Designer to Watch: Michael Cepress

Well-known for his dapper and tailored men’s wear designs, this talent is now doing women's wear.
FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Michael Cepress wears many artistic hats: The Capitol Hill-based, 30-something designer is well-known for his dapper and tailored men’s wear designs, a sublime talent he juggles with costume design, teaching fashion courses at the University of Washington and curating fashion exhibitions. Now he’s adding women’s wear designer to his résumé.

After a two-year design hiatus, Cepress will make a grand re-entry this month with a capsule collection of women’s, men’s and unisex garments inspired by the hippie styles of the 1960s and ’70s. But the road from dandy to flower child is not as long as it might first seem. “What is so inspiring about the countercultural perspective of the 1960s is people were not only investigating their style, but themselves,” says Cepress, whose designs are ever rooted in cultural and historical perspectives. “Exploring this period has given me the freedom to expand upon traditional tailoring.”

The new collection maintains Cepress’ tailored hand in trim vests and neatly tucked pants, but then jaunts toward more flowing, mod styles with warm, earthy tones and rough textures. Bridging the gap between dresses and suits are his self-described “shape-shifters” creatively cut pieces that can be layered and styled differently by men and women, much like Japanese kimonos or South American unkus. “I think Seattle has just seen a sliver of what I can do,” he says. “I’ve still got another hat to throw in the ring.”

Available at michaelcepress.com

Related Content

Designer Luly Yang'sfirst foray into home goods—a candle dubbed Blue Citrine, scented with notes of citrus verbena and ginger—has echoes of the calm and clarity that come from a visit to her emporium

Nordstrom is more than just a department store; for many, it’s also a flagship of progressive Seattle values. (Oh, and there’s a sale this weekend)

Active apparel that’s comfortable and supportive can help you maximize your workout. These gym bag essentials will have you looking and feeling your best

A Seattle-based skin care company brings beauty breakthroughs to your door