Christine Chaney: Best Emerging Designer


The line: “I want my line to be timeless, but almost separate from ‘fashion’ per se, which can tend to revolve around trends and seasons,” says Chaney of her creatively crafted scarf frocks with sly peekaboo panels and asymmetrical hemming, cozy crochet sweaters and avant-garde coats made from army surplus wool blankets. “I want to create clothing that women live in and love; a piece that transcends a time frame.”

Creative spark: “I’m inspired by the way fabric moves and how it moves on a woman’s body,” says the Judkins Park-based designer, who started her clothing line in 2008. “I love how garments can shift and change on the form.” The 47-year-old Chaney, who is an architectural designer by day, crochet artist and self-taught designer by night, draws heavily from her architectural background, citing both the physics of construction and recycled fabrics as jumping-off points for her designs. “I use upcycle materials like scarves, not only because I find them beautiful, but because I’m inspired by the idea of rehabbing something for a second use. Even in architecture I’m more into old buildings that are given new life than new construction.”

Her muse: “Somebody once said that the definition of ‘beauty’ is a confident woman. I want to give women something beyond clothing; I want to give them power. With a lot of clothing, there isn’t a lot of mystery left, it can be like a second skin, it’s so tight. There is a sensual nature in my clothing, an obvious nakedness there, that gives you a sexy vibe without baring all.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “I had this double-breasted, turquoise, fringed leather jacket in the ’80s—and I’m not even done describing it. It also had bat-wing sleeves, a tuxedo waist, and I wore it with these turquoise-silver lamé Hammer-style pants along with turquoise fringed sandals.”

How personal style influences her designs: “I like to layer as few things as possible, but present them powerfully—both in my designs and my own wardrobe. I have a mantra for presentations: I always sport a killer ring, one added piece of interest and then pop on my glasses. Done.”

Line: 3C: christine Chaneyclothing

Find it: Velouria in Ballard (2205 NW Market St.; 206.788.0330;, or

Clothing from left to right: Cotton/linen/rayon blend bat-wing cowl neck crochet sweater over flapper-style vintage scarf dress. Chaney wears her own design, a parachute-style vintage scarf dress; necklace, skinny jeans and wedges are her own. Surplus army blanket (“SAB”) wool coat with built-in muff, vintage nautical latch and wallet pocket, layered over Peruvian wool crochet vest and parachute-style vintage scarf dress. Crocheted bat-wing silk-wool sweater layered over hand-dyed apron-style vintage scarf dress and crinkled hand-dyed slip dress.


The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

This city has a thing for socks. From top toe protection to no-slip all-stars, we’ve found the best bets for restocking your sock drawer

(From left to right)

1.  Sock It to Me
This Portland-based company has the corner on the whimsical-sock market. Go for the women’s Shakespeare-themed “Taming of the Shoe” or the men’s Multi Player gaming sock for a silly but sophisticated fashion statement. $11.50–$12,

2.  Darn Tough
The name says it all. Based in Vermont and manufactured exclusively in the U.S., these mid-calf, micro crew hike/trek socks are sure to keep your tootsies dry and happy on a hike. The fun colors will make you even happier to take off your boots at the end of the day. $20, available at

3.  Peony and Moss
Founded by Seattle local Eva Spitzer, Peony and Moss brings the pretty with these high-quality cotton socks. We like the Scandinavian pattern knee high, but the thigh high works well with the high-booted crowd. $30–$32,

4.  Mod Socks
Bellingham’s Mod Socks pays serious homage to its Northwest roots with its “Bigfoot Loves Washington,” a women’s knee sock, and the “Bear Necessities” crew sock for men. $10,

5.  Strideline
This Seattle-based company took the city by storm with its skyline lacrosse sock. Now it has come up with a new digital ink technology that brings photo-realism and hometown pride to your feet. Get the new skyline, Husky Stadium or the Sounders sock just in time for soccer season. $16–$18,

6.  Balega
The unique left/right construction and deeper heel pocket of these crew socks make them a favorite in local specialty running shops, such as Super Jock ’n Jill. Balega’s ultralight quarter sock, $13, has been called the sheerest, lightest sock on the market and has garnered lots of hard-core running fans. Available at Fleet Feet Sports Seattle, Capitol Hill, 911 E Pine St.; 206.329.1466;