Tamara Musser, Designer Fashion Collector

By Laura Cassidy November 18, 2011 Published in the December 2011 issue of Seattle Met

ANYONE KNOW A FRAME SHOP THAT CAN TAKE on couture? There’s a certain Alexander McQueen dress hanging in Tamara Musser’s closet—one from before the British designer got huge—that she plans to hang on the wall some day. As soon as she’s done wearing it, that is. Which may not be anytime soon. The Portland-born Denny-Blaine resident and specialized math teacher doesn’t just collect highly directional and exclusive fashion, she wears it. Every single day.

Dress Code Every day I go to work and wonder if I’m going to get sent home. If a dress is backless, I put a jacket on over it. And skirts have to be fingertip length or they get irritated.

Wearing Dolce and Gabbana dress from fall ’09 with current-season Lanvin heels. Almost all my clothing is from Nordstrom, but a lot of it isn’t on the racks at Nordstrom—although these shoes were in their Designer Preview show. I watch and look at magazines and most of the time, they can find me anything I want. Sanda Belaire, who I’ve shopped with for the last 25 years, knows what size I am in different designers, so if there’s one out there that’ll work for me, she’ll get it.

Designer Collaborations Sindy Bahn in Nordstrom’s alterations departments remakes almost everything I buy. I wear a lot of my McQueen backwards, so she’ll take darts out, and we shorten a lot of dresses. She knows when an alteration is going to change the design—and when that’s okay and when it’s not.

The Long View My clothes are never in style so therefore they’re never out of style.

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