Best of 2010: Shopping

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Most drag-fabulous designs
Like a stylist to the stars, Mark Mitchell ( shines as a designer to burlesque beauties, his wildly intricate, comical gowns sported onstage by local dancer The Swedish Housewife and boylesque star Waxie Moon. The Capitol Hill–based costumer (who also designs men’s shirts) made a splash at this year’s Thaw fashion show in lighthearted sets modeled by the Housewife, patriotic in a glimmering blue cape and what Mitchell calls the quintessential Mitchell garment, “an over-the-top gown with bolts of tulle ruffles and an unforgiving waist.” Piling on the drama, Mitchell’s creative wear will appear onstage in the coming months, donned by local band The Ononos and featuring a mix of stage wear and high fashion that Mitchell describes as “fabulous and totally nuts.”

Best new high-end vintage shop with a conscience
Karen Mayers Gamoran's chic jewel box of a boutique, which opened last December, is the antithesis of the mothball-ridden vintage shop, the clean white space accented by gently used designer garments from Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana or Oscar de la Renta. But hidden beneath the gloss of Karen’s Vintage Couture (Pioneer Square, 623 Western Ave.; 206.682.2769; is a down-to-earth purpose: A large portion of proceeds is given to local charities, including Eastside Domestic Violence Program, the Seattle chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and University of Washington research on breast cancer. So you can feel OK about that Stella McCartney splurge.

Best shops for multitaskers
Turns out having a bit of ADHD makes for great shopping: Blurring the lines between traditional shop, craft-supply store and art gallery, new multipurpose faves Assemble, Pun(c)-tuation and Coming Soon have ingeniously given Seattleites a reason to keep popping into their shops as they continually evolve, one day offering how-to classes on felting and knitting, the next dotting the walls with pieces from a new artist in residence. These little shops have also crafted some of the best local finds of the year, such as Coming Soon owner Jessica Park’s coveted Ampersand as Apostrophe purse, made from a vintage leather mailbag. (Assemble: Phinney Ridge, 7406 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.913.2470; Pun(c)tuation: Capitol Hill, 705A E Pike St.; 206.588.8707; Coming Soon: Fremont, 3623 Fremont Ave. N; 206.940.4193;

Best jewelry designer

Though she's been in Seattle for nearly a decade, this was jewelry designer Regina Chang’s year, with her stunning lasso necklaces ($220–$260), agate bracelets (around $130) and hammered-metal earrings ($30–$100) exuding Seattle sensibility. Columbia City–based Chang ( approaches her jewelry as couture. Pieces from her seasonal collections are one of a kind and walk the line between luxe femininity and power. Eschewing the dainty and girly, Chang incorporates Northwest elements such as driftwood from Camano Island beaches, vintage metals and rough-cut stones into chunky, bold pieces that are as distinctive as her nature-loving, laid-back Northwest clients.

Best survival techniques in a tough economy
It’s still tough out there, so we admire retailers who have created shopping hype (and sales) out of the proverbial dry wallet. Top scores in creativity go to pop-up shops dotting the downtown cityscape; to the collaboration between West Seattle shoe stop Clementine and online boutique La Rousse ( for their head-to-shoe outfit pairings for multiple budgets ($100–$400), and to our favorite comeback of the year, Julie Wray’s chic online shop Olivine (, which offers a lifetime discount on Prairie Underground items (sign us up, please!) and free same-day delivery for Seattleites on purchases of more than $200.

Best new flower shop
Our little local-loving hearts go pitter-patter at Marigold & Mint (Capitol Hill, 1531 Melrose Ave.; 206.682.3111; in Melrose Market, where owner Katherine Anderson stocks her quaint space with seasonal  organic flowers (and sometimes produce!) from her Snoqualmie-based Oxbow Farm as well as the Skagit Valley farm Floret. Inhale a big whiff of Northwest flora while indulging in another locavore fantasy: shopping the letterpress goods selection from hometown fave Ilee Paper Goods.

Best urban cyclist hangout
There’s the Lance Armstrong racer type’s bicycle shop, and then there’s Dutch Bike Co. (Ballard, 4741 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.789.1678;, a sleek haven for those who would rather cruise the streets than be noticed for those teeny spandex outfits. David Schmidt and Stephan Schier’s burgeoning 3-year-old biz got a major facelift last summer when it moved into the historic Kolstrand Building next to Staple & Fancy Mercantile. Flush with casual, urban-friendly WorkCycles, with backseats for kid cling-ons, and Civia bikes, with front-end boxes for groceries, the airy brick-and-vintage-wood space also sports a café and an espresso stand, so bike enthusiasts can cradle a cup while shopping or waiting for service.

Images by Hayley Young

Best of the Decade: Shopping
Jamie Joseph rings
Bellevue boom
pop-up shops
Fashion First
Luly Yang Couture
local designers
Crave Party
Sway & Cake
kiddie boutiques
Built For Man
repurposed material
Tuesdays in Ballard
online-only boutiques
online shopping deal sites
The Bravern luxury experiment
eco-friendly fashion
organic cotton
Kimberly Baker chunky animal rings
consignment shops
Pine blog
boutique blogs
Prairie Underground


Seattle Magazine's 2016 Gift Guide

Seattle Magazine's 2016 Gift Guide

Featuring finds from local stores as special as our favorite holiday songs and sayings, our 2016 gift guide proves December really is the most wonderful time of the year

The Land of Must-have Toys...

Techy teens can collect the customizable smart bracelets, $69, from Seattle-based start-up Gemio, which light up when a friend, also wearing a band, is nearby. Available for preorder at

Take Legos to go with the locally made Swoop mini bag, $26, perfect for toting toys during holiday travel.

Seattle-based industrial designer Douglas Varey, founder of Resolute Lighting, created his vintage-inspired go-cart, the “Austin Boulogne,” using repurposed materials and an electric motor. Private commission, price upon request. Resolute Lighting showroom, SoDo, 4617 Colorado Ave. S, Unit A; 206.343.9323;

Headquartered in South Lake Union, Fort Boards custom fort-building kits, $79.99–$125, contain 20 square feet of plastic panels for kids to construct their dream hideout, castle or clubhouse.

Festivals of Light, Candles Glowing Oh So Bright...

Twinkling gold star dangle earrings, $28, designed by Gig Harbor–based Six Sisters Beadworks, sparkle and shine.

Throw pillows, like these metallic-embellished ones from Jonathan Adler, $250–$255, are an easy way to add a bit of holiday spirit to any home decor. Jonathan Adler, University Village, 2650 NE Village Lane; 206.525.0930;

After raising your glass, place it down on one of these festive die-cut gold-foil-stamped coasters, $21 for a set of 12. Available at E. Smith Mercantile, Pioneer Square, 208 First Ave. S; 206.641.7250;

Add some sparkle to holiday tabletops with Z Gallerie’s Avelina glassware, $35.96–$47.96 for a set of four, featuring luxe gold textured details (also available in silver). Z Gallerie, Bellevue, Bellevue Square, 575 Bellevue Way NE; 425.519.4499;

Winter may be a darker time of year, but your complexion can still be bright with Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate, $46, featuring a blend of ginger root essential oils, tamanu and sunflower seed botanical oils. Kiehl’s, University Village, 2611 NE University Village St.; 206.985.4414;


From local perfumer Maria Christofilis, the MC Parfums trio spray set, $110, includes TSA-approved refillable sprays of the line’s signature scents, including Fleur09, Mykonos12 and latest fragrance, Missive15: a woody, Oriental abstraction with notes of bergamot, Casablanca lilies and Madagascar vanilla bean. Available at Butch Blum, downtown, 1332 Sixth Ave.; 206.622.5760; and online at


The gift of a Glassybaby votive holder, $44, (shown in warm amber Cozy) is like giving two presents in one. Ten percent of the cost benefits the handblown glass retailer’s White Light fund, which supports various worthy causes. Glassybaby, multiple locations, including Bellevue, 10230 Main St.; 425.256.2927;

The Apothecary's solid cologne for men is all natural and handcrafted in Seattle. The best-selling Maverick scent, $25.99, features notes of bergamot and tobacco, and the fragrant balm can be stashed in any briefcase, backpack or stocking. Available at Etsy shop By All the Little Things:

The Frederique Constant Classic Moon Phase men’s timepiece, $2,295, is the ultimate luxury gift. Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, 305 Bellevue Way NE; 425.454.9393;

Eat, Drink & Be Merry...

Bring the on-draft craft beer experience into your kitchen with the PicoBrew Pico automated beer brewer, $799. Just add water to one of the machine’s PicoPaks, featuring flavors from more than 100 breweries, and your holiday beer is good to go. Mountain Homebrew & Wine Supply, Kirkland, 8530 122nd Ave. NE; 425.803.3996; and available online at

Spice up holiday dishes with Tacoma-based Downing Pottery’s salt and pepper cellars, $38 per set. Available at Venue, Ballard, 5408 22nd Ave. NW; 206.789.3335;

Soft Turkish towels, $18–$35, from Essenza add a decorative element to any kitchen. Essenza, Fremont, 615 N 35th St.; 206.547.4895;  

Fremont-based Theo Chocolate’s chocolate clusters, $5.99, make a yummy snack and each flavor contains cocoa flavanols to boost heart health. Here’s to a happy, healthy new year! Available at Theo Chocolate, Fremont, 3400 Phinney Ave. N; 206.632.5100;

Sugarfina’s martini “olives,” $7.50, offer a sweet surprise (white chocolate-covered almonds) and make a fun hostess gift for upcoming cocktail parties. Available at the Sugarfina boutique in Nordstrom, downtown, 500 Pine St.; 206.628.2111;

Seattle woodworker Bill Erickson’s end-grain cutting boards, $299–$379, make beautiful kitchen additions for preparing and serving your holiday feasts (or appetizers, such as meats from Marx Foods’ charcuterie sampler, $119, on Queen Anne). Erickson’s boards—of which no two are alike—are available at his Pike Place Market stand. Downtown, First Avenue and Pike Street;

Winter weather is the best excuse to stay in and indulge in some delicious baked goods. Marx Foods’ Winter Baker basket, $47, is stocked with local favorites, such as Hot Cakes Campfire caramel sauce and Scrappy’s cardamom bitters, to make all kinds of delectable December recipes. Marx Foods, Queen Anne, 144 Western Ave. W; 206.447.1818;

This three-pack of the best-selling reds,$169, from Woodinville's Mark Ryan Winery, ensures the perfect pour for holiday parties. Mark Ryan Winery, Woodinville, 14475 Woodinville-Redmond Road; 425.415.3865;

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

What better way to warm up after being out in the snow than with a fire? Bring logs back home with Filson’s water-repellent, rugged twill log carrier, $95. Filson, SoDo, 1741 First Ave. S; 206.622.3147;

This YMC Wickerman woven gray scarf, $115, is part merino wool, part mohair and 100 percent perfect for holiday gift giving. Glasswing, Capitol Hill, 1525 Melrose Ave.; 206.641.7646;

Kate Spade satin and (faux) mink earmuffs, $78, keep ears toasty while running around during holiday shopping. Kate Spade, downtown, Pacific Place, 600 Pine St.; 206.223.5539; 

Cozy up with Pendleton Woolen Mills’ pure virgin wool motor robe, $99.50. Named for the warmth the throw blanket provided on carriage rides in the early 1900s, the motor robe is part of this year’s capsule collection celebrating America’s national parks. Pendleton, downtown, 1313 Fourth Ave.; 206.682.4430;

Windproof with super lightweight insulation, Brooks’ LSD thermal running jacket, $160, will keep you warm in cold weather. Brooks Trailhead store, Fremont, 3400 Stone Way N; 206.858.5700;

Tote your eggnog or hot chocolate in a S’well insulated stainless steel water bottle, $35–$45. The ThermaS’well fabrication keeps cold drinks cold for as long as 24 hours and hot drinks hot for as long as 12. Brand available at Nordstrom’s flagship store, downtown, 500 Pine St.; 206.628.2111;

The sterling silver drop at the end of Faris Du Graf’s “Luro” necklace, $138, reminds us of melting snow as it drips off the end of evergreen branches. Available at Rizom boutique and gallery, Belltown, 2316 Second Ave.; 206.390.0939;

It might look more like a lump of coal, but we promise this locally made grapefruit- and eucalyptus-scented ash soap, $10, is the perfect gift for everyone on your “nice” list. Liten, Fremont, 617 N 35th St.; 206.632.0854;

Snow, sleet and rain don’t stand a chance against Eddie Bauer’s Snowfoil boot, $130. Eddie Bauer, multiple locations, including Bellevue Square, 1033 Bellevue Square; 425.453.0450;