First Impressions

Strike a subtle pose, as if you were the mystery girl on the label of a rare vintage wine. You know the sort, one that whispers to the wine shopper, “Maybe me.” As they say, a first impression is the only impression. You would be wearing, of course, Jane’s Vanity. Something to spark a quiet conversation, tell a story, and suggest what might be going on inside. 

Come, let’s “read the labels,” with Kate Bolling, owner of Oregon Wines on Broadway in downtown Portland. But first we must dress for it, in the new Greenfinch Midi Dress by Zoelle. Two complementary prints in poly-splashy green/blue/purple in front, geometric green in back–pick up a spring theme. The shirring at torso and the nonchalant deep V at back give this dress a strolling grace. Now we're ready to browse the shelves.

Kate B. brings out a few favorite bottles and notes that European wine labels are more whimsical than those in the US. No textbook formulae for them. And yet, these labels get their message across. One label we like from Italy is a side-view photo of a young woman whose face is obscured by shoulder-length dark hair that is tousled and kissed by the sun. Her blouse seems to be unbuttoned a bit beneath a homely country sweater. These little hints are very effective marketing for a vibrant Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from the Cora label. And perhaps for you, in our favorite Brick Silk and Lace Lingerie Set from Freolic London with sparkling wine-red lace at cups and tanga brief. 

But a label alone is not enough. We know that. As Kate says, the wine itself must measure up. She displays a Malbec from Les Polissons in France that does. Its black label is illustrated in white outline with a cartoon couple about to leap into each other’s arms, beneath a scattering of gilded leaves. He wears a little jacket and short pants. She wears a swingy polka-dot dress. Like the wine inside, the label is playful and juicy. A  dance dress would tell your story too. We like the Stelios Koudounaris Halter Neck Velvet Dress in grapey purple. Its decadent full length is slit up the front for ease of movement and its waist elasticized with a removable matching belt.

Kate’s ultimate suggestion is the Trousseau Gris from Sonoma winery Jolie Laide. The colorfully-collaged label presents a woman of unconventional beauty, in the style of the winery’s name. Like a Spanish maja, she stares into the distance: proud, poised, and wearing a feathered mantle. The wine itself, from near-extinct vines, is made from grapes crushed by foot, then allowed to develop a rosy summer bouquet. You might accompany it with the feather-trimmed Kitty Marabou Silk Pajama from Gilda & Pearl in Hollywood Rose pink!

Make your first impression the real deal. Be yourself, in unique and beautiful clothing from Jane’s Vanity. 

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