I arrived a little after 6 p.m. and was immediately greeted by the friendly FGI-Seattle staff. They handed me a bag that had three beautiful shades of Julep lipsticks and a Lipsology kiss card inside and showed me the way to the appetizer table, courtesy of Skillet, and the Girly Girl wine bar.
I was immediately drawn to a table filled with binders that contained old newspaper clippings and photos of fashion trends and different FGI events over the years. The nostalgic history before me went as far back as 1931. I loved looking through all the old trends and photos of fashion’s colorful history.
I then came across three vendor tables, where I met Joanna Morgan of Joanna Morgan Designs. Joanna is from Holland originally but is based in Seattle. She worked in the finance industry for 15 years before deciding to launch her own jewelry. Joanna has created everyday wearable pieces, including brass bracelets, sterling silver and precious stones. Her designs are very delicate and simple. She prefers to use quality materials that will last forever.
I then met Bright Hauser, jewelry designer for The Gem Garden. Her pieces were very fitting for her name: large colorful pieces with lots of sparkles!! Bright manufactures the pieces herself and has local area college students help her out. Listening to her speak, one can learn a lot about the challenges of owning a small business. Many aspiring jewelers start off by selling their pieces on Etsy, but Bright has never met a person that has actually made money doing this. She is looking to incorporate her style into the big box brand. For her, the sexiest word is “revenue” – it makes dreams come true!
Metamorphic Gear also had a table at the show. Metamorphic Gear is made in the USA and creates functional earth-minded products for the urban lifestyle. The lap top and business bags on display were in fun bold colors, and I could definitely see myself carrying one around the city for business meetings. Metamorphic Gear uses upcycling, transforming sail material destined for landfill into stylish bags and accessories. Material that was once used to move boats have been transformed into stylish bags.
I then moved to the Lipsology table. Jill Eddy of Lipsology had a long line of women listening to her conduct lip print readings. Her fascination with lip prints began over 30 years ago with a hobby of collecting prints from friends and family and celebrities the way others collect autographs. After years of studying, she began to see a pattern emerge between lip prints and personalities. I wasn’t able to have my own lip print read, but I did hear her say that one does not want to anger a woman whose lip print resembles a volcano!
Vivian Miller-Rahl, Regional Director for FGI-Seattle, introduced a video presentation, which showcased the Fall and Winter 2013 fashion trends, straight off the runways of New York, Paris, London and Milan. The style trends for the latter half of this year is almost anything, but pairing pieces in new ways. Some of the styles included:
• Gender blending: his coat with her dress
• New comfort zones: Oversize is in
• Slick Grunge: Motorcycle jacket with a gypsy dress
• Basic Colors: Black and white is always right with a gaze of gray
• Bright Colors: Pinks, emerald greens, royal blue, teal
• Past Genres: The 20’s flapper, full skirts and petticoats of the 50’s, 60’s mod, 70’s mini sweater dresses
• Fur: It’s okay to flaunt furs
• Intarsia: Different fabrics living together (for example, silk on leather)
• Shoes: His oxfords loafers, ankle supported heels with a point toe, comma heels, over the knee boots, and second skin boots
• Bags: Two bags with one chain, squished bags, crocodile
• Accessories: Belts are the accessory that makes every look new, tall knit hats, hair collaring, hair jewelry, message necklaces
After the video presentation, the fashion panel made their way in front of the audience. Moderated by Lizzie Parker (designer for the Lizzie Parker and Lizzie Parker Studio labels, NBC Fashion Star Contestant, and Business Development Manager, Womens for Zulily), the panel took questions about the fall and winter 2013 trends and how they impact Seattle fashion. Adam Moon, Trend Director for Nordstrom women answered questions related to apparel. Heather Kirk Riley, interior designer of Kirk Riley Design and an FIDM alumni, spoke about in-the-home trends. Lauren Foster, Assistant Editor of 425 Magazine, discussed the fashion editorial side of the trends.
Is grunge back in Seattle?
Adam sees that easy to wear plaid is back again, paired with knits and handbags, but he does see elements of the 90’s grunge era back in Seattle. Lauren sees a more polished plaid look. The root of grunge is “we don’t care,” which is the mentality of Seattle. Seattleites do not dress up for anybody. For the home, Heather has not seen the grunge look, but more of a warm and cozy environment.
How has entertainment influenced fashion such as recently released movies like The Great Gatsby?
Adam likes seeing the Mad Men and Downton Abbey effect. He sees designers pulling from different eras. Lauren has seen so many Gatsby collections in Hollywood and believes that movie has had a huge influence. Heather sees vintage inspirations in the home. People are going back to the basics and wanting to entertain guests in their home. She sees the social kitchen trend and at-home cocktail hours coming back.
Fur is back this season, but was traditionally not politically correct. What are your thoughts?
Adam is on the fence about fur. He believes fur can be done ethically, but faux fur is beautiful too. Furs come from different eras and are acceptable in moderation – it’s all about how you wear it. Lauren was funny and blunt, in regards to vintage fur, it’s already dead, so go for it! She has not seen the fur trend so much in Seattle. Heather sees natural colored faux fur throws coming back into the homes.
What are your thoughts on prints?
Adam sees prints as being personal. He sees a big Christian Dior influence with them. Lauren is excited about prints and sees some crazy combinations coming this fall with J-Crew. For the home, Heather sees big prints and florals and fresh chevron with Missoni-esque wall coverings.
What is your key piece and color for the fall and winter season?
Adam says a key piece to have in your wardrobe for the fall is a mode leather jacket in a beautiful color. Lauren’s key piece is a leather jacket paired with a delicate top and a scarf – rugged with a touch of feminine. Heather says that matte brass finishes such as the kitchen faucet and light fixtures, are the key pieces for the home. Lizzie likes the slouchy fitted trouser pants in black.
What fashion should we avoid?
Both Adam and Lizzie agreed that the pajama trend is very sloppy looking and to avoid at all costs. Heather said to always buy real flowers for the home, fake flowers look fake and they need to be dusted. Lauren says to make sure leather pieces fit you properly, because if they don’t, people will feel sorry for you.
We’ve seen the upcoming fashion trend include everything from the past. Is there anything new?
This was a great question from the audience and I had the same question myself. Adam said there was nothing new coming out for this season. With the Euro teetering in some European Union countries, the cost of cotton shooting upwards due to cotton crops being destroyed by weather; it has been a tumultuous time for fashion. For 2013, we see beautiful and familiar things in new proportions, more crafted and tailored. The spring of 2014 will bring a more futuristic vibe to fashion. Lauren said that the upcoming season does include patterns that we are all familiar with, but they are placed into a context that has not been seen. However, there will be nothing that says “Whoa, that was 2013!” For Seattle area homes, Heather says that 2013 brings a new way that colors are used and paired, such as fuschia and pastel or fuschia and taupe. Another big trend are pastel colors matched with gray or yellow – which creates a very sophisticated and soothing home environment.
After the panel discussion, FGI Programming Chair, Julie Ryan, presented the fashion show, featuring local designers Karen Guh’s “Paychi Guh” and Kathleen Baxley’s “Mere Basics”, previewing their Fall 2013 cashmere lines. Guh’s designs included soft color combinations of slouchy trousers and oversized draping that looked very casual and comfortable. Baxley’s designs were loose fitting and matching tanks and pants with an almost comfortable workout-wear look.
FGI is a global, non-profit, professional organization with 5,000 members in the fashion industry including apparel, accessories, beauty and home. The FGI mission is to be the pre-eminent authority on the business of fashion and design and to help its members become more effective in their careers. To do this, FGI provides insights on major trends in person, online and in print; access to business professionals and a gateway to the influence fashion plays in the marketplace.
The Fashion Group Foundation is FGI’s non-profit component. Their mission is to:
• Promote educational programs devoted to fashion and to the study of fashion related businesses through the creation and awarding of scholarships; establishment of internship programs; provision of career counseling services.
• Organization and sponsorship of seminars and other educational activities on a national and worldwide basis.
• To sponsor public service activities in which the fashion industry works, to serve relevant community needs and concerns and to stimulate and encourage membership and industry participation in such public service activities.