Fashionable Seattle: Seven Designers Wear their Own Creations

For spring 2020, we're spotlighting local designers whose work embodies the evolving aesthetics of Pacific Northwest style
From left: Jennifer Charkow, Gustave Apiti, Nin Truong

This article appears in print in the April 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Jennifer Charkow
Stone Crow Designs
While talk of sustainability is just now gaining momentum in the fashion industry, Charkow, founder of Stone Crow Designs, has been ahead of the curve. In 2010, the Project Runway Season 18 contestant launched her brand, defined by looks inspired by punk rock and made with eco-friendly textiles. On Charkow: “Cocoon” jacket made from an upcycled parachute, unisex basic T-shirt, paneled high-waisted pencil skirt.

Gustave Apiti
Gustavo Apiti Couture
Apiti’s sparkling personality has a way of lighting up a room; the same is true of his clothing. Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the expert tailor has graced the Pacific Northwest with some much-needed color since founding his namesake brand in 2014. Apiti’s custom creations can be made for men and women (there is talk of a ready-to-wear line down the road), with wool, linen and silk being his preferred fabrics. On Apiti: Double-breasted made-to-measure wool suit.

Nin Truong
Maiden Noir
Truong is the designer and creative force behind Maiden Noir, an elevated street-style brand for men and women based in the Chinatown–International District. What started as a side project for the former landscape architect 15 years ago has turned into a full-fledged endeavor that takes Truong around the world as he sources textiles, collaborates with manufacturing partners in Japan and meets buyers at international fashion weeks. On Truong: Cropped “Harrington” houndstooth jacket, “Marble” zip blouson black shirt, pleated suit trouser.

From left: Lisa Marie, Camilla Eckersley, Davora Lindner, Madison Leiren

Lisa Marie
Lisa Marie Couture
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lisa Marie has carved out a unique niche with a style that blends exquisite couture-inspired construction with a celebration of modern femininity. Her body of work—nurtured in design school, followed by a six-year tenure at Luly Yang Couture—ranges from commissioned pieces to ready-to-wear styles made with luxurious textiles like crepe back satin and taffeta. On Lisa Marie: Wrap neck gray pencil dress in shark silver gray, charcoal floral brocade jacket.

Camilla Eckersley & Davora Lindner
Prairie Underground
The dynamic duo behind Prairie Underground has a knack for designing classic clothing that looks right at home on the sartorial Seattleite. Lindner and Eckersley founded their brand in 2004, and their collections are filled with pieces that are comfortable yet romantic, intended to suit all ages and body types. This spring, expect uniform-like separates made with cushy sport poplin commissioned from an L.A. maker. On Eckersley: “Not by Book” jacket in oyster gray, “Easy Lover” T-shirt in lamb’s ear, balloon pant in oyster gray. On Lindner: Oversize work shirt in lipstick red, wide leg work pant in taxi yellow.

Madison Leiren
Leiren Designs
Leiren’s timeless designs may be far from hygge, yet Scandinavian landscapes and heritage are the inspiration behind her evening and bridal gowns. Her creations are romantic, whimsical and frequently adorned with contemporary accents, including 3-D lace and metal Norwegian-style clasps. On Leiren: “Stamnes” navy halter gown with silver necklace.

Credits: Concept, text and styling guidance: Andrew Hoge; Photographer: Hayley Young; Art Director: Matt Cole; Hair and makeup: Gene Juarez Creative Collab; Editorial assistance: Katie Kowalski. Location: The artists’ workshops at the Pratt Fine Arts Center serve as a perfect parallel to these fashion designers’ softer creations.

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