Seamless in Seattle Winner: Kate Burt

This local, "nerdy and flirty" designer took home "Best Everyday Wear" in our 2011 competition.

Kate Burt

Line: Operation + Stitch
Available at: Velouria (Ballard) & Momo (International District)

The creative spark: Burt, 30, looks to bold, geometric shapes and surrealistic art to inspire her chic, wearable cotton dresses and tunics, which are thoughtfully infused with cheerful colors, pops of stripe patterns and peek-a-boo, cut-out details. “I like to focus on just one or two great details to create interest without being fussy, like an asymmetrical stitch or incorporating a bold stripe,” she says. “Women want to wear their clothes, not have the clothes wear them. I think subtlety is the best approach.”

The collection: The part-time shopgirl (Burt works at Velouria boutique in Ballard) takes shoppers’ feedback to heart, using washable, natural bamboo and cotton fabrics (no dry-cleaning necessary here) to create body-hugging yet forgiving shift designs. “This particular set is fun, chic and versatile while still being fit for an active woman.”

First garment ever created: “You mean, outside of dresses for my troll dolls? I did make a terrible tunic poncho-like thing for my grandmother when I was in middle school. Ironically, it was a thank-you for teaching me to sew.”

How her personal style influences the designs: “Nerdy and flirty, right? I tend to have a little tomboy in me, but still really love to look feminine without turning towards ruffles and lace.…My attraction to this aesthetic…plus stripes…turn up in my designs.”

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