Christine Chaney: Best Emerging Designer

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The line: “I want my line to be timeless, but almost separate from ‘fashion’ per se, which can tend to revolve around trends and seasons,” says Chaney of her creatively crafted scarf frocks with sly peekaboo panels and asymmetrical hemming, cozy crochet sweaters and avant-garde coats made from army surplus wool blankets. “I want to create clothing that women live in and love; a piece that transcends a time frame.”

Creative spark: “I’m inspired by the way fabric moves and how it moves on a woman’s body,” says the Judkins Park-based designer, who started her clothing line in 2008. “I love how garments can shift and change on the form.” The 47-year-old Chaney, who is an architectural designer by day, crochet artist and self-taught designer by night, draws heavily from her architectural background, citing both the physics of construction and recycled fabrics as jumping-off points for her designs. “I use upcycle materials like scarves, not only because I find them beautiful, but because I’m inspired by the idea of rehabbing something for a second use. Even in architecture I’m more into old buildings that are given new life than new construction.”

Her muse: “Somebody once said that the definition of ‘beauty’ is a confident woman. I want to give women something beyond clothing; I want to give them power. With a lot of clothing, there isn’t a lot of mystery left, it can be like a second skin, it’s so tight. There is a sensual nature in my clothing, an obvious nakedness there, that gives you a sexy vibe without baring all.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “I had this double-breasted, turquoise, fringed leather jacket in the ’80s—and I’m not even done describing it. It also had bat-wing sleeves, a tuxedo waist, and I wore it with these turquoise-silver lamé Hammer-style pants along with turquoise fringed sandals.”

How personal style influences her designs: “I like to layer as few things as possible, but present them powerfully—both in my designs and my own wardrobe. I have a mantra for presentations: I always sport a killer ring, one added piece of interest and then pop on my glasses. Done.”

Line: 3C: christine Chaneyclothing

Find it: Velouria in Ballard (2205 NW Market St.; 206.788.0330; shopvelouria.tripod.com), or christinechaneycreative.com

Clothing from left to right: Cotton/linen/rayon blend bat-wing cowl neck crochet sweater over flapper-style vintage scarf dress. Chaney wears her own design, a parachute-style vintage scarf dress; necklace, skinny jeans and wedges are her own. Surplus army blanket (“SAB”) wool coat with built-in muff, vintage nautical latch and wallet pocket, layered over Peruvian wool crochet vest and parachute-style vintage scarf dress. Crocheted bat-wing silk-wool sweater layered over hand-dyed apron-style vintage scarf dress and crinkled hand-dyed slip dress.

 

Score Edgy Cotton Basics at Downtown's Do The Extraordinary

Score Edgy Cotton Basics at Downtown's Do The Extraordinary

Downtown apparel and accessories shop DTE offers a little something extra
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An in-store vault opens to reveal secret speakeasy, Blind Tiger

The newest retail outpost from fashion collaborators Justin Kercher and former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is offering downtown shoppers the opportunity to “Do The Extraordinary.” Taking over the 6,000-square-foot space on Sixth Avenue and Olive Way that previously housed European Antiques, Do The Extraordinary (DTE) opened last fall and is a lifestyle boutique for men and women offering locally designed, handmade, ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for the fashion-forward Seattleite. The brand’s edgy cotton basics come in black, white and various shades of gray, and include muscle T-shirts and sporty sweats for men, and tunics and dresses for women.

“DTE is really about the customers and creating an experience,” Kercher says. The space combines influences of the Seattle outdoors with urban design. Blow-torched sequoia tree tables and painted antlers flank vintage couches and hand-poured cement floors. Hidden behind the cash register area, speakeasy Blind Tiger, designed by Kercher and his family, is set up for private events and intimate concerts featuring local bands and DJs. DTE’s fall lineup includes several album release parties as well as a fall/winter fashion show.

The store’s upcoming events will “take [the retail experience] to another level,” says Kercher. Downtown, 1810 Sixth Ave.; dotheextraordinary.com