Designer to Watch: Michael Cepress

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

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.”

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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;