I am adding on. A bigger livingroom, an extra bedroom. More to look at and live in on the Filly website. In addition to the online store there will be a page devoted to Space and a page devoted to Press. I am primarily excited about the Space page and feel that it will do a lot to explain and expand the concepts behind my designs. Color. Shape. Texture. Home. Identity. Existence. My work and living space is me manifested in wood and plaster. In the same way that Filly is my being put forth in fabric. Everything matters. Nothing is haphazard or casual or accidental. It is all part of the same big project. Beauty. A curated life.
I hope you enjoy the images on the Space page. They were primarily captured by wonderful and talented photographers whom I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years.

Sunday Dance Church

March 29, 2011

There is a dance community center in Santa Cruz that hosts Dance Church every Sunday morning at 10am. I never went but I love the idea. Put on some world music and just move your body. It’s different than late night dancing with its low lighting, sexy outfits, intoxication, flirtation… No, Sunday morning is quite different. Sunday morning dancing, or should I just say movement, is honest. Your body is stiff and awkward and your face is mostly likely still creased from the pillow. Coffee is the closet you’re going to come to being under the influence. And flirting? Well, one can only hope.
Sunday at The Fox Den is quiet. Sarah and Maggie both work and I usually find myself having a slow morning at Luke’s. But this Sunday I was home and alone and trying to kick a sickness which had been holding on way too long.
On came the tunes, off came the sweater, clapping, spinning, high kicks, funny hand chops, a little sweating and heavy breathing and before I knew it I had been dancing for almost 45 minutes. And I think that was the moment I said goodbye to my cold and surged toward health. There’s no cure like flushed cheeks and the freedom to look foolish.

Filly online store will be open on April 1st. I’m so excited!
I have resisted doing an online store for years because the shopping cart options were so ugly! They cheapened the look of the line but were actually very expensive to program and run. Not any more. Technology has caught up and it is now easy and beautiful, fully integrated and free to run. I receive at least one email plea a day,…”I love Filly but don’t live near any of your stores, is there any way I can order a dress that I love?” I used to furrow my brow at these requests… wanting it to be easy, wishing she lived near me and could just come over, looking at the dress she loved but not having a system in place in which to get it to her. Not anymore. Starting this weekend you are free to simply order the item you love. End of story. But be warned, there won’t be a ton of merchandise for sale so if you see something you like, don’t expect it to be there on the next Friends of Filly tour. The online store means more people are able to purchase the item you love. So, I don’t know, just keep that in mind.

Across the Sea

March 25, 2011

Filly was featured on the totally rad blog Elilos Blogspot. Thank you Jana-Sophie for agreeing with me that everything looks better tucked in. Women have waists, we go in, we go out again. I design for this distinction and the curves that make women so desirable. High-waisted forever!
Check out her write up here.

You’ve Been Busy

March 24, 2011

Apparently my (other) boyfriend has been quite busy. I never know what that guy’s up to. I blame the distance… he’s in New York, doing his thing, I’m in Portland walkin the dog… it’s hard to connect. But fashion keeps us strong. It’s nice to have so much in common.

On Display

March 23, 2011

Wow! The house looks so bright! Check out the beautiful Filly photo series on Apartment Therapy‘s Re-Nest blog.
I love my house but I love it even more when I see it through the eyes of a stranger.
“The real miracle is how each seemingly disparate element comes together in a stylish, refreshing manner, full of care but happy randomness. Nothing is too fussy, but everything has its place.”
Read the full story here.


March 23, 2011

The blog Apartment Therapy will feature my home and studio in tomorrow’s Green Tour!
On the morning of Leela’s visit I sat on the couch with my computer and let her have the run of the place. Unless she asked me to be in a photo I basically pretended not to be home. Because that is what I would want if I were shooting a space. Kinda like babysitting… you want the parents to leave so you can be yourself with the kid.
Leela is a true voyeur and loves entering people’s spaces to see how they live. I cleaned the house more thoroughly than I have in a long while but I didn’t expect her to ask to look in my bedroom closest- “Um,… well ok, but that is where I stashed everything.” For all I know she looked in the fridge as well. A girl after my own curious heart.
This is the first I’ve seen of the photos and I’m so excited to see what else Leela chose to photograph!


March 22, 2011

Photographer Irina Werning is brilliant. Her Latest project Back To The Future invites subjects to recreate a moment from their past. Amazing.

Feel It

March 22, 2011

I met Natalie for coffee and office work at Random Order.
Two things to mention. First, god damn I love Natalie’s hair. She just cut it and I am filled with longing. It is so black, and thick and … short. mmm, my favorite combo. What a serious babe.
Second, notice the squint? It wouldn’t be outlandish to be wearing sunglasses in this photo. Thank you sun for reading my blog.

Art Life Art

March 21, 2011

I often say that my inspiration comes from nature. It is true that I have pressed leaves and flowers adorning my walls and smooth rubbing stones waiting in pockets but when I sit down to design, I don’t grab the stone. I don’t stare at the pressed Buddleia Davidii. But the shape, colors, sounds, smells of nature make their way in nonetheless.
Recently I took a trip to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound and was captivated by the accumulation of snow on the sand dunes. I have also been interested in the color and shape of trees in my ceramic work. It was no surprise then to see a snow covered tree masquerading as a dress pattern on my black cutting table.

I Need You

March 21, 2011

Sarah returned from California last night. She brought back leather sandals she had been wearing the last three weeks. Because Spring actually means something in Santa Cruz. Sandals. Sunscreen. Sun. I’m so jealous. It’s like she got laid or something… ooh, you got some sun… was it awesome… does that sun have a friend that lives in Portland?


March 20, 2011

In anticipation of the Supermoon, the closest full moon in twenty years, Luke and I planned a grand night.
We determined that the best place to see it rise would be Powell Butte. The park offers a panoramic view of the North and East. On a clear day the view of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood is unbelievable. Saturday morning I woke to blue skies and a thumping heart, “Yes! It’s beautiful out! Lets hike before the sunset and have dinner out there while the Supermoon rises!” Luke pointed out that it was supposed to start raining at 6pm.
Well, we followed through on our plan- we hiked, we ate, we watched the sky… get darker and darker and more dense with cloud. No moon, only the sound of the defroster and the rain drops on the windshield. Supermoon Portland style.


March 20, 2011

(Anja wearing The Honey Dress, Spring 2011)

Do you know Anja Verdugo? About a month ago I contacted her with compliments on her awesome blog, Clever Nettle. This is a fucking great blog. And I think it is largely because Anja is just so cute! Really. Looking at her blog, reading her words and seeing the beautiful photos of her outfits and boyfriend and travels and life… well you feel like you already know her. And you certainly already like her. So when we scheduled a time to show her my studio, I felt completely at ease. Here she was, both shy and plucky and in a beautiful dress. It was so fun chatting with her that I barely noticed any photos being taken. I love what her eyes sees… the light reflecting on the ceiling and the yellow and cream pattern of my old sewing cushion… these are visuals I had not thought to care about. Check out the full story here and here and here!


March 19, 2011

The collection I put together for Vancouver Fashion Week was not a line I was interested in proceeding with. Not in its entirety. At least half of the collection was not up to my standards and were simply an answer to a ridiculous deadline. Now I am back in the studio to take a longer look at Fall 2011. This unusual process is actually similar to what I did with Spring 2011. I made that collection in record time for Portland Fashion Week but then went back and made it stronger for production. This process is not efficient nor is it cost effective but I think it does result in a deeper and more thoroughly thought-out collection.
I am not often moved to make fashion by looking at fashion. My inspiration comes from other art forms, the natural world, or my community. However, these three images capture a feeling that I hope to express in this upcoming line. Confidence, pride, self-assurance, maturity and of course, individuality. One more week and I’ll have it completed.

Sweet Like Honey

March 19, 2011

I want to thank Jen McCabe over at Honey Kennedy for her thoughtful and much appreciated post about Filly SS2011. I am grateful for any attention but to be mentioned on a blog that I deeply admire and read, well that just takes the cake. Honey Kennedy is what every fashion / lifestyle blog aims to be- beautiful and addictive, smart and well-researched. I am proud to be included.


March 17, 2011

Whoa. It feels like I’ve been off the world for longer than four days… but I guess it was just Monday that she arrived. My Mom has been visiting. And we have been in our own world- completely entertained by each other, talking for hours, eating healthy food, walking and walking, sharing our lives like a couple of old friends. So fun.
This morning I dropped her off at the airport and suddenly realized a week had passed and that I have a lot to do! Shit! So, sorry to everyone that expected to hear from me this week.
Everything stops for your Mom.


March 13, 2011

I just saw The Fighter. Brilliant. I met Hendo, Allison, Coderre, Natalie, Jones and Kenya at the Laurelhurst Theater for a $3 date. The movie was set in 1992, the year I graduated from highschool. I was amazed at how out-dated and poorly dressed people were in that film. Or was it just a bad year? My girlfriends are all much younger than I am and I started to wonder if they were picturing me with a towering teased and hairsprayed do like Dicky and Micky’s sisters. Were they imagining me walking the halls of Harbor High in high-waisted mom jeans and white sneakers. With bad skin. I actually couldn’t remember if this was totally off the mark… until I rummaged through my box of photos and found a snap of me with Tonya Radino in 1992. We might be really tan and likely to drink and drive but thankfully we look nothing like the Eklund sisters. Style is regional. Location is everything.


March 13, 2011

Lets here it for the hometown team! Some cool press from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Santa Cruz native Emily Christensen, designer of the women’s clothing line FILLY, was invited to show her designs at Canada’s Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Feb. 24. With only three international designers asked to show, Christensen was given the task of representing the Monterey Bay Area in a sea of Canadian talent. She apparently did not disappoint. Her vibrant collection of rich and wearable dresses and separates wowed the audience and confirmed the Bay Area’s standing as a center of stylish and sustainable design. Click here for the full story


March 12, 2011

This is the moment when Maggie was accepted to The New School’s MFA in Creative Writing. Oh no! But oh yes for her.


March 10, 2011

Tomorrow morning a photographer from Apartment Therapy’s green home blog, Re-Nest is coming over to shoot my studio and home. I just completed the “Green Tour” questionnaire. Have you ever inventoried your home? And not just, should we give this old thing to goodwill, no I love it still. They want to know what appliances I have and where I bought them. What type of hardware? What about the artwork?
I really started to think about the objects I surround myself with. Some I do love and want with me. They are investments and will stand with me my whole life. The Kilim rug from my Father. The red clock from my Gramma. The plant stands and ceramic pots. The horseshoe from Eastern Europe.
Others items are just here. They weren’t chosen, they just showed up. And that’s okay. I’m just getting started on building the perfect home.

I wonder how this happened… this house tour angle of my life. This will be the third professional photographer to capture this old house on film. It’s so fun!

Re-Nest Survey

Years lived in:
Our style:
Favorite Element:
Biggest Challenge:
What Friends Say:
Proudest DIY:
Biggest Indulgence:
Best Advice:
Green Elements/Initiatives:
Rugs and Carpets:
Tiles and Stone:
Window Treatments:

Urban Hike

March 7, 2011

On a Sunday. We walked for hours, checked out the Kenton neighborhood, hit up two grocery stores and watched the sunset at the bluffs before treating ourselves to a proper Sunday fish dinner.

Take A Class With Me

March 5, 2011

Learn to design a “seasonal fashion collection”.
Portland Community College is offering a ten week course on the art of the collection.
You will start by learning the fashion industries’ definition of “a collection” and end with a completed five piece line.
Fashion illustration, pattern making and sewing will be used to realize your unique design aesthetic
A rigorous critique process will strengthen and enhance the finished product.
This course is for those looking to test their skills and perfect their craft before going public with their line

Please join Instructor Emily Christensen, designer of the women’s clothing line FILLY, for a quick-paced and challenging class.
Emily studied fashion design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco before starting Filly five years ago.

Registration begins March 5th!

CRN 26529 PCC Water Street Campus RM 306 (next to OMSI)
Tuesdays, 04/05-06/07 6:00P- 8:50P
Tuition: $ 195.00 Fee: $ 8.00
Online non-credit registration – http://www.pcc.edu/nc Registration # – 971-722-8888, option 2

Oh Geez Sarah

March 4, 2011

Sarah just wrote the nicest thing on her social calender website, Ms.Ms. Gosh, thanks.
Because we live together we rarely have a chance to look at each other with any distance or perspective. But I can honestly say she is the reason I feel good and stable most of the time. We never fight, we help each other whenever needed and we each think the other is a total babe. What else could you ask for!! Living with Sarah is like living alone but a thousand times better. And like she said in her post, I often just take her accomplishments as a given. Take for example her amazing styling on display in the two look books she has produced for Ms.Ms. Being a good stylist takes serious skills. It goes far far beyond just liking clothes or having great personal style. She is able to see someone’s strengths and capitalize on them. And she is just getting started. Wowza.


So Now What

March 3, 2011

It is 5pm and I am sitting in the RedE sipping an Americano. The confused depression that I have felt since returning is finally fading and I’m picking up my routine again- yoga, friends, dog walks, movies with Luke. The routine helps ground me in this city and in this body. This is helpful because my mind can’t seem to grasp the fact that it is over. And not like, “Oh my god, I just can’t believe it’s over!!” No, I’m happy to have the show behind me. What I mean is I can’t believe that project is over. I was running, sprinting, leaping… off the cliff… and now I’ve landed, on the other side, here in Portland again, where normal life is waiting for me. What just happened? Was it worth it? Sure. But will it change much? Not sure. And what do I want to change? That question is haunting me. I want to be more successful but what the hell does that mean? What does success look like? No, really. If I knew what I was after it would be a lot easier to capture it.

Parlour Review

March 1, 2011

“Uncomplicated by nature, Filly brings to mind an English rose, delicate and underestimated. All at once carefree, strong, spontaneous and polite, the rusted browns, neutrals and muted lilacs signature to the line reflect designer Emily Christensen’s inspired take on the world. From her Q&A below, you’ll learn that she is deeply connected to the earth around her, not surprised by natural beauty, but rather, surprised by how it creeps up at the most unexpected of times. A true artist.”

Read the complete review and my Q&A with Caroline Gault, associate editor of Parlour Magazine, a fashion and lifestyle quarterly based out of Edmonton and Calgary, AB.

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