We check labels at Nordstrom and covet the first lady’s Jason Wu wear—the pop culture profile of the fashion designer continues to rise. Case in point: For our fifth annual fashion design contest, a record number of 32 hopefuls submitted their designs for a chance to elevate their rising star. After two rounds of judging in which contestants revealed such creations as a dramatic parachute dress and messenger bags crafted from old truck tarps, a septuplet of women rose to the top. These smart designers introduce themselves with collections that seem tailor-made for Northwest sensibilities, from cozy wool layers and smart blazers to perfectly playful frocks and even stylish bicycling attire. Watch in eager anticipation as these emerging and student designers set out to make their mark on Seattle style. And get your tickets  to the Seamless in Seattle fashion show at Seattle Art Museum on August 29, 2012.
Read the winners' full profiles:
Best Emerging Designer: Christine Chaney 
Best Student Designer: Erin Roby 
Most Innovative Line: Sonia McBride 
Most Artistic Line: Alicia Czerwiec 
Best Everyday Frocks: Suzy Fairchild