2018 Look Back

The Year in Seattle Style

Bright vibes for spring, textures in fall, natural dyes all year round—what were our favorite style moments in 2018? Let us count down the ways...

By Rosin Saez With Seattle Met Staff December 26, 2018

Our Fall Fashion 2018 opening spread, shot at Union Station.

Image: Brandon Hill

It's been an incredible year to track Seattle's sartorial ways—Seattle Met even hosted a fun panel about Pacific Northwest style this summer because we were bursting with things to say and ask our favorite fashion insiders. We covered designers working in a former peep show space, craftspeople working with natural dye, centered brightness in Spring Fashion, while pattern and texture mixing ushered us into fall. Without further ado, our year in style...

1) Alaska Airlines Debuts New Uniforms by Designer Luly Yang

Oddly, our first style cue of the year arrived, promptly and without delays, from our local airline whose new uniforms came courtesy of the exacting thoughtfulness of Luly Yang.

2) Few People Would Guess Tommy Bahama Is Based in Rainy Seattle

Did you know the tropically inspired style of Tommy Bahama was a Pacific Northwest–born outfitter? Senior editor Allison Williams delves into the 25-year history.

3) Meet Femail, a Fashion Operation Powered by the Postal Service

The title of this article in print in Seattle Met's March issue was "You've Got Femail," and I'm still incredibly jazzed by that headline. This was a delight to cover and possibly one of my favorite style articles of the year, not only because Janelle Abbott and Camilla Carper are singular designers, but they're also thoughtful, artistic creators who are undoubtedly questioning fashion and pushing its boundaries.

4) We Bring Brightness: Spring Fashion 2018

Oh boy, what a fashion feature this was. We enlisted the wonderfully talented Elizabeth Rudge to focus the lens on three equally wonderfully, equally talented women of color from Seattle. They're the women behind the podcast Hella Black Hella Seattle (Eula Scott Bynoe is also a cohost on a recent KUOW podcast called Battle Tactics for Your Sexist Workplace, which is also fantastic by the way). Since we eschewed the usual fashion model format, I wanted to double-down on highlight these women, so the feature starts with a introduction to their badassery.

5) How Seattle Helped to Shape the Man Behind Some of Nike’s Most Rebellious Sneakers

I was so hyped to write this article in the June issue of Seattle Met (the in-print title was "Ben Kirschner Is Blasphemous"). The Nike footwear designer, now global marketing director, grew up on the Eastside and in Seattle, where he'd stand in line waiting for drops of Nike shoes—a company he'd eventually work for after graduating from the University of Washington. Kirschner forged his own path to Nike with perseverance, a sharp design mind, and, sure, a little bit of rebellion helped, too.

6) Universal Standard’s New Showroom Is Open in Belltown

In most shops, often department stores, the plus size section might be up a few floors, somewhere tucked far and away in a corner perhaps next to pots, pans, or a wall of drab curtain swatches. And whatever clothing was offered within that small selection is frequently lacking. So Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler launched Universal Standard in 2015. And in 2018, the size-inclusive company set up inside a second floor space overlooking First Avenue. 

7) Marcus Lalario Teams Up on a New Shop: Can’t Blame the Youth

Speaking of opening new shops, the man perhaps best known for his Georgetown restaurant-slash-bar-slash-party-venue Ciudad debuted a clothing store in Chinatown–International District in May; a spot he runs with partners Four Color Zack and Jason Gomez. Can't Blame the Youth activates a corner spot on Eighth and King Street, where streetwear feels ambitiously cool yet entirely approachable (I type while wearing a C.B.T.Y. x Charles Peterson collaboration Bjork tee).

8) Kathy Hattori Gets Technical with Natural Dyes

I loved chatting with Botanical Colors' founder Kathy Hattori about the romantic edges yet exacting seams of natural textiles and dyeing techniques. 

9) Fall Fashion 2018: Arrival Time

The brilliant Brandon Hill photographed our Fall Fashion feature story about a couple trapped in time, physically, as we explored the old architecture of Seattle's Union and King Street Stations, while maintaining a most contemporary vibe style-wise. It was so fun juxtaposing looks that felt new yet not entirely out of place inside of these train stations, two places that we tend to see less and less of in a rapidly changing city. So, with that in mind, we focused on pausing time to appreciate the Old Seattle with The New. Plus, we marched a team of photographers, videographers, stylists, art directors, and assistants up eight flights of stairs to the tippy top of King Street Station's clock tower for an epic shot. (See below.)

10) Indie Kitchen Shop in U Village Is Closing

After 42 years Mrs. Cook’s will hang up her apron in January—so there's still time to get in there! This former shopgirl penned a goodbye note.

11) Jeanette Svensk Li Is a Fashion Phenom

The Cute Like Mad designer won this year’s Bellevue Collection Independent Designer Runway Show. So who exactly is this style champion from Mercer Island?

12) Pantone Announces Its 2019 Color of the Year

Writer Gwen Hughes delivered this mid-December hue news. Cheers to exploring more color in our 2019 wardrobes, like the bold pick: deep-sea inspired “Living Coral."

Image: Brandon Hill

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