Style Preview: Fashion First

New York Fashion Week is in full swing and in fitting fashion, Seattle's designers debut their fall looks Thursday, September 17th during the 6th annual Fashion First show. Featuring the winning designers from our Seamless in Seattle contest (as well as looks from Le Ree, Oslo’s and The Finerie), executive director (and designer shoe aficionado) Joan Kelly ducks away from planning for a minute to reveal her favorite new looks and Fashion First designers that have the tough critic swooning:

SM: What is your favorite look for fall?

JK:  I love that 80s and 90s blazers are back. They are very refined and yet fun. The latest styles are longer and redo the blazer in a very modern way. I also adore the return of simple jersey garments. They hang beautifully and the simplicity lends itself to fun and funky jewelry. Depending on what you add on, you can change your look dramatically, so its great way for women to get the most out of their wardrobe.

SM: If you only bought one investment item this year, what would it be?

JK: A stadium coat with zippers. It will last you forever and it’s incredibly versatile. And if you are looking to spend less this year, the best place to get classic designer pieces is at Ragamoffyn’s consignment shop. There are some real jewels there, but if you see it, get it! Pieces just fly out of there.

SM: We bet you know a thing or two about finding great shoes in Seattle. What are your top three stops for shoes?

JK: Hands down, Neiman Marcus first (opening this weekend at The Bravern), then Posh on Main in Bellevue and of course, Nordstrom. I can always find amazing shoes at those stores at really great price points. For a more boutique shopping experience, Merge in Seattle, Totokaelo and The Finerie downtown are the best.

SM: Which Fashion First designers are you most excited about seeing on the runway Thursday night?

JK: Alexander Wang, who is featured in the La Ree set, has created an amazing lifestyle collection; you could just buy the whole thing and be done, great tops, perfect blazers and cute dresses. Kelly Flynn, her eye for fabrics is impeccable and her pieces, especially her coats, are fabulous. And then, WyattOrr (comprised of 2008 Seamless winners Liise Wyatt and Karly Orr); I’m very excited for them, they are able to produce now and their men’s jackets are hip, fresh, artistic and totally affordable.