Vogue’s Anne Vincent for the Bellevue Collection Fashion Week

To many of us in the fashion industry, Vogue Magazine is the holy grail of our industry. They really are the fashion authority and going in to meet with Anne Vincent, Merchandising and Events Director for Vogue Magazine I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. To my delight, Anne is not only very chilled but is soft spoken and has a very friendly and gentle demeanor about her with an underlying air of authority. I came in and in her British accent she immediately commented on how she liked my necklace which instantly put me at ease.

Anne has been working on the fashion industry for 12 year in London and NY. She is here to produce and direct the Front Row Fashion Show presented by Vogue as part of the Bellevue Collection Fashion Week. The show which is taking place this Saturday night at the Hyatt in Bellevue is the biggest attraction for Fashion Week. I am lucky to get 30 minutes of Anne’s time to get a glimpse the preparations for Saturday’s show. She arrived the day before and had spent most of the day going to the mall’s stores to pull the looks for the show. After meeting with me, she was on her way to do a sound and visual check, follow by more store visits, meeting with hair and make-up and more fittings with models.

Here is our interview:

FF: Can you tell us a little bit about The Bellevue Collection Fashion Week and how the collaboration came about?

AV: It started 3 years ago because we wanted to enhance the Bellevue Collection Fashion Week experience. Give an amazing show with Bellevue Collection and Vogue Magazine.

FF: This is your third year coming out here, have you seen any changes in the fashion scene in our area? More interest? Bigger crowds?

AV: It has definitely grown; we had to change the layout of the venue to accommodate the growing crowd. Definitely there has been an added interest. People always dress up, it is Saturday night and it is a big show.

FF: What is your perception of Seattle-area fashion? Has it changed over the years?

AV: I have been coming here for the past 5-6 years for a number of different events and I have always found the women to be extremely stylish and have a high interest in fashion. I have seen more smaller boutiques come up and more interest in independent designers and up and coming designers. Fashion is more accessible now and you can watch the runway shows on the internet 20 minutes after they happen.

FF: What can we expect for the show this Saturday? Is it different from other years? And what is the vibe of the show?

AV: it is split into segments based on trends and the beauty of this show is that everything has been pulled from what is in the stores this week. What you see on the runway, you can purchase immediately.

We have amazing models from LA and Seattle, killer visuals and music, an amazing styling team. We have a variety of different trends for different looks from casual to daywear to formal. Clothing from great designers found at Nordstrom – Abby Ferrin, Cynthia Vincent and Haute Hippie. Clothing from Vince, Ellein Fisher, Anne Taylor, Report Shoes.

The vibe is high energy. We will show wearable clothes with a Vogue twist. Fashionably Fun Fashion!

FF: So who is on your styling team? And do you ever work with Seattle stylists?

AV: Lawrence Zarain. He is just did the Emmy Red Carpet in LA and he is a regular on Regis and Kelly and he is just flying to NYC to interview Vera Wang. He is very accomplished. Lawrence and I have an event on Saturday at the Center Court on the Bellevue Mall at 11am. It is the Fashion Forecast, which will be a sneak peak at the evening show but mostly we will give tips on how to update your wardrobe for the fall. It doesn’t take much, you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe, you can just add pieces to your existing wardrobe.

No, we haven’t had the pleasure to work with Seattle stylists.

FF: What are the biggest fall trends in fashion and beauty?

AV: Outerwear, especially for this area. Big parkas in army green color, you can wear them over jeans, dresses, leggings. Textured layering, tweets with wools with leather. 24/7 utility – we are calling it, great cargo pants, jeans, military jackets- resonate well with outdoor community but still stylish. Bags, Talbots has some amazing bags right now, skin bags and great shapes, colorful shoes.

For the show on Saturday, we will either do a really strong eye with nudes lips so that the eyes are really highlighted or we will do a bold red lips, there are many shades from bright red to an almost burgundy, with simple eyes. I haven’t really decided, yet, we will meet with hair and make-up and look at the clothes. In hair, a trend now is pony tails with your own hair wrapped around the pony tail. The other look is slicked/gelled back in the front and left natural/textured on the back.

FF: What is your 1# fashion tip?

AV: My biggest fashion tip is, that before you go shopping, really assess what you have in your closet because without fail, we always gravitate towards the same things and so we buy another black dress or things that we already have. Assess what you have and what you really need. You don’t have to get a new wardrobe; you can add smart accessories, bags, shoes.

FF: Any advice for anyone coming into the fashion industry?

AV: Work really hard with no attitude. Be willing and able to do anything and everything to get the job done. It is a big industry with many areas but you can get the experience, meet the right people and network-very important. My summer intern worked really hard for me all summer and she asked if she could come help me here for this show and I said yes, because she had worked really hard. So she is coming tomorrow from NY.

The Bellevue Collection Fashion Week is happening through Sunday. There are many fun fashion events happening, so check out their website and don’t miss the Vogue Front Row Show!

 

Back to School Essentials

Going back to school is always bittersweet. Summer is over and school stress slowly starts to pile on, but friends are reunited and there is no better place to showcase fall trends than at school. Sometimes the back to school trends can be confusing, so that’s why we’re here to make your first day back to school outfit easier to put together! Being Seattle-ites, it’s important for us to stay up to date on trends and looking stylish while still being able to dress for our unpredictable weather. Luckily for us, however, the end of August through September is the most beautiful time of the year, making getting dressed a breeze compared to those gross rainy days.

While it is important to be up-to-date on trends and look stylish, it is even more important to dress for yourself and have your own style. Sometimes at school it is easy for everyone to dress the same, resulting in teenage duplicates wandering down the halls. Hopefully after reading this article, you will know how to keep your own style while still incorporating the trends that work with your body shape, style, and personality. There is nothing more up-to-date and stylish than being yourself and having your own style.
Along with keeping up-to-date with magazines, another great way to get inspiration for back to school is to go on Lookbook.nu as well as Chictopia. Happy back to school shopping!

Outerwear
Every year there is one statement jacket that rules above all other pieces. This fall, it is the blazer. There is nothing more chic than a great fitting black blazer. To try something new, try a white blazer (they’re super in!) for those wanting to put a twist on the classic. There is also a boyfriend blazer (Urban Outfitter’s boyfriend blazer below) to tie in the masculine trend that is also in this fall. Lastly, for you risk takers, try a sequined, velvet, or silk blazer. All blazers look fantastic with a great pair of fitting jeans and a simple v-neck white t-shirt. There are numerous ways to wear a blazer, though. Try pairing it with your favorite frilly dress to give it an edge, or with a pair of high waist shorts to play up the preppy factor. There is nothing more flattering than a blazer, so in my opinion, you can never have too many; and plus, there are so many different colors and prints to buy them in!

Forever 21 classic black blazer $39.80

Wilfred Le Fou crepe blazer $225 (ON SALE!); Aritzia

Kourtney Kardashian rocking the white blazer with a pair of flare jeans

 

Tops
As far as tops go, the classic white v-neck is always in style. One trend to most definitely try is the denim on denim look. One thing about denim on denim is making sure they are different colors, otherwise, you’ll look like one big piece of fabric! Try a denim shirt with a pair of dark skinny jeans or pair it with a flow-y maxi/mini dress to make it more casual. Also, a great pencil skirt paired with a denim shirt and cute scarf is for sure to make a great outfit.

Ashley Olsen Sporting Denim on Denim

 

Jeans
Like every year, there is nothing more “in-style” than a great pair of jeans that fits your body type perfectly. A lot of times, teens can get caught up in trends and ignore what looks good on their bodies. While it can be fun to try new denim trends (like the 70’s inspired flare or the skinny colored denim) it is most important to buy jeans that flatter your figure and make you feel comfortable. Whether your “go-to” jeans are straight leg, skinny, boot-cut, cropped, or boyfriend, wear what is right for you. If the new denim trends work for your style and body, then take advantage of that and work them into your wardrobe!

LeAnn Rimes and Whitney Port wearing their colored denim (Whitney has the denim on denim trend spot on!)

 

Shoes
Shoes can make or break an outfit, which is why it is important to have shoes that are firstly comfortable for walking around in at school, and secondly, shoes that are in style and fit your personality. With all our rainy and cold weather it can be hard to avoid those comfy but oh-so overrated UGGS. Hopefully some of these options can help you! One trend that is in for shoes is the oxford/loafer look along with the relaxed Frye motorcycle boot. For those of you not afraid to walk around in heels, try a chunky heeled bootie or wedge. Of course, there is nothing more versatile and in style than a cute ballet flat in different colors and prints.

Accessories
Accessories are the place where you can have the most freedom in your outfits. While there are some trends to be familiar with, like layering bracelets and necklaces or wearing a cute fedora (try a dark brown or black one for fall!) to school, this is the place that identifies your style and personality most. Although it can be pricey, Chan Luu has great wrap leather bracelets and charm necklaces that can totally complete an out fit. A more economical place for jewelry is also Forever21, and they have some great pieces as well! Whether it’s a bright nail polish, chunky rings, or a deep plum wool scarf, wear what adds to your style but also try and incorporate the trends into your outfits for an up to date look.

Ana Louie. Mother and Daughter Designs

Ana Louie is a Seattle-based line of refined and beautifully tailored dresses and separates for sophisticated young ladies ages 7 to 14. Ana Louie was inspired by sketches of founder’s eight year old daughter of the same name. Her eye for style emerged very early and her drawings have been realized with fine materials and impeccable construction to create Ana Louie. The line debuts with the 1950’s Parisian-inspired, Holiday 2011 Collection, which includes 10 pieces and is a confident array of beautiful dresses, ruffled collars and tailored coats.

“From a young age, my daughter Ana loved to dress up and pick out her ‘special dresses.’  When she was 5 years old, she started drawing a myriad of dresses, tops, skirts and hats. She would sit for hours perfecting the drawings to better represent what was in her imagination. Crayon drawings eventually transformed into the colored pencil sketches and a select few are the inspiration for our Holiday line,” says Ann Marie Louie, founder and CEO of Ana Louie.  “It’s a joy to witness my daughters dream become a reality and very empowering for us both.”

Ann Marie Louie, the founder and CEO of Ana Louie, merges the relationships and expertise she has developed as a 15 year veteran of the transportation, international trade and manufacturing industry, with her creative spirit and entrepreneurial courage.  Behind the beautiful pieces and at the core of Ana Louie is a socially-conscious and China-focused mission. Ana was adopted from Yong Feng, Jiangxi Province China and today so much of the garments we love are manufactured close to her birthplace.

“I fully realize that the opportunities Ana has today are not extended to all girls around the world, especially in China. An important part of our mission is to give back to her country of birth and help all little girls realize their inner strength,” says Ann Marie Louie.

1. When did you fall in love with fashion?

When I was a little girl I loved making clothes for my Barbie’s as every little girl wants to do. Loved fashion my whole life and you can say I was always the first person in school to have the newest fashion clothes. As I got older into high school I entered into competitions through DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and focused on Fashion and Apparel. I didn’t go into design school but went into business. As I realized that fashion was really my passion I had already started a different career. Now, I am at a place in my life where I can take on new endeavors in my life. Fashion to me is Art and how colors mesh together. It gives me great pleasure in admiring the pops of colors, gorgeous construction, fabric, and shapes.

2. What made you decide on children’s clothing?

I saw my daughter designing and seeing her passion for beautiful clothes brought me back to my original dream… to be a fashion designer. I wanted to make this creation into a Mother-Daughter concept. My experience shopping with my mother when I was young brings back that special time that I was able to spend time with her.  She helped me find appropriate clothing that was stunning and most of the time we shopped for party dresses.

 

3. Do you have any aspirations to expand your line to other lines or industries (i.e. men’s wear/women’s wear, perfume, home decor)?

I will definitely introduce women’s wear by next Fall. Currently, I have one couture dress for Holiday 2011 and I’m making plans to build the women’s line over the summer. I am also thinking of expanding to possibly accessories (i.e. hats and jewelry). I would love to bring on a clothing line for young boys but that will be something to consider more down the road.

4. Did you have to train or apprentice with another designer? How was the experience?

I brought on Masha Osoianu who is a fashion designer by trade and is now the Manager of our design team. With her creative eye she looks at my daughter Ana’s drawings, translates and enhances them, then shows Ana for her feedback along with my creative direction. Masha has been wonderful to team up with due her experience in the Fashion Industry.

5. What was the first item you remembered designing?

The Gisele dress. It’s our first party dress made of silk and lace; classy for the young girl who dreams big. The Gisele is appropriate for weddings, parties, going to the theater, a tea party, or even fine dining. It’s inspired by the 1950’s Parisian look – whimsical, yet elegant and classy. I also created a dress made for “mom” which is a one shoulder lace dress beautifully constructed and fabulously elegant.

7. What inspired you to start designing?

I loved the idea of my mother and I having that mother-daughter concept. I always looked up to her as she dressed beautifully so I wanted to be like her because she was my role model. My mother dressed beautifully to go to work every day and not only did it make me want to dress like her but I too wanted to have a great job to go to everyday like she did. It was that feeling of “Dress for Success” for me. That feeling made me reach high in life and wanted to be successful one day. The significance of my mother’s taste for dresses and suits has always stuck with me.

7. If you weren’t a designer then what would you be?

That is a interesting question because all my life I’ve been an executive in the international transportation industry, which involved a lot of fashion and I got to see the production side. I was surrounded by fabrics and textiles and imported/exported raw materials and also sent Spec Packs overseas for my customers. In my previous life I always worked with business development and found it fascinating on how companies made items/clothing and brought them to fruition to sell to consumers. I was destined somehow to be in the fashion industry one day. It is a plus to have the logistics/business background.

8. Tell our viewers how do you want them to feel when they wear your brand?

I want girls to feel special and confident. Beautiful, classy, comfortable, and that they can accomplish anything they desire. A positive awareness.

 

Ana Louie showing at Fashion Network-Seattle’s Haute Summer Night Fashion Show

9. Do you have any advice for anyone entering your specific design field?

Do your homework and find great people to work with. This is very important in growing any kind of company starting off. You must know the current trends and keep up with it.  It’s important to know what the consumers want and need.

10. What is one skill you can pass onto someone who wants to be a children’s designer?

I would tell them to find their niche in something that they will enjoy to create.  Something that hits home and they can build on with love, which will lead to creativity. If there is no passion or story behind it then it may not have the uniqueness that one should have in anything they design. And definitely have a business plan.

11. What excites you about the future of Seattle fashion?

Seattle is trying hard to bring more of the clothing/fashion industry to our city and it’s great to part of this exciting time. Both the industry and the public sector are creating a supportive environment for business and creativity and there seem to be more opportunities now than in the past.

12. How do you see the brand developing over the next couple of years? What can we expect?

We have just completed the Spring 2012 collection, which has more pieces and variety than the Holiday 2011 collection, and we are really looking forward to exhibiting at ENK International Children’s Club in New York City in a few weeks. It’s the most prestigous marketplace for children’s wear and will be place to get industry-wide feedback.  Currently, we’re also working on getting in touch with local boutiques as well as reaching out to other markets. As we continue to become known and establish presence then we will try to work with bigger department stores such as Nordstroms, Macy’s, etc.

13. Quickly, what are the benefits for Seattleites of buying from local designers?

If anyone knows about the “local movement,” Seattlelites do. Buying from local designer is a way to support of our community and grow our economy while at the same time supporting the artistic culture that Seattle prides itself on.

Michelle Moore: Seattle Photographer Making it Big

Michelle Moore is fashion editorial and high school senior portrait photographer working in both Seattle and Los Angeles. She had the pleasure of shooting her first Magazine Cover last October with 90210 star Jessica Lowndes (See bottom of page). Michelle loves helping high school seniors see their inner and outer beauty with her boutique-like portrait experience, and bringing awareness to healthy body image through her fashion and celebrity editorial work. Learn more about Michelle and her photography at www.michellemoore.com.

How did professional photography enter your life?

I came to professional photography by a number of factors. I had taken a photography class… or three… between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. I had a definite interest in photography, but was unsure that I would be able to create a business out of something I was so passionate about. During my sophomore year of college I was photographing bands and taking headshots for my actor friends. One day I just decided that I could start charging for my services, and therefore, start a business as a professional photographer.

Who are your influences?

I am definitely inspired by brands such as Anthropologie, Free People, We Are Handsome, Ruche – all brands that are soft and romantic. Teen brands such as Forever 21, Seventeen Magazine, Roxy – inspire me on a California, youthful side. I always have adored J.Crew and brands that have a clean polished studio work. I’m across the board for inspiration. I turn to the cinematography in movies and the lovely things from a great website called Pinterest for more inspiration as well!

 


What themes were iconic when you began to grow as a professional?

In college I went through a period where I was very influenced by water. It was a recurring theme in my work. Nowadays my portrait work for high school seniors is very influenced by sun, positive energy, and happiness. Iconic (and important) themes are staying consistent with my work (a light, carefree, happy vibe) no matter what I am working with in terms of natural light. This means keeping my style consistent with overcast weather, and sunny weather.

How did you develop your skill as a photographer?

A mixture: A little bit of school and A LOT of shooting! Taking pictures every day, studying the way light works and constantly examining your own work is key to developing your skills.

What is the best way to find work as a fashion and beauty photographer?

Get out there and network! Seattle is such a small community and the best way to get your name out there is to meet people!

How would you describe your photography style?

My style is natural, bright, and youthful.

How did you end up following a career in Seattle?

I was born and raised just a bit north of Seattle, went to high school and college in Seattle. My family, best friends, and network have always been here. I tried to move away, but too many factors keep me here! I have built my brand in this city. It is my home and no matter where work takes me (LA or New York, etc.) – Seattle will always be my home base.

Do you have any other photography interest other than fashion?

Fashion has always been my interest from the beginning. Before I even started taking pictures, I was always into fashion magazines and advertisements. I collected things I ripped out of magazines and pasted them all over my walls and ceiling in high school. I can’t see myself doing anything without a fashion element, like my senior portraits or celebrity editorial work.

What is you dream photo assignment?

I would love to shoot an editorial in Ireland, on the countryside with models on horses – something elaborate, enchanting and ultimately heart stopping. For a magazine, fashion spread, or celebrity, traveling somewhere unique for a photoshoot is my next dream.

If you weren’t a photographer then what would you be?

I think I would either be a Producer, or Cinematographer. I love working in a creative field and I’m very organized. I enjoy putting all the pieces together when doing a fashion shoot.

What is the best advice you received that you can pass down to potentials photographers out there?

Shoot EVERY day!

What do you love most about your job?

I love the flexibility of working for myself, creating my own hours, getting to work with the clients I want and creating something that truly helps girls feel better about themselves. Below are some of my favorite Senior Portraits!

 

 

 

Who would you like to thank for your success?

My family, friends, mentors and everyone that has offered support, advice and friendship along the way! (Below is my first magazine cover with 90210 star Jessica Lowndes!)

What is the photographic philosophy behind your work?

Helping to bring healthy body awareness to young teens by giving them a photoshoot experience that helps them see their own true beauty (inside and out!). Also, by working on fashion projects that help support a healthy body image in that industry as well

An Evening with Ken Downing at The Bravern

Models in looks from Balenciaga to Zac Posen strutted down the runway to Glee’s Power of Madonna soundtrack at the Bravern Residences’ Terrace Garden. As the models wowed the crowd with their beautiful attire, Neiman Marcus’ Senior Vice President Fashion Director, Seattle-native Ken Downing, lighted up the room with his commentary on each look. This evening was all about Spring and upcoming Fall trends.

The first wave of models sported military-inspired looks that are meant for both Spring and Fall wear. Many of these military looks also had a tribal twist, also known as urban safari. Models wore varying shades of green: olive, fatigue, khaki, forest and sea foam, you name it! Body conscious cargo pants (by Stella McCartney) were paired with delicate tunics. Men’s military looks were done with camouflage inspired ties, super casual shorts paired with shucker boots.

As for spring accessories, more is better. Stacking bangles is a must. Bangles of varying sizes, colors, materials, can be mixed-and-matched to create a stunning dramatic look on any lovely wrist. The stacked cuffs that many of the models were sporting, as Downing informed the crowed, were created in Africa that are now sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus. Evening bags for daywear was another popular trend featured, as well as, feathered jewelry. However, the most popular trend for Spring and Fall are multitude of pearls. Pair faux pearls with real pearls and long strands with short. Pearls are not just for the mature  (ahem, Barbara Bush tends comes to mind) set but for all aged-women and for evening and daywear! Another popular trend for Spring and Fall are boots and there are boots for every mood you are in. Fashionistas can select either from wedged-heeled, over-the-knee, to the knee, or flat boots. Now there is no excuse for not sporting some killer boots!

Military-inspired looks later gave-way to sequined glamour. Most women shy away from donning sequins during the day fearing that they are simply meant for a night on the town. Ladies, no longer fret and bust out those sequins in the Seattle sun (err, rain). A leopard print cardigan with sequins was paired with cropped pants, wedge heels, and a trench. The touch of sequins definitely gave the look a sophisticated pop of swank.

Another popular trend for Spring and Fall that Downing touched upon was denim. A Georgio Armani jacket woven to look like denim was followed by another Armani demin-inspired pantsuit ensemble. Similar to the jacket, the pantsuit itself was made of linen that was woven to mimic denim. Models displayed shoes and handbags from Prada that from afar look like the denim but upon closer inspection were not made of cotton but simply made to look as though. Stella McCartney bell bottoms also gave a 1970s flair to the denim trend. A Balenciaga color block dress was one of my personal faves. The dress was topped with a shimmering trench that could take a gal from day to night.

As with the Armani linen pant suit, menswear-inspired clothing was seen this past February during the Fall/Winter 2010 runways. The sleek tailoring paired with feminine touches such as pearls and/or chiffon ruffled tops were seen throughout the evening. A beautiful example of this masculine and feminine ying and yang was seen with a tweed Chanel jacket that was paired with multiple strands of pearls. Once again demonstrating the contrast of tailored menswear and feminine flair was a black Chanel pantsuit paired with a cobweb-inspired pearl necklace by Vera Wang. Downing also explained how many designers found inspiration from past Yves Saint Laurent collections. Designers are now channeling the legendary and influential designer’s suits with more fitted waists and narrower pants.

A trend for both Spring and Fall that Downing emphasized was the nude/blush tones. A 50s-style full skirted blush-toned Prada dress and nudes pumps showed the audience different ways to play with the trend. Downing emphasized that nude platform shoes are a must in every girl’s closet. The shoe will add sophistication to any Spring or Fall outfit. Icy pastels, explained Downing, are quite a popular trend this Spring, as displayed with an icy pastel blue one-shouldered Micheal Kors dress.

After the runway portion had wrapped up, clothes were placed on racks so that all attendees could take a closer look at the finer details of each outfit. Downing made it a point to meet and say hello to all who wanted to meet with the gregarious fashion director. While speaking with him, he was quick to point that Seattle once had a vibrant fashion scene and that his hope is for Seattle to once again foster the growth of designers and brands alike. With fashionable Seattle natives like-Ken Downing, it seems like his hope might not be too far off

Heilyke by Heili Aun Nalla

What do you design?

I design women’s ready to wear and evening wear.

What is your design philosophy?

The longevity of design is my motto while creating garments for Heilyke. Heilyke brand stands for elegant, well-crafted garments that are targeted for the woman desiring a sophisticated and unique look.

When did you decide to become a designer?

I do not remember one definite moment; it has been more gradual progression from one decision to another. But I remember when I first interned and then worked for one of a top designer in Estonia, Kai Saar, I was inspired by her life story and her success, and I remember thinking I want to be like her, I want to create beautiful garments that people wear and feel beautiful in. It was so gratifying to see happy costumers coming in and out her studio every day.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is an art form through which people express themselves and add interest to the visual world.

How has the Seattle Fashion landscape changed over the years?

I have only been here for 8 years, but I have noticed some improvement in people appreciating fashion, due to TV shows such as Project Runway, and large number of fashion events happening locally. Also, I have noticed people looking into personalizing their style to stand out from the crowd.

How would you describe your own personal style? Can you share a few address book recommendations to our readers (hairdressers, tailors, shops… anything you like really)?

My favorite hair stylist is Quint Eby of Quint Eby Salon in Belltown. My new favorite destination for jeans is Derek Andrew in Bellevue, and there is where I found my current favorite pairs of skinny jeans by Genetic Denim, the fabric they use is amazing, it is comfortable, and dries super fast. My current favorite earrings are by local designer Iris Guy Sofer I found at Re Soul in Ballard. My personal style is classic with touch of art, for example I like to dress up my outfits with high quality unique handmade jewelry. I do not follow seasonal trends religiously, I only buy what speaks to me, and that can stay in my wardrobe for a long time. I always prefer quality over quantity.

What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men/women wore?

I miss having men wearing beautifully tailored pants and suit jackets more often; I am tired of seeing men only walking around in jeans that are often too baggy and t-shirt or dress shirt only without vest or jacket. I wish they would pay more attention to the entire attire to be well fitted, and try to have more personality to their style. For women, I wish we would not be so into wearing pants, I want to see more dresses and skirts, including on myself.

If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?

I like it now; I like the mixture of different eras all together so one can choose their style as of what the mood and their body type need, rather than trying to fit in the norm. I also am a big fan of the detailed and luxurious attire of 1600s to 1800s in Europe.

What are your inspirations?

I draw my inspiration from everything around me; nature is one of the main influences. I love how plants are so beautiful, complex, but seem so simple, and not touched by humans. I try to reflect that structure and beauty in my designs. I also am inspired by world cultures. For example my usage of color is inspired by colors of Indian culture, the spices, exotic plants and the colors of textiles.

Who are your influences?

People who have found their purpose in life and do all to pursue their dreams, and try to make a difference.

Do you have a typical type of person in mind when designing and if so does this evolve with each season?

I start with myself lots of times, me as a woman, what do I feel is missing in the world of fashion for women.

Which designers currently working do you admire most?

I really liked Fall 2010 collection by Narciso Rodriquez, and Fall 2010 collection by Nicholas Ghesquiere’s for Balenciaga.

Which fellow designers/brands do you admire (locally)?

Michael Cepress

What are your biggest personal/professional challenges that you face day to day?

Challenge to manage time and tasks at hand.

What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?

Taking steps to first start and to further develop my women’s wear brand Heilyke. The proudest moment as a fashion designer is the honor of winning the title “Best in Show” in the Seamless in Seattle 2010 competition organized by Seattle Magazine.

Do you have any advice for anyone entering your field?

To be a good fashion designer you have to think about who your client is, and how to complement and enhance their natural beauty. Also, you have to believe and stand behind your creations, and make sure you do your best and don’t cut corners in design nor execution.

What would you say are the benefits for Seattlelites of buying from local designers?

When buying directly from the designer then one gets more than just a garment, you get to learn more about the designer behind the clothes, and then your garments are more than just lifeless cover ups.

Who would you like to thank for your success?

That is a long list of people, so to keep it short I want to thank my families by birth and the ones I have created along the way, my teachers in Seattle, USA and in Estonia, my husband, and friends that have been an influence and support.

Caitlin Collins

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is the wonderful opportunity to wear art. It captures the consciousness of our time, helping to express what we feel and who we are in the here-and-now. When you look back on past styles, they are all connected to movements and attitudes of the time.

What excites you about the future of Seattle fashion?

If all the talent that resides here rises up together to make their Seattle statement, which I believe they soon will, it’s going to put our city on the map of fashion, and that would be very exciting!

How would you describe your own personal style? Can you share a few address book recommendations to our readers?

My own personal style is a mash-up of the 1960’s, classic femininity and 19th century sailing. Though I adore buying new clothes, nothing beats a unique piece of vintage clothing—my favorite vintage shop is definitely Lucky in the Udistrict, located on the Ave. I can always find something there, and the owner is really nice.


If you weren’t a model then you would be?

A sailor, traveling all around the world. And a novelist. So a sailor-novelist.

What is the one item you never leave the house without?

Pen and paper. I love to write and draw, and you never know when or where you will encounter inspiration!

Which designers currently working do you admire most?

I just found (and now adore) AF Vandevorst. I especially love his Spring 2010 collection.


Do you ever get nervous before a photoshoot or runway show? What do you do to give you that spark of confidence?

Yes, I do get nervous. My best way to beat the butterflies is to spend the couple of hours before I leave for my photoshoot listening to Ladytron’s Witching Hour.

What advice can you give to those who are looking to get into the modeling industry?

Whatever you do, do it completely with confidence. Chances are if you believe in what you do, so will everyone else.

Built for Man by Francisco Hernandez

When did you decide to become a designer?

I am a designer from birth, I have been doing ever since I can remember. Fashion has been good to me , and now is my turn to be good to it.

What does fashion mean to you?

21century , comfort , practical with a strong element of design.  Edgy enough to be innovative yet familiar still to the eye.

Who are your influences?

The people that make my clothes and the people that wear my clothes.

What is your design philosophy?

We build from the yarn up , by empowering rural communities to collaborate with us inspiring them to think alongside us while creating beautiful garments.  Comfort , style, and a strong element of design for the 21 century.

What has been your biggest professional achievement so far?

Establishing a good society and empowering 28 weavers to work alongside us in rural Peru.

How do you see the brand developing over the next couple of years?

We need to showcase our fashions outside our city, we need to get our message out , we are good, just look at the quality and the vision we have.  If we can do this we have full potential to grow. We are also planning to re shape  and rethink the way we see our designs and our direction for 2011 will be very futuristic, we need to make sure we are present and we are living in the 21century a dynamic moment in  time now

When you think of Seattle Fashion, what comes to mind?

How would you define Seattle’s fashion style? Seattle fashion needs to grow we need to see it from with-in not necessary look at it from a thrift/vintage perspective or from a high end , but from a ethical angle, imagine how it would be if everyone in the city dress to par with the rest of the stylish people of the world but had a social responsibility to those that made the clothing.

How would you describe your own personal style?

I like fashion that works I also like fashion that really is visionary, I like the idea that there is a thought process at work, when I dress I look to local designer to support for example I am wearing a pair of jeans I bought years ago at David Lawrence, Sling and Stone, organic denim, from Japan design by a local company.  Still wear them , for me is all about who makes the clothing and what is the process.

What exciting things are on the horizon?


We are currently working with an new community of artisans to develop a silver and leather collection of accessories and we are also capacitating a new community in rural Peru , we are building an industry with them.  Is an ancient community they have Alpacas and Viscunyas, we are trying to get them to safe some of the fleece , normally they would sell all the fleece to the mills for yarn, what we are trying to do is have them keep some in there communities , we would than have them grade the fleece, clean it, spin it , yarn it , than weave it.  By doing so we can capacitate them.   Thinking industrially and build and industry from the yarn up.

What item of clothing do you wish that more men/women wore?

I would love to see more men/ women wearing more Corvatts , I do think they offer a stylish approach to comfort.

If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?

I want to be in the future not in the pass, maybe is my age, but I, like to think of 2098 when will have a different idea of how to dress, maybe guys can start owing up to new ways of dressing.

If you could collaborate with one big name international designer, who would it be and why?

Gucci, for the fabrics, it takes a lot of money to design your own textiles, Gucci is a master on how to , as are most of the Italians designers.

Who would you like to thank for your success?

My effort , waking up every day and taking the bull by the horns and making every day work. The driving force.

Ross James: Korea-Bound and Busier Than Ever

At the end of June, Ross James and his wife Melissa will be moving to Seoul, South Korea to further pursue fashion photography and projects. FNS is excited to support these Seattle natives as they work abroad, and will be providing updates from this adventurous couple throughout the year of their stay. Also stay tuned to the FNS Blog for Ross James’s Korean street fashion photos!

FNS touched base with the busy photographer at his 619 art studio downtown. He revealed upcoming projects (watch for his DList editorial currently in progress!), introduced his dog Diesel, and spoke hopefully of the trip to Korea.

Photographer Ross James

FabonFrenchmen: Why Korea?
Ross James: I’ve always been intrigued with Asia and have wanted to go there since I was young. I have made a lot of friends from South Korea and developed some photography and fashion contacts in Seoul, so it seemed like a good place to start.

FF: What do you hope to learn & accomplish there?
RJ: Over the last couple of years, I’ve had people tell me that my photography style might do well in an Asian market and with the fashion scene that’s going on there. So I’m hoping to expand my portfolio and hopefully work with some fashion publications based out of Seoul. I’m hoping to learn about their fashion scene and, you know, see if there’s any room in it for me, I guess.
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FF: How long are you planning to stay?
RJ: I’ll be there for at least a year for sure, and maybe another year…who knows?
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FF: Why is it important for you to get a change of scenery?
RJ: I’ve always enjoyed traveling and I basically consider Seattle my home because I’m from the Northwest, but I don’t really feel like I have an actual home. I like traveling around and discovering new adventures. So I want to broaden my experiences to include more extensive travel.
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FF: What do you think defines your style of photography?
RJ: I think most of my style comes from my taste in lighting. I am definitely drawn towards the shadows in lighting, specifically darker mood lighting with almost a film quality to it. I think my favorite part of photography is controlling the mood of the lighting. Also, my style has a lot to with how I almost always shoot on location. If I am stuck in the studio with a backdrop, I really have to try hard to keep interest in it. I really draw my inspiration from surroundings and background.

Who would you like to thank for your success?

I am very thankful for my wife, Melissa, who tries to understand me and encourages creativity.

Who are your influences?

When I first got into photography it was Robert Parke-Harisson. His work titled “Architect’s Brother” influenced me greatly. Now I have a list of influences too long to list!

What are you inspired by?

I am inspired a lot by my favorite music. It can take my mind to its own place where I can come up with new ideas. I also find inspiration in traveling and seeing new places.

When you think of Seattle Fashion, what comes to mind? How would you define Seattle’s fashion style?

From what I’ve seen of Seattle fashion, it seems it has always had an underlying vintage theme. To an extent, you could describe Seattle’s fashion as an “anti-fashion” fashion, which kind of makes sense… refusing to look to the future without first referencing the past.

What tips would you offer models to take a really good shot?

If you’re really thinking of the mood, if you get into it in your head, it’ll look more believable. It’s not just an external thing. People can see through that in the photos. If you’re able to get a good shot only when everyone is focused on you and giving you compliments, that is just the beginning of your journey towards being a professional model.  You need to be able to keep your focus and energy constant even though the shoot has ups and downs.

What is your dream photo assignment?

To shoot an editorial in space and on the moon.

Describe your brand in three words- and explain why/ how you embody these three words.

Shadows, Complex, Location inspired
I choose 3 words that describe my photography style, because to me that is my brand. First, when I photograph, lighting is very important to me. I tend to focus on the shadows. Second, I like concepts that are more complex. I like compositing images and sometimes I like busy scenery. Third, I like being in a unique location to photograph. It also keeps me inspired.

How do ethics play into your business? Do you have a general rule of thumb when dealing with clients and their possible opposing ideas to yours?
The client is your boss. When it comes to commercial jobs I try to measure the job before hand to make sure it is a good fit for me and that it’s an idea I can sign on to.

How much impact does networking have on your brand? In what ways do you network, and which receive the most feedback?
I can’t stress how important networking is. Every once in a while a good lead will come to me randomly on the internet, but mostly they come from the contacts you have made in person.

Where did you start out with your photography/film? As in, what were your beginning steps?

I lived on a small farm in central Washington and started taking pictures of the animals. At the time I was studying music at the university and decided to switch to photography. Quickly after that, shooting portraits and weddings became my beginning steps in my photography pursuit.

Why fashion? What does it mean to you and your work?

Fashion photography has an attitude. And when shooting fashion there is usually an energy between everyone who is working together and everyone wants to get the best results possible. There are other reasons why I shoot fashion but this one is all I really need to keep shooting fashion.

Have you ever started a shoot and felt stuck creatively? If so, what set you free from it and helped you to regain your flow?

You have to find something about the theme or about your subject that inspires you. Even if its small compared to what doesn’t inspire you, just find the inspiration and focus on that

Caitlin Hynes

Define the word beauty.
Beauty is what makes a person special.  Everyone has their own kind of beauty be it in their smile, voice, attitude, or what they do for the world.  The people that allow their own beauty to shine in the way they carry themselves make the world beautiful.  One of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela captures the idea perfectly: “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Who are your influences?
I do not really have any influences modeling or fashion wise.  I just go with what I feel works for me and hope for the best!

What are your biggest personal/professional challenges that you face day to day?
I wish there were more hours in a day.  I get worn out being a student, working, and finding time to play.  I am constantly baffled by how quickly time goes by.

What excites you about the future of Seattle fashion?
I am excited by the idea of unknown styles to be brought by designers that are yet unknown and in generations to come.  Fashion is ever-changing and I believe as our population continues to become more diverse, new thoughts and inspirations will make their way to the fashion scene.

How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is relaxed and comfortable.  Most days you can find me in my favorite pair of skinny jeans and Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.  I also love cute, fitted dresses and plaid especially.  I prefer to buy my clothes secondhand (go recycling and cheap prices!), so I shop at Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange on University Way a lot.  Often times you can find a brand new piece of clothing at a great price in these places.  They also sell brand new items from various boutiques at good prices.  I get my hair cut at Shear Madness on University Way as well.  I have had my hair cut by a different hairdresser every time, and all have done a great job!

If you weren’t a model then what would you be?
I am a model among many things: student, barista, and tutor.  Modeling is a release for me in the rest of my busy life.  I taking a day to put on some cute clothes, get my makeup done, and learn something new at a photo shoot.

What is the one item you never leave the house without?
I’m trying to get into the habit of never leaving the house without a water bottle- it’s important to stay hydrated!

What are you looking forward to in the future?
I am really just looking forward to seeing where my life takes me.  Slowly breaking into my adult life has show me that there are endless possibilities in my future.

What advice can you give to those who are looking to get into the modeling industry?
For anyone that wants to get into the modeling industry, I urge you not to hesitate.  There are so many outlets and ways to get involved in modeling that you can do on your own.  Start an MM page and see who you can meet!  Nobody will discover you if you don’t put yourself out there.