped me to complete my first sewing project: a pair of lime-green, velvet bell bottoms.
Favorite fabric to work with:
Simple rayon / spandex jersey knit. It is so comfortable, has a four-way stretch, and drapes beautifully. Also, the sewing machines rarely make a fuss when working with that fabric.
Favorite Portland bar:
Though it’s not my ‘go-to’ bar, one of my favorites is definitely Ground Kontrol. There are few things cooler than beating your personal record at Frogger while sipping a whiskey ginger.
Dream travel location:
Definitely the countryside of France. My mother told me about her travels in that area and it sounds like pure bliss. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many foreign countries, I still haven’t traveled in Europe. Also, one day I would love to go back to the island Gili Trawangan with my siblings (an island off the coast of Bali, Indonesia).
Classic Disney movies are the best. I can quote them to an unnecessarily accurate degree. Same goes for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.