Seamless in Seattle Winner: Emily Riordan-Roache

This Vashon-based designer's line was named "Best Nortwest-Inspired" in our 2011 competition.

Riordan Roache

Line: Riordan Roache
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The creative spark: Riordan-Roache, 27, exemplifies real Seattle rocker style: Raised in Ballard and later in Port Townsend, her designs are fueled by her love of punk and rock bands (think: Talking Heads and The Fall), and by the rustic Northwest. “I went to Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and design in London and, being homesick, I wanted to represent in my designs what’s unique to the Northwest. Thoughts of my dad’s weathered Carhartts, and thick, wool Pendleton shirts gave me solace.”

The collection: The Vashon Island dweller’s designs are feminine with a masculine twist—think Anthropologie meets edgy AllSaints Spitalfields—and include pieces like a hand-embroidered, double-breasted gray wool jacket and color-block one-piece jersey frock. “For me, form follows function. I demand a lot from my own wardrobe, so I bring the same care and attention to my own designs. I buy for multiple seasons with layering in mind and tend to gravitate toward eco-friendly fabrics and transitional pieces.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “When I was 12, I bought polyester leisure pants with an elastic waist from Red Light on the Ave. I wanted to emulate Gwen Stefani and would pore over pictures from her Tragic Kingdom album for hours with my friends.”

First garment ever created: “Around the same age, I repurposed an old pink wool blanket into a loud coat with big pink buttons using my beat-up sewing machine. I thought it turned out pretty well, considering!”

Favorite fashion trend: “To me, minimalism is ageless. I love Raf Simons’ designs for Jill Sanders. I do, however, have an aversion to the California-influenced hippie trend. I’m a Northwest girl all the way.”



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