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Handmade Portraits: Riordan Roache

Dec 28, 2010

by milorocks

MP4 | YouTube | Vimeo | | Subscribe in iTunes

(Animation by Julia Pott; Music by Eric Beug)

The Etsy video team has invited experimental and documentary filmmakers to contribute to our original video series, Handmade Portraits, Process and There’s No Place Like Here. Anne Alvergue is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker and artist. Check out her other work at and

Emily Riordan-Roache of Riordan Roache is a clothing designer. Raised outside of Seattle in the small rural town of Port Washington, Emily was un-schooled by artistic parents who allowed her love of sewing to blossom.


After discovering punk music and W magazine, Emily decided she wanted to pursue fashion design. While receiving her BA in menswear design from the prestigious Central St. Martins in London, she was faced with the offer of a corporate design job. Emily was struck by an epiphany: she would rather focus her efforts on developing her own small label, rather than working for someone else. She decided to scale back by moving to Portland, getting a part-time job at a vintage clothing store, and concentrating her efforts on launching Riordan-Roache.

Riordan-Roache designs four small collections a year, with 8-10 looks per collection. The Winter 2010 collection is inspired by the British post-punk music scene.

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  • dayslonggone

    dayslonggone said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! Love the gray tweed cape!

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work - cheers !

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 6 years ago

    Beautiful collection!

  • mooshoopork

    mooshoopork said 6 years ago

    some great designs.. nice to see how you work your magic! :)

  • mycrochetgarden

    mycrochetgarden said 6 years ago

    I feel quite certain that the hiring of staff is in your near future. You have talent! Your designs are amazing. I'm touched that you not only design but also hand sew each article. AMAZING

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 6 years ago

    Love your scrapbooks.. So organized and a great way to reflect on past ideas.

  • tinyearsjewelry

    tinyearsjewelry said 6 years ago

    nice work... Casey @ tin years

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 6 years ago

    You have one loved sewing machine there :) I very much enjoyed watching your process. Congratulations!

  • hattieshouse

    hattieshouse said 6 years ago

    your clothing is timeless and memorable. Your talent is very evident!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    Beautiful film work. Riordan's designs are classically designed with her personal style mixed in. Gorgeous. I wish I had known about her when I was a movie/tv costumer...I would have used her pieces in a show for sure!

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 6 years ago

    Beautiful clothing!

  • ErikaPrice

    ErikaPrice said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous work!

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 6 years ago

    An enchanting film! And such exquisite clothing!

  • noemiah

    noemiah said 6 years ago

    Lovely portrait, awesome designer!!!

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 6 years ago

    Great video!

  • choisette

    choisette said 6 years ago

    it takes a brave person to turn down a corporate job to start one's own clothing line. very admirable.

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 6 years ago

    wow! Great designs! :) xox

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 6 years ago

    I love your work! Gorgeous garments!

  • nomenclaturr

    nomenclaturr said 6 years ago

    i mean, i don't design clothes, but this still makes me feel really inadequate about my skills. hahaha. you do what you do so sharp and amazing! geez, off to go practice book making. haha.

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 6 years ago

    i love the tweed cape!

  • DayDreamerVintage

    DayDreamerVintage said 6 years ago

    Love to read when someone decides to go with their dreams and work for themselves instead of working for a corporate company. Congrats, Love the designs!

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 6 years ago


  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 6 years ago

    thanks for this portrait - your work is fabulous.

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    I can't wait to see your work 20 years from now!

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth said 6 years ago

    I enjoyed watching the sketching process--designers seem to make that part look flawless and yet the end result can be very intriguing :) I like how your menswear influence comes through quite definitively in your work. Best of luck!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago


  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 6 years ago

    sweet. so inspiring. :)

  • periblue2

    periblue2 said 6 years ago

    Love the Portland designers. They have vision and creativity -something most "regular " designers have lost

  • handmaderomance

    handmaderomance said 6 years ago

    beautiful work!

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring!

  • dragonflymystdesigns

    dragonflymystdesigns said 6 years ago

    Beautiful collection!! It is so inspiring!!

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    I admire the sleek silhouettes--good luck, and thanks for sharing with us!

  • chelebert12

    chelebert12 said 6 years ago

    I almost never take time to watch these but I should! This was so lovely. I love the design and even the video style.

  • seesong

    seesong said 6 years ago

    Love the fact they very effortless and chic at same time. Post punk music scene is great place to start!

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 6 years ago

    Very nice designs and lovely video. Thank you for the peak into your life.

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 6 years ago

    sweet video. I enjoyed watching you sketch. Love that you do some just for you and then also what people will buy. I think that is a great solution. Best wishes for big success.

  • HulaGirl1922

    HulaGirl1922 said 6 years ago

    lovely ♥

  • PetalPetal

    PetalPetal said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the beautiful artist's portrait. Love seeing fellow Portlanders highlighted!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    Beautiful designs! I am in love with that skirt in the first pic <3

  • gizmofiberarts

    gizmofiberarts said 6 years ago

    Very cool items, nice review!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 6 years ago

    Great simple, beautiful, and classic designs!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 6 years ago

    Great simple, beautiful, and classic designs!

  • shoestrade4932

    shoestrade4932 said 6 years ago

    welcome to our online store:

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Wonderful designer and great collection!

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl said 6 years ago

    Lovely designs - congratulations :-)

  • WhisperingOak

    WhisperingOak said 6 years ago

    Great designs. Thanks for sharing this story.

  • BlackTreeFields

    BlackTreeFields said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work!

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 6 years ago


  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Your work is lovely. Congrats to you and much continued success. If there was an Etsy when I was designing clothes, I would still be designing clothes.

  • museumshop

    museumshop said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work. Excellent

  • museumshop

    museumshop said 6 years ago

    Wonderful Happy New year

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 6 years ago

    Good for you, an inspiration to all. I like your style for selfish reasons, they could be translated to be comfortably worn in our Hawaiian climate =) Aloha!

  • Prittyfy

    Prittyfy said 6 years ago

    love your designs! bravo!

  • PinkMoustache

    PinkMoustache said 6 years ago

    Lovely! So happy to see a fellow Portlander! Cheers!

  • FruitsOFtheBLooM

    FruitsOFtheBLooM said 6 years ago

    I love how you manage to have tailored garments appear so relaxed, oh the beauty in the irony. Truly artistic. :)

  • SomethingSeaBlue

    SomethingSeaBlue said 6 years ago

    what a great interview! I love to see how other peoples creative mind works and the process of how their inspirations come to fruition...and I like how you put a piece of what you want for yourself into each collection...great job!!!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work, loved your video. Nice to see that you decided to go it alone!

  • HadaraTLV

    HadaraTLV said 6 years ago

    Really great, like it a lot.

  • ForsythiaHill

    ForsythiaHill said 6 years ago

    Love the process and the production of your piece. It shows how much work goes into just one item. Very nice.

  • Franellie

    Franellie said 6 years ago

    Very stylish, love your work.

  • sunkae

    sunkae said 6 years ago

    Great work! ***

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 6 years ago

    LOVE YOUR WORK !!!!!

  • lindaketelhut

    lindaketelhut said 6 years ago

    Wonderful video. Your work is fantastic. Love your clean, edgy style. It's nice to see you followed your heart and have created your own collections. Best of luck!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Adorable handmade work ! Congratulations !

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 6 years ago

    Like your style..... your shop is wonderful~! thanks for sharing your story, wish you great success.

  • ModernMode

    ModernMode said 6 years ago

    I've been in love with your designs for awhile, truly one of a kind with a very clear and strong point of view. You're going far!

  • EyeSigh

    EyeSigh said 6 years ago

    So wonderful!

  • BlkSheepProductions

    BlkSheepProductions said 6 years ago

    simple and elegant designs.

  • purrpower

    purrpower said 6 years ago

    "If the cut of the costume indicates intellect and talent, then the color indicates temper and heart." Thomas Carlyle

  • woolgatherings

    woolgatherings said 6 years ago

    Very cool piece! A local girl, and an unschooler no less. I love it!

  • quiltartfabric

    quiltartfabric said 6 years ago

    beautiful and stylish fashion!

  • isobell

    isobell said 6 years ago

    wow, beautiful and inspiring. i love love love the new designs. thank you so much for sharing!

  • daydreamjewels

    daydreamjewels said 6 years ago

    Great imagination! lovely designs, congrats!

  • misscharlottejewelry

    misscharlottejewelry said 6 years ago

    I like!

  • pinkbijou

    pinkbijou said 6 years ago


  • PeekoApparel

    PeekoApparel said 6 years ago

    beautiful work! Thanks for sharing your story. :)

  • kellyemeraldhart

    kellyemeraldhart said 6 years ago

    this was the most inspiring video ive ever seen in my life. thank you

  • bricolagelife

    bricolagelife said 6 years ago

    such lovely textures and silhouettes

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 6 years ago

    Your silhouettes are fabulous. Not one woman alive could look terrible in your line - something I desire in my own everyday clothing but unable to find. Fabulous work and much success to you in the future - you are an amazing artist.

  • denises72

    denises72 said 6 years ago

    You really have talent!

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign said 6 years ago

    LOve the simple,classic style!

  • NangijalaJewelry

    NangijalaJewelry said 6 years ago

    I am in awe of your talent and creativity. What a wonderful feature. Congratulations!

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  • Watercolorsbywayne

    Watercolorsbywayne said 6 years ago

    Congratulations on your success and lovely work! Best wishes for 2011!

  • thenoisyplume

    thenoisyplume said 6 years ago

    This is probably my favorite handmade portrait to date. Thank you.

  • MadebyLinLin

    MadebyLinLin said 6 years ago

    Ive always loved sewing and designing as well. Your video is very inspirational!

  • TheBabyShoeCompany

    TheBabyShoeCompany said 6 years ago

    Really stylish. I love everything especially the Trench Coat.

  • emilybidwell Admin

    emilybidwell said 6 years ago

    Just love her work! Thanks for sharing.

  • Simag

    Simag said 6 years ago

    Beautiful collection!!!

  • eRosasjewelry

    eRosasjewelry said 6 years ago

    love your portrait Riordan, love handmade portraits

  • isabelamyo

    isabelamyo said 6 years ago

    Nice work, lovely style ! Thank you for sharing, you handmade portraits was inspired.


    SANDYSAYLE said 6 years ago

    Love the video, your work is wonderful, thankyou!!

  • beadsofaquarius

    beadsofaquarius said 6 years ago

    love your work! thanks for sharing ! i enjoyed the video clip!

  • SmallWorldVintage

    SmallWorldVintage said 6 years ago

    The design and video are both amazing! Wonderful combined work! Each component is inspiring! Love the clothes!

  • kanaro

    kanaro said 6 years ago

    Beautiful video! Love every items in this video! Very talented designer!!!

  • ritarenata

    ritarenata said 6 years ago

    thank you. i love the polka dot skirt.

  • fabfashion

    fabfashion said 5 years ago


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