Local Designer

Introducing Wraphabillement

A Seattle mom bests North Face with her good-looking all-weather gear.

By Laura Cassidy October 31, 2011

Elizabeth Roberts (center) with dancers from the Danish Royal Ballet in Wraphabillement.

It started as a lark: Seattle mom and former New Yorker Elizabeth Roberts set out to design and fabricate some coats for a fashion show fundraiser for Island Wood, but they sort of took on a life of their own.

Wraphabillement, the locally designed, Canadian-made line of water- and windproof, protective outwear is pretty enough for the Royal Danish Ballet—they made it their official cold-weather solution—and smart enough for a legion of women from New York, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco—via private trunk shows and trunk shows at Nordstrom—who want something more style-conscious than your average tech-fabric mega-brand provides.

Take, for instance, the Sportif in turmeric: the silhouette rounds the right curves, pleated grosgrain ribbon balances the utilitarian air of high-end Swiss-made Schoeller performance fabric, an invisible forearm pocket stows keys or lip balm but doesn’t interfere with the coat’s graceful line, and a hidden hood is at the ready. But two other features further differentiate Roberts’ product: hand mitts, made with reflective fabric, tuck up into the sleeve (there when you need them, gone when you don’t) and a patent-pending exclusive Smartsheild inside pocket which decreases Cell Phone Specific Absorption Rates by more than 95 percent.

Roberts and her crew say these style decisions and tech innovations are aimed at creating outwear that works all day without requiring a costume change; outerwear that’s "practical enough for walking the kids to school yet elegant enough for a glittering evening in any world capital." Like the one you live in.

The line will eventually be carried in Nordstrom Bellevue and a few of the retailer’s other stores, but you may not be keen on waiting for eventually now that the elements are more or less upon us. Wraphabillement Wednesdays address your immediate shopping needs.

Starting this week, November 9, you can join Roberts at HQ—Arboretum Court, 3121 E Madison St, Suite 206A, conveniently located above Canopy Blue and waving distance from Frenchy’s in Madison Park—each Wednesday from 2:30 to 7 when the design studio and office space becomes a showroom and shop.

A percentage of all sales goes to breast cancer research and early childhood learning.

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