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Seattle Fashion Week Designer Review

Seattle Fashion Week Designer Review

Here's to the last adventure of 2015: A trip to the Emerald City for some fashion-talk and pumpkin waffle extravaganza! 

The best part about going to college is getting to live in the magical realm of the college schedule. Some saint decided that Linn-Benton Community College’s Christmas break needed to be a month long.

I firmly support that idea. 

I drove home from my last day of classes on Dec. 4 feeling like a trapped specimen fleeing from the confines of a child’s tipped-over mason jar. A whole month of freedom!

Or so I thought. 

That was well over two weeks ago now and I still haven’t had a blessed Oakview day (Mom and I have named our house because life is more fun when you live in a house with a cool name). Between traveling to various holiday festivities, photoshoots, and catching up on some much needed cleaning of my studio, I have just been going! 

This past Sunday is a prime example. 

A few months ago I received an invitation to Seattle Fashion Week that will be held mid-March. I filled out the application and set up an appointment to come in for a designer review right away.

Just Figaro trying to be a human...

Just Figaro trying to be a human...

Now, for some reason, Figaro (my human-posing cat) has decided that 4:59 a.m. is a great time to begin the day, so he wakes me with a swift jab to the eyeball at precisely that time each day. I started putting him outside to avoid this early morning indignity, but now he just sits outside and bangs on my window. Needless to say, I got an early start on Sunday morning to prep for my busy day ahead.

My designer review interview was to be in Seattle at 7:30 p.m., so naturally I had time to squeeze in a photoshoot with Jeff Wong in Portland first, right? 


After I had my run and some breakfast I had a few snaps to sew on the garments I was taking, as well as some last minute sketching for the interview. By 9:15 a.m., I was loading my freshly steamed garments nestled inside their infamous pink bags into mom’s Jeep,before heading to church. By2:00 p.m. we were at Jeff’s Studio in Portland dropping off garments for the shoot. 

We made it to Seattle in time to grab a quick bite before the interview, which was held at the Cornish College of the Arts right downtown.

The windows were lit up with mannequins dressed in Christmas-light gowns and the city was buzzing with energy of the night.

I was deposited into a room with long, sleek, tables; a row of SFW staff members seated on one side, sitting in silence starring through my soul. 

I didn’t have any instruction on what to say or do, so I started hanging my garments up on a rack, waiting fro some sort of cue as to how the process was going to unfold. I was hoping to have a minute to prepare my things and maybe take off my coat, but hey, this is fashion, baby, right?

“Tell us about your work,” A pretty blonde woman said with out any preamble. I didn't even have my garments out of the bags or a chance to remove my wet coat.

So I started talking, beginning with my name, a little confused at having no introduction. They looked over my portfolio and I talked about my plans for my upcoming collection. I gave them fabric swatches, inspiration pictures, and sketches of what I had in mind. 

Goals Future Designs Based on Feedback:

1. Cohesiveness: making each look in the collection look like they belong together to "Tell a Story."

2. Simplicity: simple lines with a pop of color, texture, etc., mixed with more quiet looks in a collection.

3. Mixing Masculine/Feminine: bringing modern flare to classic lines. 

After my presentation they gave me feedback. It was interesting going into an interview with work from the past four years of my career because my design aesthetic has changed a lot since I was 12 years old. I have changed a lot since I was 12 years old. 

I have never put a cohesive collection together before.I have just made each dress individually, so naturally my designs are kind of all over the place. 

Notice how the looks in this cohesive collection by  Jean Paul Gaultier all seem to "belong together"

Notice how the looks in this cohesive collection by Jean Paul Gaultier all seem to "belong together"

In the past few months I have been trying to really work at finding cohesive simplicity in my designs. I want to hold on to the fun and flirty elements of my earlier works, but I want to bring new levels of sophistication into my work as well. 

It wasn't the most comfortable interview I've ever been to, but it was definitely stretching.  I walked out feeling challenged. Even if I don't  get accepted, I had gained confirmation on ideas I had that I wasn't sure of, and gained directionI couldn't wait to go out and pursue.

An Instagram post by one of the Seattle Fashion Week staff members

An Instagram post by one of the Seattle Fashion Week staff members

We stayed the night with my mom's cousins that night; the space needle lit up right outside my window. In the morning we exchanged family stories over pumpkin waffles, and well fortified with a huge breakfast and hugs we headed south on I-5, and before long we were back at Jeff's office. He graciously let us take a quick peek at the incredible photos he got from the shoot the day before (which were AMAZING). We loaded the dresses back into the jeep and had some lunch before making the home stretch. 

We made it to Oakview with 10 minutes to spare before we needed to leave for Sweet Home for a dinner party. Maybe there's a reason my doctor keeps telling me I need to slow down. 

I don't know... I'm not dead yet, eh? 

Anyways, another adventure is in the books. I think that's all for 2015, but you never know; a lot can happen in a week and a half! 

Stay tuned for more information about Seattle Fashion Week!

Sweet 16 in 2015 -- A year for the books

Sweet 16 in 2015 -- A year for the books

eveRIAthing Feature: "The Kate Walk" Full Episode

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