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Golden Rule

Art and vintage clothes in a new Portland store inspired by a mom

by Adrienne So in Style on 20 August 2010

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The concept of multi-use retail spaces may not be new, but Portland's recently-opened Golden Rule may be the first to introduce a mom homage. Owner Wynde Dyer started her "social experiment in creativity and commerce" after her mother—a compulsive shopper—passed away and left her with a 17-foot-long U-Haul full of clothes. Instead of calling Goodwill, Dyer decided to peddle the extensive collection of goods in a rotating art space.

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Photos of Dyer's mother, Morena Therese Faust, pay tribute to her golden hair and sunny California aura (despite the many tragedies that dogged her life). Shoppers browsing racks of silk dresses and skirts made by Faust herself will find mini-memorials tucked between the racks. With the massive collection spanning the mid-1800s to the mid-'90s, each month the inventory changes depending on the artwork gracing the walls. "I'm trying to stay positive, make lemons out of lemonade, and turn the dark to light," she explains.

With a cache large enough to stock the space for two to three years, Dyer continues to not only update the fashions but also features the work of a different artist every month. September sees mixed-media artist Delphine Bedient take the stage with works channeling her Midwestern roots. "We'll be choosing clothes that speak to these same things: Lace, browns, a lot of Gunne Sax dresses," says Dyer. "What we do is lead with art, and let the fashion and furniture follow."

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Currently on view is Howard Gillam's psychedelic works, and with that theme the Golden Rule gang created a colorful credenza to place in the front window.

You can browse the Golden Rule shop on Etsy, which includes wares from previous months' installations.

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