Put It On

September 29, 2011

Fall 2011 styles are now for sale at Shop.Filly !


September 28, 2011

Rain, coffee, my new backpack from Vince, Bello at my feet. It must be morning time at the Red E Cafe.


September 28, 2011

Last night I slept lightly, listening for the rustle of Josh’s bags and the sound of Soupy’s toenails on the stairs. He was leaving this morning and I didn’t want to miss his departure. We shared coffee and eggs, he packed, I did the dishes. I still had my apron and pink gloves on when he said good-bye. It was barely light out.
Today I walked Bello in the park. Just like Josh and I did yesterday. Only today it wasn’t quite as enjoyable. Bello seemed farther behind, the kids seemed louder and, well, Josh wasn’t there. Josh is always Josh and that is a great comfort to me. At the grocery store he always buys corn tortillas and cheese. He prefers tin cups. And then there is the shape of his back bent over a bicycle… He is so familiar I can barely see him anymore! But I do, I see him everywhere. I see the outline of where he used to be.


September 26, 2011

Josh placed 4th! Woohoo!

See You

September 26, 2011

I hope to see you someday like a fountain
And I hope you see me someday as a friend
And I hope we meet on the other side of this mountain
Where we find out love don’t end
It just winds
And turns
And bends

On the Way

September 26, 2011

Unlike previous trips, this didn’t have the “race across the finish line feel”. I enjoyed the journey.
Half way through the drive I stopped for the night in Grants Pass and stayed with Jerry and Jan, my relatives through marriage. I was handed a glass of red wine and offered the hot tub and pool before bed. I slept surrounded by Jan’s teddy bears. The next day (today? weird.), Bell and I got an early start- was it noon?, and drove drove drove through bad radio songs until we got to Salem. Here I made a little stop at the Goodwill Bins. Today goes down as the best bins day of my life. I was a phantom. Dodging in and out, scooping up items that others should have grabbed, darting between the old Polish women without being elbowed even once. The bins are reason enough to live in Oregon.
I am home. Doing laundry. Writing to you. Drinking wine. And so happy to be here in this lovely town.


September 24, 2011

Tomorrow I leave. Back to Portland. The long drive.
But before I go I must thank my hosts, Josh and Ann. What wonderful people! Josh let me invade his space during the weeks leading to a big and important bicycle show. The man worked tirelessly to get not one but two amazing cargo bikes together in just three weeks! And the second one is a brand new design. I am totally impressed. And Ann let me stay at what is now her house. Need I say more. Need I say that I’m not sure I would have done the same. Again, I am so impressed. Plus, she’s just so cool! I might not be flirting with Josh anymore but I’m definitely flirting with Ann.
They left on Thursday for Portland and the Manifest Bicycle Show. Josh better win.
They are staying at my house, possibly in my own little bed.
What an advanced society.
Who says this country is going to shit.

Side by Side

September 23, 2011

I have been living in Santa Cruz for a month, nestled into the apartment that sits side by side with Josh’s shop. What an apt description for him and I.
There was a time when Josh and I were on top, all around, inside and out of each other. We were one life under one roof. Over the past four years we have worked at redefining our relationship without letting go. The imagine that comes to mind is of a couple locked in an embrace, the music is slow and romantic. Suddenly the music stops and the room is quiet. The learned response is to panic, pull apart, stop moving. But we held on. We slowed, we readjusted and it was incredibly uncomfortable and difficult. But we didn’t let go. And over time we learned to hold each other in a new way. He is over there working, asking for my opinion, feeling crabby, smoking pot. I am over here wound up tight, asking for his opinion, feeling rushed, drinking coffee. And on the radio the music plays again. It is one of my favorite songs. We are friends.

Box of Horses

September 21, 2011

Ok, you’re going to think I am really dis-organized. I was going through my Dad’s storage unit tonight and found two huge boxes of horse collection dresses. What the fuck? I mean, really, where did these come from?

Lets have a Friends of Filly before I leave town.

September 22nd
241 Berkeley Way

Additionally there will be dresses from other past collections – holiday and fall from seasons gone by.
Maybe I’ll see ya!


September 20, 2011

They are all gone. The winners are:

Amanda: xs
Lisa: s
Kate: s
Hannah: s
Jessie: m
Lauren: m
Julie: l
Sandi: l
Annie: l

Chimney Pant Surprise

September 17, 2011

The main reason I am in Santa Cruz is because I had to find a new manufacturer for Fall 2011. My previous manufacturer was downsizing and moving from a three-warehouse space into a one-warehouse space and was unable to take on production. In the process of moving their operation they came across an old box of Filly. Inside was a ton of Chimney Pants from Fall 2007! This is so exciting! This pant in awesome! It is made from medium weight grey denim with a little stretch so you just pull them on and go. The cut is a classic Filly pant cut; snug at the hip bones and roomy in the legs with a detailed cuff.
I have the following sizes: 1/xs, 3/s, 2/m, 3/l. The cost is $85 + shipping. Email me if you want a pair! emily@fillydesigns.com

And hey, if you already own some, leave a comment for others as to how they fit, etc. (Polly, Kenya…)

The Letter

September 16, 2011

Picked it up and made myself put it down. I shouldn’t read this tonight. But I did, for the fourth time.

And this time I just listened.

Paying Off, Paying Up

September 15, 2011

I can’t believe it. The styles are coming in, on time, and the sewing is perfect.
Next week they will be dyed and pressed and sent to stores as promised.

Of course, you say. And I want to agree. In an ideal world the fabric would be in stock and ship on time. The cutter would respond to my calls. The sewer would attach the skirt right side up. And the dye colors would actually match the little swatch I so painstakingly selected.
But in this world, I need to show my face to each party, every other day, in order for them to…. care about me and give me their best. I have learned something essential about how to run my business. The hidden key. I literally have to turn it myself. Sometimes with grace and other times with muscle, but turning nonetheless. It feels like I have opened the door to a new Filly.

The Fábrica

September 12, 2011

Yesterday Ann and I hosted a big fabric sale at The Fábrica.
I have held many sales over the years but I have never sold fabric and was surprised to see how enjoyable it was. Although, now I’m now sure why it would be a surprise. I love fabric, I love fabric more than I love dresses. Fabric represents potential. The first moment I realized I would be a fashion designer was in an import store filled with African tent rugs and kimono scraps and tattered wool blanket remnants. My heart was like a child trying to get her mom’s attention- tugging and screaming and jumping up and down. The fabric! The fabric! Like glittering jewels.

I sat on rolls of twill and talked fiber content and stain resist, drape, wash and weight. I handed out colorful satchels and watched as woman after woman hurried off with arms piled high. Carefully and quietly they took their precious bundles home.

The Fábrica is a community sewing workshop. It is a clean and organized space with five sewing machines, a long worktable and walls and walls of fabric scraps. This is a feminine space in which to calmly sew, sip tea, enjoy baked treats and idly chat. Last night there were two men, one young man with a long blond ponytail and one older man with a wild brown ponytail and great shoes, and four women representing each decade starting with the twenties. An unlikely sextet in any other context and yet it seemed perfectly natural here. Please come on by, there is a spot for you too.

The Fábrica:
Community Textile Arts & Salvage Workshop
703 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

For more information and additional pictures check out the recent Santa Cruz GoodTimes article!


September 11, 2011

This is what I see when I look down. Them.
I have written about finding a lovely connection to my body on the Filly About page and I do stand behind those words. I do wholeheartedly appreciate my body for all that it does for me. And I do feel beautiful when I am using this strength. My thighs tightening as I pedal.

But there are other moments. When my thighs are just tight in my jeans. And I don’t love them. I feel separate and scornful. And this tends to happen during inactive times in my life. Like winter in Portland. But winter doesn’t exist in Santa Cruz and I can be out in the woods every day of the year. Here I feel my perspective shift and my love explode- for you down there. Working for me, lifting me up and forward with each step. I cannot depend on the whims of fashion to look good. I cannot even depend on my own taste. But I can depend on you.
My body is my best outfit. It looks so good together.


September 8, 2011

Hello Emily,
I hope this email finds you well? I am putting an eco fashion segment together for Oct. 7th and would love to feature some of your clothes,
Please let me know if you are interested,


Candice Batista | Segment Producer (Eco, Tech, Decor) & Eco Expert

The Marilyn Denis Show
299 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2Z5

Labor Free

September 6, 2011

I agree with Tim, the day to celebrate labor is May 1st. BUT today I was unable to conduct business and so it was a day of rest for me. I was forced to go to the beach. And swim the breast stroke to the buoy. And catch such a deep and paralyzing body chill that I shivered for the rest of the day. But oh it was worth it. There is nothing like exertion to clear the mind and this is especially true a 1/4 mile offshore in deep ocean water. All that matters is the strength of my body and the soundness of my spirit.
This understanding remained even after returning to shore, to my phone, to my hunger, to my stress. I shook out my hair and laid my victorious self in the sand and sighed. Smiled. Knew. I am fundamentally all right.


September 4, 2011

This is unlike any previous visit to Santa Cruz.
Every other day I drive over the mountains into the concrete jungle of the East Bay. I perform tasks that I hate and would avoid doing at any cost. But not at the cost of this collection.
I find my way through unfamiliar neighborhoods in East Oakland, I badger the cutter to rush the order, I haggle over prices with sewers, I call their bluff when they tell me a big order is coming next week and if I want their services I will have to pay a higher price, I make five stops a day and get stuck for hours in rush-hour traffic on the way home. Twice I have cried and when my face has remained dry it was because I was dry on the inside.
Who am I right now? I can’t wait to be someone else. Someone that walks to the ocean and does the breaststroke out to the buoy.


September 2, 2011

This silhouette is very intriguing. I love the cuffed manly trouser with the over-sized casual blouse.

The weather in Santa Cruz makes my hair behave very differently. What was a feathered side-parted bowl cut in Portland has now become a frizzy stiff halo of curls. It goes well with an androgynous Annie Hall style. Forgive me Kenya if I come home with a corduroy blazer.

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