Shop to Make a Difference at University Village

As you may have noticed, TheGlamourWire has taken a long hiatus from our regularly scheduled broadcasting of the local fashion fore-runners. Still, we remain committed to the fashion community in the Emerald City, and sharing their inspirational dreams for the future of design. In an effort to do so, we’d like to share again the announcement of one of our favorite local happenings: the Shop To Make a Difference Event at University Village.

The incredible team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has again asked us to share and announce their annual shopping benefit, and we couldn’t be more proud to do so. TheGlamourWire truly believes in Shop to Make a Difference, and sincerely hopes all you fashion loving, discount coveting, glamour hunting readers can make an appearance and an impact on the lives of local cancer fighters and survivors.

Shop to Make a Difference raises funds for women’s cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and allows you to save up to 20% at local shops and restaurants. You can help out by signing up to receive a discount by purchasing a Cure Card for $25 now at or at University Village March 15-17.

The event will be held March 15-17 at U-Village shopping center, University Village

2623 N.E. University Village Street  

Seattle, WA 98105


For more information, please visit for details and a list of participating merchants. For more information about Fred Hutch visit





As for us, we’ll be diligently and covertly keeping our stylish eyes on the Seattle fashion world, watching it blossom. If you have a local designer, innovator or fashion game-changer you believe deserves TheGlamourWire spotlight shined on them, please let our Editor know at And stay tuned, you never know when word of the next big name in fashion will be coming down the wire…

Meet The Design Stars at Bellevue Fashion Week

As a special event this year, Bellevue Fashion Week hosted a “Meet the NBC Design Stars” event in which the talented Lisa Vian Hunter and Lizzie Parker spoke about independent design in Seattle and what it was like to be contestants on the first NBC Design Stars series. Our guest contributor Cory Boberg attended the event to keep the Seattle fashion lovers in on what these two experts had to say about the experience and the future of design in the Northwest.

In an intimate discussion with a small group of fashion press on Friday afternoon, local Fashion Star alums Lizzie Parker and Lisa Vian Hunter sat down and talked shop about their experiences with the reality show, the challenges of being an independent designer and small business owner, and their goals for the future. Both self-described ‘latecomers’ to the fashion industry, Lisa and Lizzie were gracious and down-to-earth in their discussions of the ups and downs of running a fashion business.

Lisa, clad in a leopard-print skirt and t-shirt, described her fashion focus as vintage-inspired women’s wear, particularly little black dresses, and counted textiles as her main design inspiration. She runs a retail business, Vian Hunter, in Madison Park, which remains her priority even after national exposure and success.

Lizzie, wearing her trademark draped and layered knits and a pair of motorcycle boots, spoke of her background at Microsoft in Marketing and Development and the two industrial sewing machines from Craigslist that jump-started her fashion career. She decided to close her Gilman Village retail space after her success on Fashion Star, a bittersweet move that has allowed her to focus on the bigger picture.

The two talented designers shared the following with the very lucky audience in attendance:

On the structure of the Fashion Star:

Lizzie: The show followed the format of challenges to create particular products, which had the whole design process and fabric shopping usually seen on fashion reality shows, but this process wasn’t necessarily on camera. Designers had the factory, cutters, pattern-makers and sample sewers on-site, and were able to bring their own pattern work, sketches, and previous work as resources.

On the process of participating in the show:

Lisa: It was a long process – two or two and a half months of interviews in Seattle and LA, during which time the designers didn’t know who else would be participating. Lisa followed Lizzie on Twitter, which is how they knew they would both be on the show. They were also required to wait until the show aired to talk about it – an excruciating eight months – during which time they anticipated, but could not predict, the show’s effects on their businesses.

On reality television and the drama (or lack thereof) on the show:

Both women agreed that although there was naturally occurring drama among the contestants and judges, for the most part it was played down or edited out. As Lizzie said, “Was there drama, sure – why wouldn’t there be?” – but there was no coaching or amped-up conflict created just for the sake of ratings.

On design philosophies:

Lizzie: “Make the sidewalk your catwalk.” She gets more fulfillment out of seeing her clothing on a woman walking down the street than seeing it walk down the runway. Her goal is to create wearable, washable clothing that flatters a wide variety of body shapes.

Lisa: Continuing to support US factories is an important part of Lisa’s business plan. She wants to create affordable clothes in beautiful fabrics that are available in a wide size range.

On manufacturing:

Lizzie: She manufactures her clothing in sizes XXS – 3X, and although she has manufactured in Seattle in the past, currently the process is done in Los Angeles. As her business has grown, she has begun to use more technical fabrics – recently, she had to send modal fabrics out for testing in Hong Kong because of a lack of testing facilities in the United States.

Lisa: She stressed her commitment to manufacturing in the United States and mentioned that small production is possible in Seattle, although her current manufacturing is done in San Francisco. Her clothes are manufactured in sizes 0-14.

On future goals:

Lizzie: To have mass-market offerings at different price points. To continue making clothes for any woman of any size, and to remain independent.

Lisa: To stay in the fashion business, and to launch her wholesale collection.

Advice to those interested in working in the fashion industry:

Lisa: If it’s in your blood, you will make it work.

Lizzie: It is a hard industry, and you have to have a strong business sense and a passion for what you’re doing.

Both women came to the industry after a lifelong interest in fashion, and their hard work and dedication was very clear in their responses. As a new designer, I am as impressed by their integrity, warmth, and candidness about the realities of working in the local fashion industry as I am encouraged by their success. As Lizzie said, “Fashion is…an emotionally driven product, but a practically driven business,” and these two women clearly have the brains and the hearts to be successful in both.

We’d like to congratulate Lizzie and Lisa on their success, to thank them for being such an inspirational and impactful element of fashion in the Northwest, and to wish them both the best on their future endeavors!

Thanks to Cory Boberg for her coverage of this event. Photo credit: Jessica Tupper.

Independent Designer Runway Show at 2012 Bellevue Fashion Week

Carole McClellan

This year, TheGlamourWire’s coverage of the 2012 Bellevue Fashion Week was provided by up-and-coming fashion student, writer, and designer Cory Boberg, who’s keen eye for quality design and appreciation for individuality has proven to be one of her greatest assets. We are proud to offer this guest post to our readers, and for the opportunity to work with Cory. 

As I enter my second year as a Fashion Design & Construction student at New York Fashion Academy in Ballard, I’ve become more and more convinced that independent design is the future of fashion. Just as the internet has become the great equalizer of tastemakers by allowing fashion bloggers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with style editors of print magazines, so a strong independent fashion market gives a voice to young and experienced designers alike. In the hierarchy of fashion sources, independent designers form a necessary bridge between Target and Neiman Marcus as an accessible and affordable source of both quality and great design. I know this because my first exposure to fashion was through smaller labels like Effie’s Heart, Samuel Dong, and John Fluevog, and although I now count McQueen and Dries Van Noten as favorites, independent design remains in my roots. With the current push towards local, handmade craftsmanship among niche groups like knitters and foodies, I’m hopeful that mainstream fashion will soon follow suit.

That’s why I was so excited to hear about this year’s inaugural Independent Designer Runway Show at the Bellevue Collection’s Fashion Week. The show featured ten independent Seattle designers, including two designers from NBC’s Fashion Star, Lizzie Parker and Lisa Vian Hunter. Although The Bellevue Collection has been hosting its own Fashion Week since 2006, the Independent Designer show is a new and welcome addition to the lineup.

I was impressed by the diversity of the collections that were chosen for this year’s show: menswear, accessories, and women’s sportswear and eveningwear were all represented on the runway. I had some personal favorites of the designers – BD Homme’s classic menswear looks and impeccable styling were the highlight of the evening, and Lisa Vian Hunter’s gorgeous vintage-inspired pieces would fit right into my wardrobe– but overall, I found something compelling in each collection:

The beauty of working independently is the flexibility to experiment and develop a distinct creative voice. And although some voices in this show were clearer and more confident than others, I have no doubt that each of these designers will make their mark.

In a nod to all the well-dressed men in the audience, there were three different collections that featured menswear: BD Homme (shown at right) and Built For Man showed full menswear looks, while Carole McClellan showed both men’s and women’s looks. Although the pieced leather pants featured in Built For Man’s looks spoke of an urban and on-trend esthetic, the sheer knit tops and fur-cuffed cardigans may have pushed bounds too far. In contrast, BD Homme’s strong color story (grey, dusty lavender, terra cotta, and black), wearable but edgy pullover sweaters and cardigans, and well-cut jackets and coats would enhance the closet of any style conscious man.

Carole McClellan’s collection (left) was the most conceptual of the evening; though her men’s looks were not as distinctive as her women’s, the most successful looks were incredibly detailed and compelling. The final look, a collared dress made of heavy gold and blue floral brocades, with fur tails hanging off the hip, evoked the desolate beauty of an exiled Russian princess. The same story did not come across in every single look, however. The result: collection as a whole suggesting a depth of creativity that made me want to know more. (The judges were similarly impressed, and McClellan was named the winner of the independent design panel’s $5,000 prize for this year’s show. Congratulations, Carole!)

Of the two accessories collections shown, styling made all the difference. The first, Ampersand As Apostrophe featured looks that were polished and fashion-forward, distracting from the desired focal points: the bags. Much of the styling hit target; a sheer black shirtdress paired with a textured brown shoulder bag with double zips worked beautifully. But the wide variety in the other looks didn’t demonstrate versatility as intended. Several remarkable pieces, including a black and white geometric-print clutch and a neon-strap satchel, were upstaged by chunky jewelry and fabulous shoes.

The styling of Anne Sylvain’s collection, in contrast, was inspired. I’ve had the discussion with several classmates: how do you show accessories on the runway without confusing your audience with clothes that you didn’t design? Anne Sylvain’s solution was just about perfect: every model wore the same knee-length turtleneck sweater dress, but each dress had a differently colored ribbon tail that fell from the back neckline to the knee and fluttered as the model walked. This allowed you to fully see the bags: diagonally pieced clutches in rich, autumnal colorways and totes with horizontal stripes of textured leathers, all pieces that could hold their own in outfits both simple and complex.

In women’s sportswear, Fashion Star alums Lizzie Parker and Lisa Vian Hunter both showed wearable, figure-flattering designs. Hunter’s collection began with classic little black dresses, including her signature v-neck sheath dress with crossed straps at the neckline and small bows at the shoulders. Next came her Spring/Summer 2013 offerings (shown at right), a fabulous collection of Jackie O-inspired separates, dresses, and swing coats executed in bold, neon corals, pinks, and oranges. Silhouettes included sheaths, fitted waists and flared skirts, and bauteau necklines – classically flattering styles that will, fingers crossed, herald a return to the fit and glamour of midcentury style.

Lizzie Parker showed her signature draped jersey garments, and the overall effect was cool, easy, and universally appealing. Her strength lies in well-cut dresses and tops in solid jerseys, and these were beautifully rendered; standouts were a sky blue crossover bodice dress and a dramatic plum dress that swooped from knee-length in front to floor-length in back. However, there were also several looks that were more courageous, including a sparkly gold one-shouldered turtleneck and a skin-tight gold cap-sleeve dress with a high slit on one side and a long hem on the other.

Where Parker and Hunter’s collections offered wearable basics, the other three designers explored luxury fabrics, extravagant silhouettes, and finely detailed embellishments. La Belle Reve’s collection possessed a wonderful energy that may have benefitted from editing. A slinky, high-necked black charmeuse gown was classically elegant from the front, but a string of huge pearls that swung from the cut-out back overpowered the look. Other looks were more judicious in their use of embellishment, and these worked very well: a sheer skirt with stitched channels dotted with pearls and a bias-cut gown with panels of sheer beaded fabric used embellishment to great effect, as a subtle hint of luxury rather than an overt signal of it.

In contrast, Masha Osoianu’s trademark mesh was used to varying effect in almost every one of her looks; the mesh turbans added a playful nod to ‘20s aesthetics and an abstract floral-print dress with a bright green mesh yoke was fun and youthful. Overall the collection could have benefited from more fantasy and less practicality. However, the more extravagant pieces were stunning: a fitted silver mesh dress with a cross-back detail and pale pink full-length gown with mesh falling from the shoulder to the floor were both fit for a screen siren.

Kate S Mensah’s collection began with three beautifully designed black dresses, then progressed into draped jumpsuits and dresses in soft, fluid fabrics in rich golds, warm yellows, and silvers. One particularly beautiful black dress had a simple shape with a fitted waist and slightly fuller skirt, but on a second glance a glimpse of sheer black polka-dot fabric was visible through a keyhole in the front bodice. The other looks were more ambitious, with standouts of a draped dress of gold and yellow fabrics as well as a sophisticated jumpsuit with gold panels layered over a yellow body. Her collection felt organic and feminine, with a slightly conceptual undertone that showed the promise of more innovation to come.

Overall, the Independent Designer Runway Show was an exciting and visually stunning presentation of the hard work of ten diverse designers. Each designer displayed a different facet of what it means to be independent, creative, and driven in this city, and the resulting picture was one of both great beauty and of a deep, intuitive passion for this industry. This kind of show is a great step in fostering independent design in Seattle, and I hope that this is only the beginning.

We’d like to thank Cory for her work and for being part of the inspiring, growing fashion scene of the Northwest, and to all the Independent Designers for their spirit, individuality, and fearlessness. 

Photo credit: Cory Boberg

Introducing: Conscious Collection

Often what appears as an obstacle reveals itself to be an opportunity. Due to a lack of interviews over the summer season – though we don’t blame everyone in the fashion industry for needing a little breather! – we have decided to expand our efforts of informing the world of positive news in the fashion community.

Introducing: Conscious Collection. Created by the founding members of TheGlamourWire, Conscious Collection is a news site committed to sharing the philanthropic efforts of industry designers and insiders to better the world through fashion.

From news on current collaborations aimed at helping those in need, to events held to raise funds for non-profit organizations, Conscious Collection highlights the charitable work of those in the fashion world, showcasing the power of fashion as a liberating force in our society.

Though currently a news site, we hope to eventually expand the work of Conscious Collection to also hold events such as clothing drives and other programs to help those in need. Visit our site, get involved, and help support fashion for a cause. For more information on our mission, read our about section.


Bri Seeley Makes the Modern Woman

By Rachael Yahne
She may be a transplant, but she is certainly one of the Northwest fashion industry’s princesses today, and a large source of pride for us. This is largely due to her almost unmistakable designs; sophisticated, modern, and with the perfect balance of femininity and structure, creating a look the women of Seattle can relate to. In fact, in her own words, the Bri Seeley woman is “Sassy, philanthropic, high standards, confident, loyal, social, aware.”Impressive.Bri Seeley, of her self-titled design label, hails from Minnesota with a stop for college in North Dakota, and time spent in Italy completing her Bachelor’s and Masters degree. She now resides in Olympia, where she has been the past six years. And what started as a career in costume design has turned to forte for womens wear, much to the fortune of fashionistas here.
“Women’s wear is more interesting to me – I can play with design lines more so than menswear.  I also love helping women feel empowered in their bodies, no matter what their size and shape.”That is a sentiment we often hear in Northwest-based designers, isn’t it? Much like we treat our environment, we respect the form of things as they were naturally created, and appreciate them for their uniqueness and idiosyncracies. Instead of tricks of illusion and works of deception, designers here praise the human form as it is, and the result (as you can see from Seeley’s designs) is a look that is more organic, easy, and bursting with natural beauty.That said, it should be no surprise what inspires, and has impacted her:
“Happiness, nature, history, humanity….The nature of the human spirit – I have been blessed to witness how kind, giving, and truly thoughtful human beings are.  It’s definitely inspiring to see people go out of their way to impact the lives of others.”

Some time during our interview, it becomes blatantly obvious that Seeley never loses sight of the bigger pictures in her work. Bri Seeley design house is a multipurpose machine; she sees fashion as a business, and an important one at that.
“I have two major goals: 1. Stabilize the American apparel manufacturing industry and increase the amount of American made fashion that is purchased in this country (it currently sits at 2%)  2. Empower women to love their bodies – no matter your size, there is a way to dress to your strengths.”

See what I mean? She is perfect for the Northwest. We love a designer with a strong backbone, with a compassionate perspective of current events, with a mind for manufacturing and with positive vision for what can be.
“The fashion industry needs to undergo a radical shift in perspectives to focus on healthy role models.  Once this happens, I fully believe that the shift will translate into increased self-confidence in women.  And once we have a world full of self-confident women – who knows what will happen!!!  I am positive that it will be only good things though.”

Not that we ever would have tried after hearing her answer, but we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. To strengthen the argument, shoppers will always find Bri Seeley designs modeled by healthy, natural, not overly-manicured women. Inspiring to say the least.

And don’t bet on Seeley losing momentum any time soon. She shared her good news with us:
“I will be showing my newest collection, Escape, at Phoenix Fashion Week in October (and potentially some additional events in the Pacific Northwest that are yet to be confirmed).  I will be launching a kickstarter campaign in September as well to assist me in opening a retail boutique that specializes in Made in America products (specifically my brand, and some other accessory designers)….and continuing to provide one-on-one services to clients who commission me for custom pieces.”  

Whoa. Busy lady. For now, you can shop Bri Seeley Designs here on her online store, and find more about her (and attempt to keep up with her) at the following links:
Subscribe to Bri’s Facebook page at
And Bri’s newsletter at’d like to thank Bri for not only our interview, but also for joining us in the wonderful world that is the Northwest fashion scene. It is designers like you that make us proud to share and promote local fashion.Photocredits:
Shawn Kinney Photography

The Freedom To Be Different

By Rachael Yahne
Photos by Dana Landon, It’sMyDarlin
“We all have to get dressed every day. Isn’t it odd that people get disgruntled that some us want to enjoy that process?  I understand not liking fashion.. but to not like that someone else likes it is so odd to me.” Fellow fashion blogger, Dana Landon.
It’s about time we took a stance on this, and laid the subject to rest on a debate we fashion industry insiders are getting fed up with: Is fashion an equalizer, or a force of discrimination? And even bigger yet…is fashion real?

Even after decades of design behind it, and an entire world market and facet of our economy dependent on it, it is still seen as a medium with questionable bearing. For most, it is a field that is delegated to solely being objectively judged. Not like culinary arts or film and cinema, held up to scholarly standards; fashion stands alone, much as its pioneers continue to do each season, as something with infinite interpretations. That’s not a bad thing, but it certainly doesn’t eliminate it from the field of ligitimate artforms.

As discussed in Life As Art article, fashion is now being heralded and displayed by the largest, most prestigious art galleries in the world as a study of the human culture, and as a reflection of a specific society’s needs, dreams, views and aspirations. And yet, everyone working in fashion today not only has to regularly defend the art of fashion as a legitimate field to work in (and lets face it, play in), but also that it is absolutely not, and never was intended to be a negative force of discrimination whether socioeconomically or otherwise.

While larger fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel carry the brunt of the burden on this, we argue that the high price point is not a sign of social tisking to lower class. It is meant to reflect the high craftsmanship and legacy that comes with each piece. But that’s not really what this debate is about, is it? This argument is about people worrying about not being in fashion or on trend, thus making them not cool. Ironic, since we working in it, studying it, creating it, obsessing about it, aren’t worrying about that at all…
“I think what I often see it that people are frightened about fashion. Because it scares them or make them feel insecure they just put it down…I think that’s usually because they feel, in some ways, excluded or, you know, not a part of ‘the cool group’ so as a result they just mock it.” says Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour on the subject. (The September Issue)

The idea here is that if you don’t care about fashion, or don’t believe it to be ‘real’, you cannot be judged for it. First, I would like to say that the fashion community is not one based on judgements, but instead one that believes in the power of sharing ideas through aesthetic design, and is overall a welcoming, though still competitive, arena.
So what does make a person ‘cool’ in fashion? Individuality. Ingenuity. And the tricky of all fashion tricks: fearlessness. Not fearless to take grandiose measures to stand out or be noticed, but instead fearlessness to make a decision on what you personally like to wear, be it blue fur or pleated khakis. Believe it or not, for some being fearless means not standing out, and instead admitting they like something popular…being the same.
There is a difference between individuality and discrimination, and even more importantly there is a difference between discrimination and competition. Sartorial risk-takers share with the world their crafty and crazy looks not to make others feel out of vogue, but instead to express a part of themselves that is most easily spoken through color, texture and dimension rather than, say, song or poem.

Fashion is a healthy form of singling out that unifies through diversity. The freedom to be different is what makes us all equal.

For us, fashion has everything. It is with us on our best days off while we lounge with our family at the beach, it is with us on our first dates and birthdays, it is a friend to an within ourselves that brings us joy and allows us to self-express. It shows our joy, our sadness, our purity or our wildness. It is a necessity of our daily lives, much like food, we have transformed into beauty, and so it feeds us. The Sartorialist is much to thank for sharing this idea with the world, by being the first to publish photos of street style on the internet. It has thus become somewhat chaotic….Thanks to the evolution of technology in journalism, there has begun a boom in the industry of “Fashion Blogs”, a new wave of writers and shoppers creating sites devoted to their own style. And while this should raise concern over today’s youth and their concept of self importance, it should not diminish the worth of the industry of fashion.

So whether the world of fashion is ‘real’, is of any merit, or is it just another way for the ‘cool’ kids to shun others will continue to ramble until the larger institutions of today (four-year, accredited, reputable and all-subject colleges in my opinion) accept it more widely as a field to be reflected upon as well as created. The industry may be riddled with those still struggle to feel accepted and use fashion as their gateway; but for most of us, acceptance has no part in our wardrobe or workplace decisions. Fashion is about being brave enough to be yourself, courageous enough to not worry about being different-or the same-as everyone else, but instead acting out of a willingness to be true to your own nature, from the inside out. Fashion is for everyone.

All photos are taken locally in Seattle, and are credited to the brilliant eye of street-style blogger Dana Landon. Thank you for lending your work! Visit her at, and look for her on the streets of Seattle.

Below, TheGlamourWire Editor, Lewis Kendall taken by It’sMyDarlin in April, 2011

From our hearts to yours: Please attend and make a difference

We were recently asked by Christi of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to share this event with our readers. And we could not be more thrilled to do so. Rachael Yahne, TheGlamourWire creator and interviewer, is a cancer survivor of seven years this month, and is proud to be part of a community of compassionate, hardworking people who have helped save the lives of millions.

We ask that, if you can, please attend this event. Not only for the discount, but to support the work of Fred Hutchinson Center and all they do for those fighting and surviving cancer today.

We would also like to extend the offer for all of our readers to share the style of those they love who have fought or are still fighting cancer. Send us your photos of the fighters, survivors and soldiers who have braved cancer to and we will share them!


Help fund breakthroughs against women’s cancers while doing your spring shopping at “Shop to Make a Difference” May 18-20 at University Village. Receive 20 percent off purchases from participating retailers and restaurants when you purchase a $25 Cure Card; all proceeds from card sales benefit women’s cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

In its ninth year, the popular fundraiser’s roster of merchants includes Anthropologie, Boom Noodle, Cole Haan, crewcuts, Eileen Fisher, Hanna Andersson, J.Crew, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Kid’s Club, Mercer, Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware and many more. A full list of participating stores and restaurants and additional details can be found at; Cure Cards may be purchased online now or at University Village during the event.  Free valet parking will be provided in the lot adjacent to Pottery Barn Kids.

Shop to Make a Difference is a great opportunity to enjoy savings while funding breakthrough research for breast, cervical and ovarian cancer research that will save lives. To purchase a Cure Card or for more information, visit

At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit

Gina Pankowski Makes Metal Modern

A little glitz, and a little glam, and a woman can feel brand new. Marilyn Monroe said the right shoes can help women conquer the world, but it’s diamonds that are a girl’s best friend. Accessories are one of those ingredients to style that the world just can’t seem to get enough of. And yet, it’s the accessory designers that are hidden behind the shine of all those the gems. Which is why you might know her designs all too well, infact we wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve been lusting after them for years, but you are about to get to know designer Gina Pankowski, the metal-wielding, jewel-loving genius behind Lattis Design.
She’s been featured in W Magazine, Spotlight Seattle, and now she’s getting her word the Wire.“I’ve always loved jewelry, clothing and accessories. One side of me is very much a girly girl. I’ve always been a creative maker but did not consider jewelry as a career until I was well into my Fine Art and Art History studies at the University of Washington. The Sculpture Department was very male dominated in the early 90’s when I was there. I decided to take a jewelry fabrication class in the department of Metal Design. I was hooked; my first class with Mary Lee Hu ( whose 50-year retrospective of her jewelry work is currently at BAM) was so exciting. There are so many levels of possibility with jewelry each offering the wearer to make their own personal statement, from fashion, cultural to sentimental, people communicate through their jewelry and I love being part of that.”
Pankowski describes her way of processing the world, and in turn being inspired by her surroundings, as mathematical. Design obviously takes imagination, but for her, it takes understanding; she often refers to her pieces as “three dimensional drawings” or “organic architecture”. And it’s an appropriate conclusion, because Pankowski designs have a delicate way of balancingoppositions. Metal in chains become girly, delicate even with their edge; gem-adorned rings mix motifs of this world and another in cosmically entrancing cages. Pankowski doesn’t think outside the box…Her mind is three steps out the door of the room with the box…
“My process starts with drawings. I take the drawings into a prototype phase with wire models to work out how the piece will fit and move with the wearer. I work out mechanical issues at this phase too, how the parts of a piece work together. Because many of my designs are chains using multiples of similar shapes my studio assistants help me to fabricate these pieces.
“All of my work is made by hand in my Seattle studio. I love to use gems in my designs to enhance their movement, add sparkle. I choose gems that inherently have their own movement like Star Sapphires, Cats Eye Tourmaline and Moon Stones, the crystal structures of these gems cause optical movement. These gems are very unique and rare.”
That’s right, it’s all hand-made here in the Northwest. So that stunning shot of January Jones sporting a Lattis Design was forged right here in our humble home town. And the designs are increasingly going out of this world, but Pankowski plans to stay down to earth. Currently the label is expanding into larger markets. This year, she was given the Award of Excellence at the opening gala of Indulge Jewelry Market Place at the Bellevue Art Museum.“Jewelry represents for me a way for a person to express themselves, a reminder of your own personal strength and creativity. In fashion jewelry is often the statement piece, the finishing touch. I don’t feel dressed without it!…I am designing for someone who is interested in more than the surface of their daily experience, someone who enjoys conversation and is not afraid to make a statement now and then.”
Having her hand so heavily in, what does she see here in Seattle?

“Grunge is over in the Northwest. This week I’m feeling we should be leading the way with innovation of water proof fabrics, rain boots and hand warmers could be included in my next bracelet design!”
(Yes please!)
And her signatures style?
“Black leggings with a soft layer on top, sexy boots and an awesome collection of my jewelry!”
To get your own hand-made Gina Pankowski design, just head to:

Seattle’s Metropolitan Fashion Week Hits the Road

New York better take notice: We might have all thought the festivities of Metropolitan Fashion Week ended in March, but fortunately it looks like we’ll all be breaking out those tuxes again very soon, because the fun has only just started.This year’s opening night saw all the sophistication and shine you’d expect, but with Seattle’s traditional twists on runway shows. Held at Lexus of Bellevue – yes, that’s right, if you haven’t seen the pictures yet, guest shared those pristine white floors with luxury clothes, cars, and cocktails. And they did one even better for the closing night – an awards ceremony and annual Forbidden Fashion Show held at the Museum of Flight. Talk about innovations in design!
Museum of Flight 
“The Show went above and beyond our expectations,” said Adicora designer Niveen Heaton, who also showed her new swimwear collection at the event and hosted the evening.
“It was an honor to be named the Fashion Creative Director of MFW and the Forbidden Fashion show…We really wanted it to have successful show because our name was on it. When I sat down with the Producer and Director Eduardo Khawam 9 months ago, our mission was to create something different for the Northwest. It was a challenge to put together two different fashion shows in one week. And we made sure that each one had a very different feel and theme from one another.
“The MFW team and high end boutique owners were involved in choosing the designers. Our goal was to recruit 80% designers from the NW and 20% would be out of State designers. It was a lot of work, time and dedication to put this together and we couldn’t have done it without our Sponsors, MFW team, designers and models. We all worked as a team and we all have something in common we really want our passion for fashion to be seen and heard nationwide.”
It was clear during the awards show that Seattle has something very special about – that we respect and support eachother. The awards were less about competition and more about the communal recognition of each others’ hard work and passion in action. Between awards were collections debuted by David Tupaz, Nicole van der Bogert, Corban Harper, Kathy-Sabin Mensah, Julie Danforth, Olga Szwed, Irina Turner, Lane Bueche – Jewelry, Lina Zeineddine – Shoes, Niveen Heaton, Laurie Shapiro, UnderU4Men, and Beto Yarce – Jewelry.
“The Seattle Fashion Scene is growing stronger everyday. There are so many talented designers in the NW. And we dont want to be only known that we can design only for the grunge scene. In MFW we had jewelry,footwear, formal wear, ready to wear, bridal gowns, couture gowns, lingerie, men’s swimwear and underwear, womens swimwear and dog clothing designers. I believe the Seattle Fashion scene has a bright future” said Heaton.
So while you’re waiting to get your hands your new Adicora Swimwear collection orders and a Cintli Jewelry design to match,we can also start getting prepared for Metropolitan Fashion Week’s arrival in Salt Lake City, Utah September 28 – October 5, 2012 and Hollywood, California February 15-23 of 2013.See you there…

Guest Article: Christina Appleworth on Seahawk Style

Nike Unveil Seattle Seahawks Uniform
By Christina Appleworth 

April saw Nike unveil a range of new NFL uniforms, with the Seattle Seahawks receiving a particularly distinctive upgrade. Nike have taken over the NFL uniform contract from Reebok, and have committed to changes in design and technology for the 32 league teams. Notable features include the use of hydrophobic materials, extra stretch fabrics, and aluminum padding, as well as some design changes that are kicking up some controversy, although in my opinion adding a touch of flare to a any uniform is a welcome breath of fresh air. The new uniforms were unveiled as part of a major marketing event in New York, with the event given the significance of an international catwalk show. Designed to enhance cooling, general uniform redesigns follow Nike’s more radical changes to college football uniforms. While some teams, most notably the Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers, have opted out of an overhaul of individual uniforms, the Seattle Seahawks have targeted a major alteration to their standard kit.Seahawks Changes

Since 2002 the Seahawks have played in a dark blue, block colored uniform with dark green trim. The new uniform, designed by Nike creative director Todd Van Horne, now features a darker blue main color, and also includes neon green gloves. However, the major redesign of the uniform has seen Van Horne incorporate influences from Northwestern Native American styles, with 12 feather designs on legs and cross hatching playing off totem styles. The 12 feathers are believed to reference the Seahawks’ tradition of singling out their home fans as the ‘12th Man’ in league games.

Part of a two year development process, the new Seahawks uniform is intended to be both traditional and highly evolved in terms of design, and is 20% lighter and 50% stronger than previous kits. Nike’s hydrophobic material will repel water, while the material will allow for greater flexibility in movement. The new uniform will also include a two tuned helmet, a gray stripe, the Seahawks name on the left shoulder rather than the chest, and a distinctive Nike swoosh logo. The Seahawks will also have a third alternative jersey in wolf gray, which under league rules can be used twice a year. These colors have also been linked by Nike to the deep blues and greens of the Pacific Northwest. To me, it looks like Nike are actually taking true heritage into consideration, but many consider this is design faux pas too far.

Nike’s particular investment in the Seahawks reflects the manufacturer’s nearby location in Oregon, and its experimentation with more dynamic uniforms for college sides in the area. The emphasis on Native American themes and artwork has been positioned as updating the 36 year old Seahawks franchise, with the side also acting as a test case for Nike’s revamped approach to the NFL uniform.

Wider Touches

The sports manufacturer have also committed to some more unusual touches for league teams, which include the Panthers’ ‘Keep Pounding,’ and the initials GHS for the Chicago Bears. Some changes have, however, drawn criticism for the over use of unusual designs and neon, with the need to makeover a uniform arguably distracting from the more general faults of a franchise. Whether the new uniform can energise the Seahawks’ franchise in the NFL this season remains to be seen.

We’d like to thank Christina for sharing her work and words on the Wire, and invite you to share your thoughts on the new Seahawk uniforms! 
Images by Getty Images and Seahawk and Nike associated press