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.

Eddie Bauer Releases EB Originals Collection

Eddie Bauer Releases EB Originals Collection

The retailer returns to its roots with iconic designs
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Wares from Eddie Bauer's latest collection, releasing today

Seattle-based men's and women's outerwear and apparel retailer Eddie Bauer is going back to its Northwest roots, when Eddie was a guy who ran a sporting goods store on downtown's Seneca Street in 1920. The brand has gone through some transition years, but it’s returning to the brand that outfitted the first American expedition to K2.

On Tuesday, September 27, the retailer is releasing its EB Originals Collection, a line that's inspired by EB's founder and the early, iconic designs from its nearly 100-year-old history.

The first patented down jacket, the 1936 Skyliner, is reincarnated with modern styling. Same for the 1942 Yukon--the top seller for more than 30 years--and the B-9 Parka, which originally kept U.S. airmen warm in -70 temperatures in their uninsulated bombers.

For Northwest street cred, the most striking piece is the limited-edition version of the Skyliner, that's lined with Pendleton wool in eight national park-inspired patterns from Portland's Pendleton Woolen Mills. What's more, it’s reversible, so you can wear your Rainier Pendleton Skyliner in multiple ways. Expect this limited-edition gem on October 18. $400 at eddiebauer.com.