Sarah seeks her inspiration from the true style influencers—artists, bohemians, rock-n-rollers, mystics, and intellectuals. Sharing her 5 favorites of the day that can be found around the Seattle community, our editor brings to readers a unique black leather jacket, Fingerless leather gloves, Japanese jeans, Sea of Shoes Blog, Rock Star Jewelry, and her reasons why.
Sarah England and I had a fun night checking out the exhibit featuring our favorite pieces by Jean Paul Gaultier and some original motorcycle jackets customized by local punks from back in the day. I remember how much I loved the Ave in the U district when I was a teenager in the ’80s, seeing all those kids who had the nerve to sport Mohawks and studded clothing—skate punks like the Bopo Boys, and future rock star Stone Gossard with his Depeche Mode-styled hair and Michael Jackson lace glove, skinny jeans and leather biker jacket. Even before those days, the black leather jacket has always had a home in Seattle. Imagine being a young designer, as was Carole McClellan in the ’70s when Ann Wilson herself picked up the phone and called Carole to find out if she could make a cool leather jacket for her…
Her collection was featured in Saturday night’s EMP fashion show and exhibition, Born To Be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket. Carole is a local fashion industry person who “gets it” and thus, had the sense to put her designs on the coolest of the cool kids. Seattle Met style editor, Laura Cassidy, wore a fur and leather dress from Carole’s winning collection from Seattle fashion week’s Independent Designer Fashion Show; Rock Star Jewelry designer Martha Driver donned a gorgeous fur vest designed especially to her liking; east-side fashionista Heather Battaglia wore a vintage leather dress; and I wore Carole’s personal jacket from her time working with Ann Wilson of Heart during the Barracuda Tour days. It’s the kind of thing your cool and stylish aunt would loan you if you had such an aunt. As I was saying, lucky me, I get to wear Carole’s jacket for the rest of the season.
Post-weekend, I woke up today thinking that anyone worth her weight in X-factor has a leather jacket that is distinct. Of course Ann Wilson wanted her leather custom-made. But if you are not such a person, and don’t have a cool leather jacket that is special in some way—get one. Cool will follow.
Last week, my eyes were also caught by the “Brazen” fingerless gloves at Nordstrom. Not only are they warm, but if you enjoy sporting a signature nail color by Chanel or YSL like I do, it’s a great way to get the point across. I noticed while trying these on that they frame the hand giving it a delicate quality while accentuating the nail color. The power of the fur and leather tempered by the femininity of the hand conveyed just the right contrast of power and daintiness
Rarely does denim hold a style for more than a couple of years since denim trends are the fastest to change and the most important to stay on top of. For this reason everyone should own a pair of Japanese jeans. They have longevity. In 2005 I was shopping at Kuhlman’s on First Avenue in Belltown and discovered Edwin Japanese jeans. I was trying to escape the ridiculous onslaught of the Seven jean phenomenon that was hitting Seattle so relentlessly. I was afraid of what would happen to me if I were to find myself without options and I got serious about my research of denim. I found Scott Kuhlman, who has since then been on the top of my list of Seattle fashion leaders. His boutique carries a collection of denim I highly regard. Little did I know when he turned me on to these jeans, that they’d still be one of my favorite items to wear 7 years later.
I’ve noticed over the years that well meaning Seattleites who embrace great style can be confused by the hustle of the personal shopper. We all have to remember that salespeople in department stores are trained to cater to our consumer habits, not necessarily to help us develop our untapped style. Which is why I will be sharing my favorite sources of inspiration in my picks. Start reading this style maven’s blog: Sea of Shoes, by Jane Aldridge. From what I’ve seen in the Seattle society crowd, we could all use a dose of her forward and artistic take. She wears Japanese jeans after all.
This necklace by Martha Driver of Rock Star Jewelry caught my eye on Facebook today and I can’t get over it. The gun metal beads and red leather strap used to create this piece embody the kind of edge that says “rock star” … I plan on acquiring this item and wearing it often. It has a personality defining quality to it, like a signature fragrance or nail color does. I hear women worrying that they will be seen wearing a distinct item too often. I’m not a fan of this way of thinking. Truly stylish people wear things they love because the items represent something that captures a certain energy and enhances the persona of the individual.
Tomorrow I will post 5 picks for men.