Seamless in Seattle Winner: Malia Peoples

This local designer channels the lights of Tokyo in her whimsical designs, which took "Most Playful
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Malia Peoples

Line: Lady Konnyaku
Available at: ladykonnyaku.com, ladykonnyaku.etsy.com

The creative spark: Though she grew up in nearby Olympia, Peoples’ formative design inspirations are Far East, not West Coast. While living in China during her teen years, she became fascinated with her Japanese pals’ closets. “They always had the weirdest, coolest things tucked in there and would wear them in wild pairings,” she says. Thus goes her lively, colorful wear that channels the streets of Tokyo, pairing kooky vintage patterns with out-of-the-box details like balloon sleeves or bell bottom pants.

The collection: A former nonprofit worker, Peoples, 29, often looks to the tube, citing eye-candy shows like Soul Train (hence, the bell bottoms) and old kung fu movies as her inspiration. “I really like to play with color, texture and pattern. I find all my fabrics at thrift stores or through estate sales, and  throw it in a pile, looking for pieces that shouldn’t go together at first glance, but then actually do.”

First garment ever made: “Before I went to fashion school in 2007, I had never sewn anything, and I’ll tell you, learning to sew was harder than learning Chinese. So my first garment was for a class project, a little black dress with an appliqué of a cloud on the skirt.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “When I was living in China, the fad was to braid your hair, bleach it, perm it and let it all out in this frizzy Afro. It looked so, so cool for four months. But then it grew out, and I was left with 8-inch grow-out with horrible silver tips and just flat on top. I had to wear a bucket hat for an entire summer.”

 

Score Edgy Cotton Basics at Downtown's Do The Extraordinary

Score Edgy Cotton Basics at Downtown's Do The Extraordinary

Downtown apparel and accessories shop DTE offers a little something extra
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An in-store vault opens to reveal secret speakeasy, Blind Tiger

The newest retail outpost from fashion collaborators Justin Kercher and former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is offering downtown shoppers the opportunity to “Do The Extraordinary.” Taking over the 6,000-square-foot space on Sixth Avenue and Olive Way that previously housed European Antiques, Do The Extraordinary (DTE) opened last fall and is a lifestyle boutique for men and women offering locally designed, handmade, ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for the fashion-forward Seattleite. The brand’s edgy cotton basics come in black, white and various shades of gray, and include muscle T-shirts and sporty sweats for men, and tunics and dresses for women.

“DTE is really about the customers and creating an experience,” Kercher says. The space combines influences of the Seattle outdoors with urban design. Blow-torched sequoia tree tables and painted antlers flank vintage couches and hand-poured cement floors. Hidden behind the cash register area, speakeasy Blind Tiger, designed by Kercher and his family, is set up for private events and intimate concerts featuring local bands and DJs. DTE’s fall lineup includes several album release parties as well as a fall/winter fashion show.

The store’s upcoming events will “take [the retail experience] to another level,” says Kercher. Downtown, 1810 Sixth Ave.; dotheextraordinary.com