New Designs from Seattle's Fashion Reality-TV Stars

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For two seattle designers, a brush with reality TV was surreal: design god John Varvatos draping fabric and Jessica Simpson poring over fashion sketches. Add model Elle Macpherson to the mix and you have NBC’s Fashion Star, which recently featured locals Lisa Vian Hunter and Lizzie Parker as they competed against 12 other designers to sell garments to buyers such as H&M and Saks. Now back at home after being eliminated from the show, both Parker and Hunter are working the judges’ nuggets of knowledge into fresh designs available at their own Seattle shops.

Vian Hunter
Hunter’s Vian Hunter shop (Madison Valley, 2814 E Madison St.; 206.860.5030; vianhunter.com) oozes Audrey Hepburn cool with perfectly poised LBDs, revamped vintage fabric skirts and burnished tops. The fabric-driven California transplant (who says her biggest challenge on the show was the 45-minute time limit for shopping) is now working to expand the brand into multitiered collections all channeling classic 1950s and early-’60s shapes, ranging from a luxurious European-style line to a more casual day-wear line, the budget-friendly LVH.

Lizzie Parker
Parker was initially worried that her easy, breezy knits would be overlooked in a sea of evening gowns and woven fabrics, but it didn’t take long for Varvatos to take notice. “He encouraged me to be innovative within the knits I already do well,” she explains. Back at her Issaquah headquarters (317 NW Gilman, Suite 24; 425.427.0708; lizzieparker.com), Parker has certainly taken up his challenge; her new garments are flush with a creative waxing treatment that produces a leather-like sheen on knitwear. This rocking new edge permeates her incredibly wearable pencil skirts, duster jackets and simply chic dress with asymmetrical hemming.

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

Three essential local culinary guides for holiday gift giving
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COOKBOOK OF THE YEAR: Chef John Sundstrom is one of the Pacific Northwest’s culinary icons, winner of the James Beard Award for best Northwest chef in 2007 and a semifinalist for outstanding chef in 2014. His latest cookbook, Lark: Cooking Wild in the Northwest (Sasquatch, $30), published in August, is an updated version of 2013’s self-published Lark: Cooking Against the Grain. But, in addition to the rustic Northwest takes on French-themed classics that put the consistently great First Hill restaurant on the map—bacon-wrapped quail, mustard-roasted chicken, silky Meyer lemon parfaits—the new paperback version includes a chapter on Sundstrom’s favorite everyday staples: recipes for pasta, ricotta, vinaigrettes, breads, syrups and pickles. To some, the cover, with its haunting image, looks more like the cover of a book by Bainbridge Island author David Guterson than that of a cookbook. But the contents? One word: essential. 



SOUTHERN COMFORT
: Fancy yourself a baker? Big Food Big Love: Down-Home Southern Cooking Full of Heart from Seattle’s Wandering Goose (Sasquatch, $25) will send you running for your mixer. The new cookbook by North Carolina native and Capitol Hill restaurateur Heather Earnhardt features 130 recipes, including ones offering up the secrets to her towering layer cakes, like the top-selling Brownstone Front Cake; brunch favorites worthy of those long weekend lines, including the famed corned beef brisket bubble and squeak; and comforting dinner favorites, such as Loaded Chicken Pot Pie and Smoky Meat Collards. Did we mention Earnhardt shares all 10 of her biscuit recipes? Now that’s Southern hospitality.  



THE ULTIMATE COCKTAIL GUIDE
: In The Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28), owner-bartender Jamie Boudreau spills the beans on what has made First Hill’s Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium one of the world’s 50 best bars, according to Drinks International magazine (it consistently makes Esquire’s lists as well). Instead of clamoring for one of the bar’s coveted 32 seats, tuck into Boudreau’s 352-page book which features all of Canon’s signature cocktails, from the stenciled Banksy Sour (with Peychaud’s bitters) to the smoky Khaleesi cocktail. Boudreau reveals his “golden ratio” cocktail philosophy and promises you won’t need his $1 million whiskey collection or a trace of liquid nitrogen to wow your friends.