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Exclusive: Fashion buyer Michelle Flores lists her top 5 spring style trends

Crop top and skater skirt by Laurs Kemp and model Lauren Jewels
Crop top and skater skirt by Laurs Kemp and model Lauren Jewels
Credits: Jerry Simpson

Animal Traffic is not a new music band or the Oregon Zoo stopping Portland peeps from overpopulating the world with squirrels it’s Thursday, April 24, 2014 with buyer and merchandiser Michelle Flores, photographer Jerry Simpson, and model Lauren Jewels chatting about the trendy looks of this relatively new West End boutique. Yes, it seems the underbelly of Portland style and fashion found on the neighborhood streets south of Burnside and west of Broadway still reflect our cultural and historical taste for the well-worn wisdom of tried and true quality made in America clothing. Quality still matters, yes, really?

Furthermore, as fashion trends ebb and flow nothing seems to tarnish the glitz, and glam of an elegant, intelligently designed handmade necklace, bracelet or ring from a local jewelry designer. In fact, rumor has it Portland is the new breeding and birthing location for jewelry designers so don’t tune out just yet because handcrafted, glove-like perfect fit boots, and fashions that move, and groove with the Asian sensibilities of our kindred spirited best friends the Japanese are on the rise. Isn’t fashion fun? I think so.

Fashion savvy San Franciscan male Nick F. says, “Animal Traffic's newest location is in the Pearl District. The selection here is smaller, more boutique-y and pricier than the Mississippi St. locale. They've got a great rack of Pendleton's here. Nothing like a good Pendleton to make me feel all bearded, warm and fuzzy inside.”

Okay, let’s jump right in and find out from Flores about her top five trendy recommendations for a fashion fabulous spring. First of all what's really red hot are the Japanese art influences from wood block stamp abstract like prints to a tie-dye effect called the “Ashi wash.” Take note fashionistas because it seems a secret alliance has formed among the younglings of our fair city with their counterparts in Japan, in that Americans love anything Japanese and the Japanese love anything made in America.

Continuing on this spring style and fashion report would not be complete without another soft chambray shirt and a madras plaid skirt or shorts made of red, white, and blue threads. Repurposed denim will never die and cut off tops are cropping up everywhere on the west coast from Coachella to Bumpershoot, check it all out at Animal Traffic.

Portland fashionista Anna H. says, “I have been in this store more than a few times, and Animal Traffic is always spot on. The staff is always friendly and attentive, without being pushy - which counts a lot in my book. The selection is good and the prices are very reasonable for a vintage store. If you're wanting thrift store/garage sale prices, then I suggest you do your own picking in those places, because this is a nicely curated store where all the hard work has been done for you.”

Crop top and skater skirt by Laurs Kemp and model Lauren Jewels
Crop top and skater skirt by Laurs Kemp and model Lauren Jewels Credits: Jerry Simpson

Crop top and skater skirt by Laurs Kemp and model Lauren Jewels

Red riding hood never looked so cute. This red skater skirt called “Veronica,” and crop top by Portland fashion designer Laurs Kemp is adorable. Paired with unisex sneakers in a color named picante this outfit proves a casual, sporty but polished appearance is only complete with a Navajo style necklace by Honey Box Heidi.

Floral print chambray dress by Line and Dot
Floral print chambray dress by Line and Dot Credits: Jerry Simpson

Floral print chambray dress by Line and Dot

Floral print chambray shift (Column) dress designed in Los Angeles by Line and Dot that can be worn for both day and night. No footsie foreplay needed because the dress looks fabulous with either an ankle boot or a high heel shoe just not at the same time.

Shorts, white tee and 70s floppy hat
Shorts, white tee and 70s floppy hat Credits: Jerry Simpson

Shorts, white tee and 70s floppy hat

White crop top is designed by Hye Park and Lune. Shorts are made from repurposed denim, a mix of vintage Levi, wrangler, Pendleton wool and dead stop vintage fabric by April for Threads and Roses. Top it off with a 70s floppy hat, Minnetonka moccasins and a necklace made in Portland by Seaworthy.

Black jumper by Laurs Kemp
Black jumper by Laurs Kemp Credits: Jerry Simpson

Black jumper by Laurs Kemp

Jumper in black made and designed by Laurs Kemp, paired with a white tee, flannel like red jacket shirt by Taylor Stitch, black 70s floppy hat, and a necklace by Worn Path (Mississippi street jewelry designer) are true elements and evidence of Portland’s fashion magic.

Hara stamp inspired shirt dress by Alternative
Hara stamp inspired shirt dress by Alternative Credits: Jerry Simpson

Hara stamp inspired shirt dress by Alternative

Hara stamp design inspired by a Japanese woodblock printed on a chambray shirtdress made by Alternative, hand crafted laced up leather boots by White Boots, (30 different leathers to choose from for your own custom pair) necklace by Portland Cobra Cult and red backpack made of recycled cotton by Baggu.