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Fashion Meets Activism | Proenza Schouler for Planned Parenthood

Nicole Schultz

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what brands SHOULD be doing. Fashion brand Proenza Schouler has just debuted their third film in a series, this time celebrating women: their sex, their gender, and their right to choose what they need for their own bodies—in what also results in a celebration of Planned Parenthood. 

“I act powerful. I think women are powerful. I think that’s probably what makes me feminine.”

It’s subtle, really. The film, by director Harley Weir, includes one shot of a Planned Parenthood pin, but no mention of the vital organization. There is absolutely no mention of Proenza Schouler, until after the closing credits. But of course the women are shown wearing, dressing or de-robing in the gorgeous clothing. The art direction is minimal, clean, modern, dripping in symbolism, but putting the women first. The colors are neutral and white, a bold blue and a bold red, representing the overbearing politics and government intrenched in women’s lives.

“I think that shame is the number one perpetrator of all of the wrong ways that we learn about our bodies and learn about sex.”

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Designer Jack McCollough breaks down why a fashion brand would delve into one of the biggest controversies of our time: “We value integrity above all else, and see Proenza Schouler as a vehicle to explore what we find interesting and relevant to the moment we live in. We like to think that the Proenza Shouler woman is a thinking woman, and we feel this kind of project would resonate with her.”

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This piece gave me chills. It tapped into the shame, the grip society has on us as women. It enrages me. It emboldens me. And it makes me proud of myself.

“It’s really important that women have choice. It’s really important that women are in charge of their bodies and their lives and their future.”

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Bravo Proenza Schouler. This certainly resonated with me. If you can, please support Planned Parenthood. It needs it now more than ever.

All images are from the film. Read the full interview over on It’s Nice That.

Artist Profile | Claudia Lau

Nicole Schultz

Do you ever scroll through Pinterest and see something so beautiful you let out an audible gasp? This happens to me on the daily. I readily admit that I spend about an hour a day on the platform, since a huge part of my job and my passions rely on daily inspiration. While I see thousands of beautiful images, it’s more rare that one just stays with me. Such was my discovery of Claudia Lau, a Melbourne based ceramicist.

Relatively new to the medium, Lau started throwing on the wheel just three years ago. But she’s already making a name for herself with her signature circle pitcher.

Her work was just too gorgeous not to share. You can read the full interview and studio tour over on The Design Files

All photos by Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Suitcase Laundry

Nicole Schultz

Suitcase Laundry is a monthly photoshoot event for women in Portland, and is the brainchild of photographer Nic Porter. The event pairs photographers, art directors, makeup artists, stylists and models together for a full day of creating badass work and celebrating the female gaze. 

I was lucky enough to take part in last month’s photoshoot as an art director on my team, and it was a whirlwind of an experience. The event was hosted by Swift, who volunteered their gorgeous offices and photo studio for the day, and hosted the largest Suitcase Laundry shoot to date. 

We started by separating into our prospective creative teams, which included a photographer, art director, stylist, makeup artist and general assistant. Models were assigned to teams in two different time slots. We had never worked together, and most of us had never met, but in an instant we were concepting, sourcing wardrobe, location scouting, and creating an overall vision for the day. 

Here are some of my favorite shots:

This experience was unlike any other in so many ways. There was no client, no brief, no assignment. Just a group of professional, intelligent, talented women coming together to create work we could all be proud of. It was liberating, powerful, stressful, demanding, exciting and most of all, fun...I got to make bubbles for most of the day! It is free to participate, but there is an application. I would highly recommend taking part if you're a woman interested in fashion or photography in Portland. If anything, you end up meeting some badass ladies along the way, and you'll have beautiful work to show for it. 

Shout out to my amazing team!

Photographer: @hollyseeberphotographer 
Models: @gabriellaamonet, @brittaneenicole, @devvinitty, @xxiixain, Violet Digesto
Makeup: @ary_makeupartist 
Styling: @withlovecee 
Producers: @nicportland @ashtonmorgan for @suitcaselaundry