October 2010: Shopping Around

Our top shopping finds for the month


It’s easy to be seduced by Fleurt, longtime Westside resident Sam Crowley’s perky new flower and gift stop. Freshly cut hydrangea blooms, peonies and dahlias sit in bud vases ready to be plucked for an arrangement ($8), vintage window frames accent the chartreuse walls, and cheerful repurposed tables are piled with ever-changing gift ideas, such as Seed Bomb bags packed with Northwest wildflower seeds ($7.50). Crowley, who carries her own line of Petal soy candles ($30/13 oz.), also picks up jewelry finds on her global travels (most selling for swoon-worthy prices of $10–$25). Our favorites: her teeny terrarium necklaces ($10). The main attraction, though, is Fleurt’s floral artistry. Crowley’s arrangements ($40–$100) are organically grouped in vintage milk bottles, steel buckets or other found-object containers. Sourcing blooms from area farmers, she delivers for $10 in Seattle, or free to those lucky enough to live in West Seattle. (West Seattle, 4461 California Ave SW; 206.937.1103; fleurtstudio.bigcartel.com).

Some design by the book, but emerging women’s couture designer Isaiah Whitmore, 20, is more along the lines of a mad scientist, concocting gravity-defying necklines and silhouettes out of faux python leather and voluminous tulle. This off-the-wall style is beginning to pay dividends for Whitmore, a sophomore at the Art Institute of Seattle: Last May, he competed against 100 other local student designers to win his own set at Seattle Fashion Week. Futuristic and edgy, his new fall women’s wear collection broods in moody gray and black hues with dramatic wraparound head scarves and overaccentuated hiplines. Tough, streamlined jackets, a “python” leather dress and leather collar work capture his sassy, citified vibe, leaving one to wonder how long before the scheming apprentice graduates into design genius. Custom work available by contacting whitmore.isaiah@gmail.com.

 After dropping half a grand on your long-awaited iPad, do your future self a favor by snapping up Kirkland-based Plaid Doctrine’s chic carrying case. Sewn with fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, the water-resistant, foam-padded sleeve will keep your precious cargo safe from crazy-making slips and spills. $79 at plaiddoctrine.com.

Design maven Luly Yang debuts her latest wave of fashion on October 8 at her annual fall show. Sponsored in part by Seattle magazine, Yang’s show will use the Seattle Aquarium to showcase her new line’s oceanic theme, which incorporates elegant, free-flowing gowns in aquatic blues and greens. Proceeds from the always fabulous fête benefit Seattle Children’s. Check website for time. Prices vary. Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way; 206.623.8200; lulyyang.com

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, sockittome.com

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 REI.com

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, peonyandmoss.com

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, modsocks.com

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, strideline.com

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; fleetfeetseattle.com