Long the exclusive purview of professional groomers, the power to beautify dogs is being made readily available to mere mortals with the advent of do-it-yourself dog salon Rex (1402 12th Ave.; 206.682.3941; rexseattle.com). Scheduled to open this month, the welcoming space at the base of Trace Lofts on Capitol Hill features reclaimed and recycled materials, such as a giant antique scale and old wooden beams (used for human seating), plus eight custom-designed self-service wash bays.
Designer Binh Nguyen is a bit of surprise, even to himself. A hip-hop emcee in a previous life, the 31-year-old left music behind in 2006 when his 2-year-old niece was diagnosed with cancer. After spending months with tykes at Seattle Children’s, he dramatically shifted career focus to kids’ wear, starting off silk-screening custom hoodies and teaching himself to sew. “I used to want fame, be a successful Asian-American emcee,” Nguyen laughs. “But I couldn’t care less about becoming famous now.
Rio Estolas has gone retro. The former owner of Ballard streetwear shop Officials Urban Clothing (which closed in 2004), Estolas has blended street and sport at his similarly named new venture, Officials Vintage (Fremont, 3602 Palatine Ave. N; 206.257.5027; officialsvintage.blogspot.com), a quaint showroom stocked with old-school sportswear. Open since last fall, the boutique’s selection of deadstock (not previously worn) swag includes Starter coats, snap hats and high school letterman’s jackets.
Tis’ the season for shopping (or in my case just wandering the men’s department trying to find a gift for the guy who declared he just wanted socks for Christmas, sigh) and the holiday sales and fests are in full swing this weekend, and the weeks beyond. Stay tuned each Friday as we highlight the best in holiday shopping, below I’ve plucked this week’s favorite fests, my current new jewelry obsession—and a great way to get a little R&R during the fray:
The new nidra sleep treatment at Vida Spa begins with a warm cup of tea in the cozy, fireside relaxation room, where guests have been known to nod off. After a soothing aromatherapy massage and press-and-release tension relief on the scalp, temple, neck and shoulders, you’ll be sent home with newfound Zen. Each guest receives a personalized “sleep prescription” with recommendations on diet and tips for falling asleep, as well as soothing lavender bath salts and a rice-filled eye mask. $130/hour. South Lake Union, Pan Pacific Hotel, 2200 Westlake Ave.; 206.264.8432; vidaspas.com
Embrace your choosy side at new downtown beauty joint American Cutting Co. (1123 First Ave.; 206.395.2060; americancuttingco.com). Occupying the former Maison Luxe space, the salon tailors its à la carte–style menu to suit your time and budget. Pick from shampoo and cut ($22, without dry and style; $47, for additional blow-dry), go for the full spruce-up (cut, full color, shampoo and dry, $105) or grab a spot at the blow-dry bar for a 30-minute blow-out style ($25).
Seattle has long struggled as a challenger in the fashion ring, but this year we finally upgraded to contender status. Our fleeced and frumpy reputation was KO’d by a growing number of fashion-focused events (Seattle Art Museum’s Remix runway shows, we’re talking about you), a brand-new citywide shopping week out (see page 103) and countless runway shows—more and more of which are showcasing creative, local talent. Circling the ring for their own shot at glory, a record 38 designers entered our third annual Seamless in Seattle contest.
Super, Model The "CURVES AHEAD" plus-size photo shoot in January’s issue of V magazine was an eye opener in more ways than one. There was no pandering on the slick, well-styled pages or in the sidebar on “How to dress 10 lbs. thinner!” Instead, on display: models in feminine, fashion-forward clothes, kohl eyeliner, red lips, windblown hair and, yes, unapologetic belly rolls, full thighs and plump, sumptuous arms. Could it be? Is what is regarded as “beautiful” becoming a little more inclusive?
The Mile High Club Once reserved for crunchy hippies and backyard gardening, the most banal of shoes has been reinvented by Karl Lagerfeld into a luxe, 6-inch wooden marvel. Debuting at his spring 2010 Chanel runway show, the new sky-high clog has since left behind its rustic roots, as easy slip-on styles crop up all over town.
The Blog Roll
Needle + Thread needleplusthread.com tweet: @kammartin Hosiery designer by day, North Seattleite Kam Martin stealthily peruses the markets and shopping districts for Seattleites with style, her expert eye trained for savvy Northwest bikers and fashion-forward hipsters, snapping quirky local trends like white-Keds-wearing dudes and the Buddy Holly-esque spectacle craze.
Le 21eme Arrondissement