Back in November, a handful of creatives –a half a dozen photographers, a hair and makeup artist, and a couple of models—ventured to Mount Rainier in the early morning for a snowy wilderness photoshoot. In tow: some vintage props, including a white wedding dress plucked from a garage sale, a handmade flower crown, and a fur coat nabbed from the back of a grandma's closet. And, of course, a whole lot of hot chocolate with Irish cream. The day started clear, but the further up to Paradise they went, the more the clouds converged and snowflakes started to fall. One of the models threw on a camo jacket with the words “peace + love” painted on the back in bold white lettering. It was an intriguing piece, very '70s but at the same time a little edgy, ever-so-slightly punk. Turns out, it was a jacket by Feather and Skull, a fashion line created by a wandering hippie soul who's taking Seattle by storm one delicate-yet-rocker-chic item at a time.
Noel Bores Walker is the brains behind Feather and Skull. Her collection is an array of airy, statement, and simple pieces, all handmade from start to finish in her home studio.
Walker started making her own clothes and jewelry in junior high, but she’s been in love with fashion for as long as she can remember. Coming from Boise, Idaho to attend The Art Institute of Seattle, her love for fashion flourished even more. Feather and Skull came about over a late-night, wine-fueled conversation about potential business names with her husband, who inspires many of her creations. "It is a weird name," admits Walker. "When you say feather it’s actually something that’s feminine and light and airy, and when you say skull it’s hardcore and edgy." It's within this dichotomy that Walker had a realization: "I think I’m somewhere in between as a person."
Wearing: Sporting the original Penny Lane Necklace ($150) handmade by Walker, and a Spell Darling off-the-shoulder top ($189) from Rove Seattle.
Latest business venture: "I’m actually transitioning out of leather work. Because in my life I’ve gone on this different path of going one-hundred percent vegan, and I want to get out of using any sort of animal products at all. I am going to still have some products offered in vegan leather, so that way the items that have been super popular, people can still get that design."
Style in three words: Statement, hippie, rocker-chic.
Favorite go-to outfit: "Levi’s, band tee, Vans, and of course a hat!"
Other inspirations: Running outside with her two dogs, hearing the birds and seeing all the people passing by, and blasting some of her favorite music on the daily. “Everything I do inspires my fashion I think in some way. I take everything in around me and use it for that.”
Fashion obsession: Hats, hats, hats, and more hats. She loves them so much, she feels strange not wearing one. There’s even a whole wall dedicated to hats in her studio. This slight obsession has, lucky for us, leaked into her line. She’s collaborating with two other artists, hat designer Hampui Medicine Hats and embroidery extraordinaire Township. Her role? Making the handmade hat bands. Once the line is complete, the hats will sell for $450 a piece.
One piece of advice for aspiring stylists: "You have to keep going no matter what happens and no matter what others are doing, and remember why you're doing it to begin with—for you! Self-love is the hardest but most important part of being an artist."
Her designs have appeared in more places than in the snowy landscapes of Mount Rainier. You can find her items on her website, in a few stores throughout the States, and some right here in Seattle, including Gold Dogs, Indie Frock, and even an Australian boutique, Tierra Alma. For Walker, art is everything. "I feel there is inspiration everywhere we look if we’re willing to open our eyes to it."