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Monday, February 11, 2013

Julia Barbee: What Are We Looking At?

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Most of the time when I talk about Julia Barbee it's in the context of fashion design. Her apparel and accessories helped to define Portland's independent design scene during the Seaplane heyday, and she currently works out of a tiny shop on the back side of 811 E Burnside. Her pieces are wonderful, wild amalgams of found and vintage materials (she was up-cycling before that was a real thing), and in recent years she's also earned a master's degree in studio art and taken up perfuming, self portraiture (her series on losing teeth following a bike accident is... bracing), and sculpture. It all melds together into a distinct aesthetic, often employing animal hides and crystals in the process. This month she's brought her touch to the window display at Demimonde—a tiny shop of jewelry, antiques, and tons of inspiring doodads that should never be overlooked—with an installation, an excerpt of which can be seen here:

Eschewing the schedule of firsts and lasts that most of the city's art world revolved around, there's a reception scheduled to officially debut the installation on Wednesday, Feb 13 (6-9 pm). It also doubles as a trunk show of some of her latest accessory designs—hop over to MOD for a look at some of what to expect.

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