Seattle Style Resolutions for 2014
What Seattle designers, shopkeepers, photographers, makers, doers, and thinkers are thinking about for the coming year's closets.
For 2013 I resolved to kill the idea of casual Friday and resurrect Formal Friday (I wasn't alone, it was kind of a movement), and in years past, I've vowed to know my audience and dress for the day but still staying true to the morning's mood, too. In short: I've made some pretty grand projections for the year in dress.
And so have dozens and dozens of Seattle's style-angled and sartorially obsessed. Here's another batch for 2014, but before I turn you over to them, I'll make myself culpable by saying that for the next 12 months I'm going to spend my getting-dressed time feeling really appreciative of what I have. I want to approach that what-should-I-wear-today 15 minutes or so as a meditative luxury. I love my clothes, I love my life. I love the routine of picking up sweaters and holding them up to shirt tails and assessing the power combo. It's not that it ever feels stressful to me. It doesn't. But it sometimes feels rushed. I've been really into reveling in it lately, and I want that to become more purposeful, and more revel-y.
But let's hear from the rest of the town.
The year 2014 is evoking Bianca Jagger, Michelle Obama, and Richard Branson. Lipstick, tailoring, leather, brutalist jewels. Print abstraction. A not-sorry strong lip. Maasai beads. Four-inch heels. I will dress for an extraordinarily lusty life. Meet all the people, do all the things, and look like a lady. No T-shirts allowed.
The salon is my catwalk. This year it’s out with baggy and in with trim, tailored trousers and clean, linear cuts. Simple rock chic. I’ll strut color-blocked neutrals and occasional splashes of color.
Working long hours in the kitchen is not the most conducive to developing your sartorial self, but I’ll continue to focus on bringing a stronger, more defined voice to my look via inspiration from icons Patti Smith and Katharine Hepburn for menswear, author Charlotte Birnbaum (recently featured in the UK’s avant style biannual Gentle Woman) for tailoring and elegance, and LA chef and restaurateur Suzanne Goin for quality and technique. Goin is far removed from the fashion world, but her approach to cooking—clean, simple, and considered—finds its way into much more than just in the kitchen. Attitude cues from French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld will also be in the mix.
—Monica Dimas, sous chef, Mkt. restaurant
In my 30s I worked to hone in on a simple uniform of clean and lean suiting—Tom Ford–inspired, but rarely at that price! In my 40s I’m trying to stop buying the same damn thing. No more black skinny suits. No more black patent leather dress loafers. Color, please be my new friend!
—James Todd, vice president of artistry, Gene Juarez
I’m transitioning out of being the kind of person who only has one pair of shoes at a time. I’ll be getting that other pair of shoes. I’ve insisted on cutting my own hair for the last 15 years, and I’m planning on finding someone who I can trust—someone with a vision that doesn’t just make me look like Prince Valiant, a military recruit, or just a boring man. Style references include Weimar-era Bauhaus and French surrealist gatherings, and Karlheinz Weinberger’s photographs of Swiss greasers for dressing down.
I’ve always bought my best and priciest pieces for special occasions. This leaves them imprinted with impossible-to-shake memories of a particular moment, so I’m often hesitant to wear them again. But in 2014, I’m making a pact to make every day special and weave these investment pieces into everyday outfits.
—Tali Edut, astrology columnist and adviser by the stars, astrostyle.com
I’m gonna rock some concho boots and a poncho. Clint Eastwood is one of my heroes. I’m always jealous when I see women wearing ponchos, and I wonder why certain pieces of clothing have a hard time crossing the gender gap.
I love looking at beautiful things and buying them too, but I usually talk myself out of the thing I really want and settle for something less expensive. This year my resolution is to buy the thing I really want.
This past year I only wore blue jeans once, when I mowed a lawn. This coming year I plan to not mow any lawns.
—Jeremy Buben, writer, art-nerd.com
I’m going to be more unconventional with my pairings; I’ll ditch the guidelines and mix casual and formal. I’ll pair Nikes with suits, conductor overalls with oxfords, and mandarin-collared shirts with pleated trousers.
And I’ll wear a lot more hats because…why not?
I’ll examine my relationship with adornment and find contemplative moments in the dressing ritual. Treat tossing on a dress, fragrance, bracelet, or boots as if I were flawlessly creasing half-inch folds into yards of a silk sari or wrapping the kimono exactly left over right.
—Jamie Fish, director of scouting and development, Heffner Management
I’ll start collecting investment pieces with maximum functionality. I know myself well enough by now that if I can’t work or walk 10 blocks in it, it won’t get worn. Luckily, shooting for Totokaelo this year has exposed me to a lot of great boutique brands that will be welcome replacements to the worn-out threads currently in my closet. Common Projects, Hope, Humanoid, and Edith Miller are some of the designers I plan to start incorporating.
—April Brimer, photographer, aprilbrimerphoto.com
I bought a robe recently. Then I envisioned myself in this robe—with frizzy hair, drinking coffee, and hating life. My hope for 2014 is that I do not hold on to any article of clothing that brings on these thoughts. I also need to start carrying bracelets and rings in my purse and my car so when I rush out of the house I can slip them on and pump up whatever I tossed on.
—Kisha Vaughan, dancer and choreographer
Craft is the new black. Okay, I will always have black in my wardrobe life, but working through the curation of my shop, I continue to discover countless independent designers and crafters out there creating amazing things, and it’s impossible to not incorporate more of their work into my daily looks. It’s so refreshing to don something you know you aren’t going to see on 20 other people or on every retail shelf.
—Erin Krohn, owner, Hammer and Awl
After years of resisting being a spokesmodel for my brand, I’m interested in mixing more Prairie Underground into my wardrobe. Recently I wore our hemp jersey Medieval Mood T-shirt with an ivory wool Ann Demeulemeester blazer. Rethinking our garments is a great discipline
—Davora Lindner, cofounder and designer, Prairie Underground
When I’m selecting fashion pieces for Glasswing, I’m always drawn to garments that have a story, whether it be, say, an interesting fabric-dying process or a designer’s overt idiosyncrasy. I love the subtle details in clothing that string together a narrative. I would like my own wardrobe to encompass more of that point of view.
—Sean Frazier, co-owner, Glasswing
After a year of loss, creativity, love, and reflection, I start this one holding onto the last one’s lesson: Time goes fast, be your true self. Be the person you’ve always dreamt of being. I dream of the drag queen Divine, Yoko Ono, Nefertiti. Fearless women who don’t care what’s in fashion; their look is a voice. I vow to wear clothes that make me feel alive, proud, and happy—and red lips and big hair, always.
I’m abandoning purposeful dishevelment in pursuit of subtle elegance. (Adios mixed prints and embellishment.) I want my look to be more coherent, calm, and powerful. My big splurge is going to be a Rick Owens leather jacket. And I’m making a commitment to lipstick and manicured nails.
—Virginia Bunker, online marketing copy manager, nordstrom.com
I recently read that those with true style take no more than 10 minutes to get dressed for any occasion—that is my challenge to myself for 2014. I plan to invest in key basics, choose quality over quantity, and edit my closet down to only pieces that I actually want to wear.
—Kaylen Steele, marketing and events, Mario’s
This is what I’m feeling for 2014: subversion, naughtiness, prettiness, mixed media, digital video, neon, vintage magazines, silk, masks, hand embroidery, linen, rear screen projection, mirrors, sensory environments, image spectacles, jacquard tapestry, plastic, macramé.
If shopping (like sex) is a crucial part of a woman’s happiness, I’m going to make more time for it. I’ll ditch the boring LBD and search for exciting things like Indian pink silks to wear over purple velvet. Twenty fourteen is the year to seek out indulgences!
—Ghizlane Morlot, aspiring screenwriter and Seattle Symphony maestro Ludovic Morlot’s wife and biggest supporter
Years ago I began wearing strictly red, white, and black. In 2014 I look forward to wearing more completely white outfits. I’ll visit the underpicked thrift stores in Stanwood for white heels and cotton pants in the vein of tennis-playing grandmothers in Palm Springs.
—Traci Eggleston, artist and musician, Codependency, facebook.com/codependencytoday
I’m trading up my leggings and skinny jeans for cuffed men’s trousers and wide, wide legs. I also want to make a promise to my lips to not leave them out in the dark anymore. I’m going to dive into the lipstick pool and paint these babies in the boldest of colors—but maybe I’ll start by dipping my toes in first with light pinks and sweet corals.
—Elizabeth Rudge, photographer, elizabethrudge.com
Buy American, reject made in China. Whittle the denim stacks to the essential 20 pairs. Be bold in layering and silhouettes, not colors. I will not lose another pair of sunglasses. Create the perfectly fitted three-piece suit for less than $500 (including tailoring) from completely mismatched new and/or vintage pieces. Wear this suit with my most trashed pair of boots as much as possible.
—Rick Moe, owner and buyer, Tyranny and Mutation
1. Get rid of all the unimportant pieces I’ve accumulated and invest in higher-quality basics, outerwear, and shoes. 2. Don’t buy anything unless I absolutely need it, even if it’s a bargain. 3. Dress every day as if I might meet Beyoncé.
Fashion is often my focus—it’s my art after all, but when I fail to fuse it with meaning it loses its luster. In 2014 I hope to glow like Marchesa’s s/s collection--with generosity, gratefulness, and grace.
Carlynne Morrison, artist in fashion and philanthropy, carlynnemorrison.com
I would like to hone my aesthetic with long garments and hats I can work in like Janice Rule in Robert Altman's pastel dream Three Women, but with a stark black or white twist similar to Bibi Andersson's wardrobe in the Bergman masterpiece Persona. Mix it up with some Japanese wabi-sabi, by cultivating an appreciation of the natural wear and aging process of a garment and the imperfections that make life interesting and beautiful!
Texture as print/pattern. Effortlessly styled outfitting, minimal in form, structure, design, and nature. Layered with relaxed (drapey and/or oversized) textured pieces. Base palate of black, navy and bone with a rotation of various earth tones and greys.
I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to my personal style. Even with my personal makeup style, I am a minimalist. I think minimalist is a nice way to say boring. When I go shopping, I’m the girl that finds the one shirt style that works; and buys all the colors in that same style. This is usually black or grey, and casual. 2014 will be different! I resolve to step out of my comfort zone with more color and more variety in style. I resolve to bring more life to my style. Colors, patterns, details, a bit of flare, a bit of sparkle. Taking the time for myself to actually find those styles and that flare is challenge I think I’m up for in 2014.
Since I’m up at 5:30am spending my days designing, building and fabricating in Dale's studio and then up until midnight doing my own work (making appearances, photo shoots, networking) I'm always rolling with what I call BLACK COLLAR: militant dandy-meets-punk nonchalant. My Allsaints leather jacket collection is a staple but for 2014 I'm going to integrate tailored blazers with destroyed work boots. Ties with weld spattered jeans. T-shirts and tux jackets. Push it to the logical extreme. Go harder. All in a day's work working it.
Dylan Neuwirth, post-human contemporary artist/design-build primary for Chihuly Studio Inc., dylanneuwirth.com
Take everything with a grain of salt—or a thousand grains of glitter. My resolution is to forget what an outfit is meant to look like and trade it for what an outfit can be. Achieve this by layering old with new random with whatever. A tee shirt over a dress shirt with a pair of vintage blue jeans and a statement necklace made out of cork has never looked better.
I would love to look better than I do, but I resolve to seek out more clothes that are easy to wear, comfortable, and that travel well between professional museum client meetings, workaday life in downtown Seattle, and production work in my bindery studio in Tieton. I resolve to try a few more unusual town/county combinations, wear them with confidence, and try not to make a mess of myself.
2014 will find me attempting to be less stylistically rigid, more willing to disregard what I've defined insofar as “my style” (off-duty-Patti Smith). Of late, I’ve realized I can’t boil my sartorial persuasion down so easily, so my resolution is to be more fluid, to stop limiting myself, and just wear what I’m drawn to.
Jennifer Utley, associate manager at 206inc, model, and writer, projectgirlcrush.tumblr.com
In 2014, I'm embracing my mom's mantra of me being “hot natured.” White T's from the mahfuckin' homeboy Brendan Donnelly. Shit with skulls and blood and Frankensteins. I'm trying to lose my skin. Velcro shoes and a pair of kickass Timberland black boots to complement the already black soul I live in. I run a pair of gray Levi's into the ground. Return to earth. Return to sediment.
My work requires long hours and constant decision-making so I resolve to refine my uniform down to a handful of well-made essentials that compliment each other and look right all day and night.
Michael Ellsworth, co-founder/creative director at Civilization, builtbycivilization.com
More color in general, but perhaps in a pair of shoes to start. Slim-fitting trousers. A good coat. And I’m going back to my lime sweater.
Lyall Bush, director, Northwest Film Forum
I resolve to focus on pieces that make me come alive. Vintage, statement, embellished, updated basics, whatever – as long as it lights my fire.
My resolution is to become a master of the scarf. The Internet and I will be spending a lot of time together as I research diagrams, videos, how-tos, and weird fabric origami and make the most of my scarf collection.
My style resolution is to up the game with accessories, shoes, and handbags. Those who know me see me in all-black basics most of the time; that’s my uniform. I am finding that some well-curated details make all the difference. Recent favorites from a trip to New York: Isabel Marant wedge booties from La Ree and a vintage garnet necklace remade from family jewels.
I am sticking to my motto “Buy the best you can afford” and looking forward to investing in more pieces that are simple, but not boring. I aim to add pattern (carefully) and high heels (strategically), and coats and jackets—because those stand in the accessories category for me. Layering is in, especially in our climate.
This year I want to feel like a million bucks in jeans and a T-shirt (and of course great shoes).
I’ll start from a clean slate every morning. Today go casual, tomorrow conservative, the next day: crazy hair. Newness breeds results. Also: Discuss, critique, and laugh about your choices and the choices of others around you. We all make mistakes but everyone deserves a compliment when they are on point.
Matthew McDonald, assistant store manager, Barneys New York, barneys.com
Will bring in some cuddly, slouchy, and soft draped knits that are worked in ultra-soft fuzzy texture to give them a cozy tactility. Paired with crisp, sheeny, skinny tapered trousers. I believe in simplicity, timeless elegance, and effortless chic; these are the most important keys in my design.
Being a fashion designer, I express myself in my creative collections rather than in my day-to-day style. My usual dress is black pants and black shirt—oh and black boots. Comfortable and easy. My resolution is to break out of the habit of being driven purely by comfort and add some sophisticated fun to my personal wardrobe.
Better tops. Years of collecting the best jeans and pants has left me, well, bottom heavy.
In 2014 I intend to make clothing acquisitions purposeful, building a cohesive wardrobe. Think long-term not short-term.
To move away from comfort. To wear the things I have in the way I originally imagined them to be. To put work in now, to learn to be the chic old lady I intend to be. To toe the line between fashionable and flattering. To worry less about my waist and get down with swathing my bod in fabric. Also to do my damn hair once in a while.
I need to figure out this androgynous/feminine look that Lou Douillon kills; going to get myself a STETleather jacket and wear it with pencil skirts, dresses, and high-waisted skinny jeans. Still plenty of classics and black, but I’ll be dressing to how I feel in the moment.
Juliet Sander, creative director, Sander
Cashmere will be my everyday indulgence. I will be wearing cashmere all the time for that ultimate comfort. A dream come true in 2014 will be wrapping my family of three in my new creation of luxurious cashmere blanket while spending quality time watching a family movie together.
Clean socks and underwear stored at the studio, for those consecutive long nights that turn into mornings. Looking for that perfect sharp ¾ length jacket that is early morning comfort and late night adventure.
I love fashion, but I no longer have to be a slave to the trends. I take them and make them work for me, not the other way around! Runway to real-way for me means adding a touch of what is a current trend to what I love to wear; rich fabrics, fabulous shoes, and great accessories. Clean and simple with a POP!
Terri Morgan, owner, TCM Models and Talent
After a few years of longer, natural hair, 2014 is calling for a more dramatic cut and color. As for the rest of me, I'm going to build up my wardrobe with vintage and consignment pieces from Driftwood and DaDa Coleccion.
To put my money where my professional mouth is and get to know the makers of my wardrobe. I've met every owner of the places whose T-shirts Horses Cut Shop sells and I want to do the same for my own boots, denim, jackets, and jewelry.
As a busy mom, sunglasses and sidewalk skimmers have been my style staples. This year I am committing to flair! My sartorial resolution for 2014 is to explore self-expression through heritage. Cultivating my unique and personal look by thoughtfully merging everyday classics with bold African prints, modern Northwest textiles, and cherished heirlooms.
Brandy Brown, principal,maraboudesign.com
Recent years were trial by color for me; I return to ecclesiastic austerity. I’m a cardinal for art at heart—black and white and red all over I will be.
T.S. Flock, writer and managing editor, Vanguard Seattle
For 2014 I'm going to carry a big orange handbag filled with lipstick, lots of things to read, and no electronic devices. Ankle boots with heels are my friends but I don't want to become a creature of habit so I want some POW shoes to mix in. I will wear a lot black. All shades. And berry lipstick. Berry nails too. I am cutting my hair quite short but keeping long bangs. But I'm only wearing it short for a year. I'd love to have long silver hair when I'm 75.
To fearlessly sharpen my sartorial identity, extend my visual brand beyond just my photography, and let that live through my wardrobe and attitude. To surprise myself. Wear my curls out more often!
This year I am going to try my darndest to not buy any new clothing. I am going to learn to mend and properly care for a closet already full of beautiful, well designed, made to last clothing straight from the brilliant minds of designers from around the world we all adore. I'll resole and polish my shoes—before they actually need it—and rub my bags with saddle soap. I want to care for clothing I worked hard for 'cause it's workin' hard for me. And maybe... hopefully... I'll have a new refined self awareness and appreciation next year for that new Celine blouse and the meaning of what is classic- to me!
Theresa Crim, curator, landmanagement.com