Bria Phillips, Le Train Bleu, 2003. Le Train Bleu launched in 2003 as a web-only boutique and we opened our first brick and mortar store, which has now moved to a larger location in Spring of 2006.
-tell us a bit about your shop and inspiration to open
Le Train Bleu the website is inspired by international fashion websites such as dresslab and showstudio. It's a creative endeavor--we do our own fashion photography and make fashion movies. We try to offer experiential shopping online, like a cool fashion mag come alive. Viewers can see special features such as exclusive designer interviews, articles, and styling tips. Our flagship store has the same vibe as the site, inspired by the creative era of the Ballet Russes in 1920s Europe. Our influences for the interior are London's Biba of the 60's, Art Nouveau, Russian Tea Houses, and psychedelia. We carry international cult labels and cater to customers around the world who appreciate fashion as art.
-what item is currently on your covet list?
The newest Karen Walker High-Waist trouser pants--very Sartorialist.
-what item could you not resist buying for yourself?
Just bought a Tucker dress and I know it will be one of many for Fall--I'm already an addict for Gaby Basora's prints and think she's the Diane Von Furstenberg for a new generation.
-who is your personal "it" designer right now?
I would have to say Lover the Label out of Australia. Talk about cult following. And they do two collections each season, one for the Northern Hemisphere and one for the Southern Hemisphere. Their followers in Australia don't have access to the Northern Hemisphere styles there, so they have to purchase them online and in advance of each season we receive tons of emails from Australian customers who are eagerly awaiting our shipment. They really love their Lover!
-what is your recommendation for designers who want to be carried in your store?
Send look books as emails and have great photos on live people (doesn't have to be a professional model, but that helps)--as the sole buyer for Le Train Bleu I am bombarded everyday by emails and mail from new designers and the snail mail stuff quickly gets buried in piles. Also, be on the regular fashion schedule.
-what is the biggest trend that is currently impacting your buying decisions?
I don't really think so much in terms of trends, maybe because our customer is really ahead of that curve. Our designers are all really unique and individualistic as well--each has their own personality.
LE TRAIN BLEU
1905 NW 26th Ave
Portland OR 97210