Friends of JV: Christiane Millinger and Artistic Dressing
Christiane Millinger is a respected merchant of handmade rugs in Portland, Oregon. One who has learned to express herself through her clothing. Jane’s Vanity is her inspiration. JV style has helped her to hone her taste throughout her career. She is a testament to the idea that creative professional women can have fun with their clothes.
When Christiane first stepped into the JV bricks and mortar store, she was a bit tentative. But Jane’s charm, fitting expertise, and exquisite stock soon “owned my heart.” To the point that all of the gifts at Christiane's wedding shower were from JV. Her friendship with Jane has evolved over the years. The two have joined with other professional women to focus upon small business at its best. The group has become tightly knit, an uplift to each other, a joy. A bonus of her relationship with Jane’s Vanity is an incredible collection of fabulous lingerie.
Asked to describe her style, Christiane says that it is both functional and fanciful. A little secretive. That is, she hides the beautiful under the utilitarian. Her clothes are individual, artistic, elegant (and practical). Klements dresses, for instance, are her staple. They are simply cut, they have pockets, their silk fabric is not only spectacular, but also sturdy. “They are magical.” As a woman in the business of art, can she get away with wearing just about anything? Yes, if she wants to. “If I love something, I’ll wear it.”
Christiane believes that her willingness to be a little daring in her clothing is thanks to Jane’s unique look. One that allows Jane, and her customers, to be their most beautiful selves. And to carry their creativity into every aspect of their lives.
If one were to peek into Christiane’s closet, what would the clothes be saying about her? That she loves fancy parties, that she has a hard time parting with textiles (and the memories they bring), that she is a secret optimist, and a very busy woman who is a business-owner, a mother, a gardener, and someone who likes to entertain.
And the rugs in Christiane's home...how would they describe her? As someone who loves color, who finds life’s magic in the beauty of rugs, who feels the sensuality of good fiber.
Christiane is obsessed with the rugs ini her shop. She deeply honors their history. Once centralized in London, the purchase of rugs now requires merchants to go to the source. She travels to eastern Turkey, Afghanistan, Nepal. In addition, she creates rugs for special projects. For Christiane, assembling a fine rug collection is akin to going on a hunt. One must have the expertise and the commitment. In a similar way, the Jane’s Vanity team searches the world for the finest lingerie. In Christiane’s case, she often finds it difficult to say goodbye to a fine rug, because it was such a story to acquire it.
When asked about her favorite JV pieces, Christiane mentions undergarments by Taryn Winters. She also loves Dana Pisarra, especially her cashmere blend sweater with lace trim (“my blankie,” she says). These two items reflect Christiane’s personal style: one that travels from the inside out and creates the joyful way of dressing that is her signature.