Ask any Seattle-based designer about style in our city, and the discussion will inevitably lead to three words: casual, quality and versatility. Garments that layer and transition stay in high rotation, and become formative staples in a Seattleite's wardrobe. Though, as the seasons change and we lose our layers, and weather becomes more permitting, what will the style landscape look like? I caught up with several Seattle-based shops and designers to talk spring collections and find out what Seattleites should be wearing.
Suk Chai, designer, SchaiSuk Chai spent years designing and consulting at Nordstrom before she left to explore her own textile endeavors. The result was her womenswear label Schai, now in full force, seamlessly merging minimal design and luxury Italian fabrics. Schai's 2015 spring line Water was inspired by her childhood memories of fishing in the cold waters of Alaska where her father was a fisherman. The collection draws from the juxtapositions in life and from these memories--the powerful yet fragile, mysterious yet lucid, strong yet vulnerable. The color palette is indicitive of the Alaskan shores, pairing wispy water-like hues with Indigo, and a yellow-green color inspired by fishermen's attire. The materials are all sourced from Italy, and pair featherweight lambskin garments with water-resistent nylon, fluid silks and a shimmery copper material that represents the surface of the ocean at sunset.
. Schai's SS15 collection "Water" was inspired by her memories as a little girl fishing in the cold waters of AlaskaDescribe your line in three words: Timeless. Relaxed. Luxury. Guiding design philosophy: I must love every design and know that I would be proud to wear every design myself. It has to represent who I am as a designer and as a consumer. What were some of the biggest trends you saw on the runway for SS15 at NYFW?: To quote Anna Wintour: “Trend is such a dirty word.” I truly believe it’s not about trends, and it’s more about your own distinctive style and point of view. What garment from your SS15 line appeals most the the Seattleite?: The Ultime Shirt Dress and Archetype Trench. The trench is a no-brainer as it has water-resistant finish, and the sleeves are detachable. The shirt dress is the go-to piece for me. The material feels so sensual but it travels really well, too! How would you style the shirt dress? It can be worn as a dress (and hello, the huge pockets!), or as a shirt with long shorts or leggings, or as a cardigan or a jacket. You can belt it front or at back, or leave it untied. You can wear it with sneakers, slip ons for more urban relaxed chic look, and you can wear with heels to feel more sexy and sensual. Fit is relaxed and flowy without feeling overwhelming.What styles can we expect to see a lot of this spring? Dresses/Long tunics with sneakers or leather lace ups.
Cameron Levin, designer, Cameron LevinAlthough the desert-like hues of Cameron Levin's SS15 line inspire thoughts of lands far warmer than Seattle, she channeled the Seattle consumer when designing her newest collection, Asali (translates to honey in Swahili). Expect rich suedes hand-dyed in Napa Valley and rusty, Earth tones. "Many of the colors in this collection are what some would consider off limits, like pairing blacks and browns together," Levin says. "But these colors are found alongside each other all the time in nature, and nature doesn't lie about what is beautiful." Cameron Levin's SS15 Collection "Asali" utilizes rich earthtones found in nature; Photo Credit: Cameron LevinColor palette: Rich Earth tones: gold, brown, sage, gray, blackConstruction/materials used: Lamb suede and sueded/brushed silkGuiding design philosophy: I never produce something that I, myself, wouldn’t wear on a frequent basis. If I like something but feel like it’s a bit of a stretch in terms of wearability, I cut it.What were some of the biggest trends you saw on the runway for SS15 at NYFW?: I’m not a huge follower of trends that are dictated by other designers; having said that, I tend to keep more on trend with color palettes (sometimes on purpose and sometimes by coincidence). Seeing marsala and other red family tones on the runway was a refreshing alternative to the perfunctory pastel options. Also, suede was kind of a big hit too. How can these looks be translated to the streets of Seattle?: Seattleites have always been good at tailoring high-fashion trends to their daily lives. I think the 2015 Pantone color is a great fit for Seattleites—it’s one of the few things I incorporated into my collection from the runway.What garment from your SS15 line appeals most the Seattleite?: I think my easy three-quarter length bolero jacket is the most Seattle-esque. It dresses up every ensemble easy but it’s super easy to wear, and transitions well from spring/summer to fall easily.How would you style this piece?: With absolutely anything—little black dress, jeans and tank, wide leg trousers, crop shorts—or mini skirt. I think there’s still one more of these boleros left at Butch Blum now.What's one look you would love to see Seattleites really embrace this spring? Hats, there is something timeless about them and their ability to complete an outfit.