Friday, January 30, 2009

The Jewel Box

Fresh-faced designer Carri Vacik knows a thing or two about fine jewelry. She comes from an artistic family, married into a family of stone dealers and received a diploma in Gemmology before launching her own line. As a member of the British Gemmological Association she is intimately familiar with exotic gemstones and most importantly, she’s passionate about providing women with fabulously ornate jewelry. “I always envision a different woman wearing each piece I create. Maybe a mysterious woman from the East, an erotic woman from a Klimt painting or a stunning Hollywood actress from the Golden Age,” says Vacik when asked about what type of woman she designs for.

Launched in November at a posh private party in the South of France, Vacik's Spring 2009 collection features extraordinary colors that create an undeniable presence and make each design a statement piece.
Stones from the collection include orange sapphire, garnet, blue topaz and peridot. A purple amethyst cocktail ring fittingly named the "Adventuress" composed of delicate rhodolite and 18 carat yellow gold in a figural setting takes center stage in the collection. Meanwhile a sapphire and citrine ring cleverly named the “Courtesan” draws it’s color story from gothic stained glass windows mixed with influences from Byzantine Cathedrals. “My inspiration is highly eclectic,” says Vacik, “the hues and tones from India or Africa, Les Ballets Russes or a painting by Franz Von Stuck.” Not to be out done by the playful cocktail rings, a pair of garnet checker cut drop earrings featuring amethyst briolette, white topaz and 18 carat white gold threaten to steal the show.

Many designers strive but few are able to achieve the level of sophistication and glamour that Carri is able to infuse into each piece of her signature jewelry collection. At a time when the global economy is in recession her line is a reminder that adornment is still the best way to spice up a little black dress.

Carri’s opening price point is $4,000.00 and ranges up to $10,000.00 depending on the item. She is currently in talks with a few high-end department stores in London for distribution of her line. For additional information or to view a summary of work visit

Friday, January 23, 2009

Designer of the Moment: Jason Wu

Jason Wu became an instant sensation in the fashion world after First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of his creations at Tuesday night’s Inauguration ball. The off-the-shoulder white dress he designed featured delicate embellishment details of white organza flowers and Swarovski crystals. As per tradition the dress will be donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it will eventually be displayed next to other inaugural gowns. When asked by Women’s Wear Daily about his thoughts on Mrs. Obama wearing one of his designs, Jason Wu humbly responded, “It was very emotional. It was the ultimate validation for me as a designer.”

So just who is Jason Wu? Well for starters, he was born and raised in Taipei and despite his ripe age of 26, he’s surprisingly well-traveled. At the age of nine he began learning how to sew and continued to pursue design throughout his adolescent years. He went on to study at Parsons School of Design in New York and before he launched his own line of clothing he was an intern for designer Narciso Rodriguez. His collection can be found at over 30 retailers including Bergdorf Goodman,, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Ikram in Chicago.

Jason Wu’s media coverage rivals, or perhaps even surpasses, fellow young designer Zac Posen. He has been featured in numerous fashion magazines including Vogue, W, Harpers Bazaar, InStyle and Marie Claire and his name continues to be somewhat of a buzz word all over Seventh Avenue. New York Magazine reports that Jason Wu’s website received over 4 million hits yesterday alone and the party isn’t over yet.

Currently, Wu is working on wrapping up his Fall 2009 collection which will debut at New York Fashion Week in February. His Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection can be found online at

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Magnolia Village Girls Night Out

Style mavens in the city are heading to Magnolia Village on Thursday, January 22nd for a Girls Night Out. Stroll local boutiques, sip a glass of wine and spend some time with the girls! Participating merchants include Around the Block, Bleu Papillon, Cocoa & Cream, Magnolia Garden Center, SZMANIA’s, Serendipity Café, Swirl Wine Bar and Vixen. Martha Driver of Rockstar Jewelry will have her line of accessories on sale for 25% off at Around the Block Gift & Interiors.

Where: Magnolia Village

When: Thursday, Jan. 22nd, 2009

Time: 5:00 PM to 8: 00 PM

Photo: Necklace and earring set handmade from Rockstar Jewelry.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gene Juarez "Jam" Event

The Gene Juarez “Jam” event was held Sunday, January 18th at the King Kat Theater in Seattle. Sponsored by Team Artistic the evening fused together beauty, fashion, art and photography. Models dressed in clothing from The Finerie received high fashion hair styles immediately followed by an impromptu photo shoot on stage. There were giveaways all night including Kerastase product and BaByliss flat irons. The climax of the evening was the haircut contest in which five audience members were given three minutes to do their best rendition of a David Bowie hairstyle using only a comb, a can of hairspray and some clippers. The winner, a stylist named Eric from the Bellevue Gene Juarez salon won with his interpretation of a Labyrinth hairstyle circa 1986.

For more info on Team Artistic visit their website

Wearing Fur is so Out

My Sunday tradition is very ritualistic, I grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks and then pick up a copy of the New York Times to revel in the glory of the Sunday Style section. This week while flipping through the World News section I came across several extremely offensive fur ads from companies like Macys, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue. Who even wears fur these days? I mean really with all the fur alternatives out there and the vegan movement that has been stirring among socialites in the city as a “hot trend” why is a reputable newspaper like the New York Times printing out ads that are so socially inappropriate?

Macy’s ad promotes an “After Inventory Fur Sale & Clearance” of 50-65% off female mink short coats, fox jackets and rabbit lined overcoats. Bloomingdale’s ad boasted the headline, “See Yourself In the Fur of Your Dreams” and sale 45-65% on a “beautiful” selection of furs, while Sak’s Fifth Avenue featured 45-65% off mink, sable, sheared beaver and shearling. Ads like these make me furious.

According to the site, “Every year, more than 50 million animals are violently killed in the name of "fashion." Some fall victim to barbaric traps. Others spend the entirety of their lives in grim conditions in fur farms across the globe before being slaughtered. Another source of fur is Canada's government-sanctioned seal slaughter, in which hundreds of thousands of seals, many just weeks old, are brutally killed. This is the reality that the fur industry wants so desperately to hide from the buying public.”

Sadly fur is alive and well in the fashion industry. Designers like John Paul Gaultier and Giorgio Armani regularly use fur in their collections. A recent article from Fox News quoted designer Karl Lagerfeld as saying, “It is childish to dispute the practice of wearing fur in a world where it is acceptable to eat meat.”

Draw your own conclusion after watching the below video from PETA (People for Ethical Treatments of Animals):

You Better Watch It

If you want to experiment with the menswear trend for Spring ‘09 but don’t want to go all out with the boyfriend jean, tweed vest or blazer opt for a menswear inspired watch. It’s an easy way to update your wardrobe and the masculine features of an oversized watch look surprisingly feminine on a delicate wrist. My personal pick is the Chunky link watch from Marc by Marc Jacobs. Available online at ($225 USD).

For watches a little closer to home, check out the French line of Freelook watches at Sway & Cake if you’re shopping in the city, or for an edgier assortment of Nixon watches swing by Evo in Fremont.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back to the Basics

Denim is a wardrobe staple and now is the time to stock up for the New Year. Boutiques all over the city are offering deep discounts on all of your favorite brands including True Religion, Union, Paige Premium Denim, 7 For All Mankind and Rock & Republic.

Check out Mercer Boutique in the University Village for their selection of denim marked down to $124. Brands include Citizens of Humanity, Union, Hudson, True Religion, Rock & Republic, Joe’s Jeans, Adriano Goldschmied, Paige Premium Denim and Mek Denim.

Opal boutique is also marking down their denim regularly $136-240 now priced at $49.99-$99.99. Brands include People’s Liberation, AG, Seftontaine, Union, Goldsign and True Religion.

Or if you prefer to stick with that you’ve got, consider unleashing your inner designer by picking up a Denim Design Lab kit, which comes with a collection of tools to hand-finish denim that you already own. For more information check out

New Style for the New Year

The start of a New Year offers the opportunity to start over and redefine who we are and what we hope to become. Personal style plays an important role in the process and that’s why Seattle-based Wardrobe and Style Coach, Darcey Howard is hosting an event titled “New Style for New Times”. The free three-hour event is designed to educate and inform Seattleites about how to reinvent their personal style on any budget. Darcey’s talk will offer guests advice on how to strategically shop for wardrobe pieces while focusing on big picture style goals.

: Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm

Location: Alchemy Collections, 2029 2nd Ave. , Seattle, WA 98121

RSVP: / 206.448.3309

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Shortage of Menswear Here

Although not necessarily known for its fashion scene, Seattle is home to a number of fabulous menswear boutiques. We’ve got Ian in Fremont, Oslo’s on Queen Anne, Blackbird in Ballard and Marqsmen in Bellevue. That’s hardly slim pickings when you consider all the brands that they carry. Easily accessible locations along with blogs that feature the latest product make these stores the best in the city when it comes to catering to the menswear market.  

Ian has been in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood since 2002 and opened up a second location in Fremont in 2007. Known for carrying a strong mix of trendy, contemporary styles along with global fashion pieces, Ian carries a wide range of brands including Dope & Drakkar Denim, G-Star, Erik Hart, Orthodox, Kicking Mule Workshop, Modern Amusement and Penfield. For the latest product selection and brand offerings check out Ian’s blog at

Voted by Seattle Magazine in 2006 as the Best New Men’s Clothing store, Oslo’s has been another staple in Seattle menswear. My favorite part about this boutique is the friendly store mascot, a gold retriever named Oslo. They also carry a variety of great brands including Earnest Sewn, Chip & Pepper, Indigo Palms, Loomstate, Union, Agave, and Velvetmen. Along with their well-edited product assortment Oslo’s also has another unique feature, an in-house barber who offers a traditional shave for $30. Additional barber services include aromatherapy skin treatments, haircuts, scalp treatments and buzz cuts. Oslo’s can be found online at

Blackbird was a sleeper hit for several years before it went mainstream and the Ballard neighborhood it called home turned into a hip urban metropolis. Blackbird’s creative merchandising techniques along with their fashion forward brands like Kenzo Minami, Robert Geller, and Obey make their store an oasis of items to be coveted by men who love fashion. Fans of Blackbird can keep up by checking out their blog at

Marqsmen in Bellevue Square is designed to cater to the upscale menswear market on the Eastside. The store is clean, masculine and meticulously edited with brands like Jack Spade, James Perse, 7 For All Mankind, Loomstate and Rian Bags. Marqsmen was also recently featured in Esquire Magazine as part of their “Style Manual for Successful Men”. Keep up with the latest buzz at

Photo Credit: Spring 09 William Rast Menswear Collection -

Monday, January 12, 2009

2nd Annual Project Red Dress Design Competition

Seattle is rolling out the red carpet for the 2nd Annual Project Red Dress design competition sponsored by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Fashion students from 6 schools will compete to win a $3,000 scholarship while helping to raise money for The American Heart Association. Celebrity judges including Nick Verros from Project Runway will be on hand to review custom red dress designs submitted by contest participants.

Tickets start at $50 for general admission. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $75 and include premier runway seating and a swag bag. Last year’s event sold out so get your tickets today!

Event Sponsors include: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Fashion Group International, IADT, The Fairmont Hotel, Half Past Lavish Events, Macys, Pacific Fabrics & Crafts and the Renton Sewing Company.

When: February 13, 2009

Where: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Time: 7:30 PM

Brown Paper Tickets

For more Information visit:

Project Red Dress Design Competition

Seattle is rolling out the red carpet for the 2nd Annual Project Red Dress design competition sponsored by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Fashion students from 6 schools will compete to win a $3,000 scholarship while helping to raise money for The American Heart Association. Celebrity judges including Nick Verros from Project Runway will be on hand to review custom red dress designs submitted by contest participants.

Tickets start at $50 for general admission. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $75 and include premier runway seating and a swag bag. Last year’s event sold out so get your tickets today!

Event Sponsors include: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Fashion Group International, IADT, The Fairmont Hotel, Half Past Lavish Events, Macys, Pacific Fabrics & Crafts, and the Renton Sewing Company.

When: February 13, 2009

Where: The Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Time: 7:30 PM

Brown Paper Tickets

For more Information visit:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globes Best Dressed

There were a lot of honorable mentions tonight at the Golden Globe Awards for film nominees and fashion mavens alike.  Jennifer Lopez looked stunning  in a gold number by Marchesa, Angelina Jolie looked beautiful and serene in a Versace gown, while Kate Winslet looked amazing when she received the first award of the night in a black Yves St. Laurent gown.  However, the most beautiful woman of the night was Eva Mendes (hands down!) She wore a white Dior gown with an overstated turquoise necklace.  She was truly the epitome of style and beauty for the evening. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Must-Have Spring 09 Accessory

If there’s one accessory you buy to update your wardrobe for Spring ‘09 make it a skinny belt. Consider it a carry over from Fall ‘08 with new colors and textures that are perfect for taking your new wardrobe to the next level. Use your new belt to add a finishing touch to a basic dress or add a bit of interest to a pair of jeans.

For a great assortment of skinny belts (at deep discounts) check out or if you prefer to shop in the city, check out the belts at Sway & Cake.

Image: Emanuel Ungaro Spring '09 Ready to Wear

The Paper Doll in Bellingham

For a quick and relaxing weekend getaway my fiancé and I like to head up to the quaint little town of Bellingham. We sleep in, grab a cup of coffee, eat brunch and most importantly, we shop!

Last weekend I stumbled upon a great boutique called The Paper Doll near Fairhaven. The adorable product assortment paired with the whimsical décor make this a shopping destination worth checking out. Brands carried include: Suzabelle, Candyrot, Jessica Louise, Red Boots, City Kitty.

If you stop by, say hello to Soupy, the adorable store mascot!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rocco E Dante Handbag Sale!

A great wardrobe always starts with style staples. For women this includes a great outfit paired with stylish shoes and of course, a fabulous handbag. You should never underestimate the power of a great bag because it’s the one item that can truly pull your entire look together.

Tara, from Rocco E Dante handbags knows this concept very well and on January 89th and 10th she’s offering her bags for up to 60% off their normal retail prices.

This is an amazing steal you won’t find anywhere else and of course, it’s only on Queen Anne at Rocco’s boutique tucked away at 812 5th Ave. North (just a few blocks up from 5th and Mercer).

Doors will be open from 11 AM until 7PM for 2 days only. Pencil this into your agenda- you won’t want to miss out on a sale like this!

For more on Rocco E Dante handbags check out :

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Color Me Fierce

When I was a little girl I would have KILLED for a color book like the one I found today at a Bellingham boutique. The activity book called 'Color Me Fierce' comes with 6 crayons and is filled with fashion pictures to color.

Creator Nike Desis had a sense of humor when he put this coloring book together because after flipping through I noticed several pages that caused me to raise an eyebrow...

Page 8- "Can you help dress Tatiana using the colors of seduction?"

Page 14- "Sasha has gained some awkward weight. Complete the operation by folding at the center line so that the two dotted lined meet. She'll look much better."

Page 16- "Which purse shall Lisa carry today? Draw in her choice. Remember: She only wears designer".

Page 20- "Prima aches to marry rich. Draw a huge black diamond ring on her finger!"

Page 24- "Nora is such a glamour puss. Cut and paste her new post-plastic surgery face."

You can get a color book of your very own at
A brief word of caution....these books are not for kids. (I learned that the hard way.)

oh...Deer pumps

Eventually the grey weather will give way to brighter days and your winter boots will need to go into hibernation. That means that now is the time to plan out your spring footwear wardrobe so that you’ll be prepared. My pick of the moment is the navy patent leather oh…Deer! pumps. The gold toe makes this shoe perfect for dressing up denim when the weather gets a little warmer.

oh...Deer! shoes are available at Undies & Outies boutique on Queen Anne. When you stop by, ask for Mercedes. She'll help you shop!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Seattle's Best Boutique Sales

It’s officially 2009 and now that the Holiday’s are over you can stop feeling guilty about spending a little money on yourself. Besides, boutiques all over the city are having great sales that you would be crazy to miss!

If your New Year’s resolution is to polish up your look, check out the winter coats at La Ree by Rene Lezard, M Missoni, Tracy Reese and Mike & Chris that are now up to 60% off. The entire M Missoni fall collection of apparel is also 60% off. In addition, La Ree is also offering up to 85% off select items by Mint Jodi Arnold, Alexander Wang, Grai, and Ksubi denim. La Ree is located in Bellevue at 11 103rd Avenue. N.E. 

Sway & Cake is hosting an amazing 30% off sale. In store you’ll also find 10% off all candles, diffusers and room sprays. In addition to these great deals, beginning January 1st and running through January 4th if you shop online at you’ll get 20% off your order by entering in coupon code NEW20 at checkout. The 20% off at check out is good on everything including items that are already on sale. It’s a great deal you won’t want to miss! Sway & Cake is located at 1631 Sixth Ave. next to Nordstrom.

Canopy Blue’s winter sale is also in full swing featuring 40-80% off select styles from designers including Diane von Furstenberg, Theory, Trina Turk, Nanette Lepore, Vince, Milly and more! They also have new spring 09 receipts including arrivals from Tory Burch, T Luxury, Mint Jodi Arnold, Theory and Seaton. Canopy Blue is located at 3121 E. Madison St. Suite 103.

Blackbird in Ballard has Italian made Pria scarves on sale for $60. Made of 100% Virgin Wool these scarves are a great way to update any man’s wardrobe for the New Year. Blackbird also has sales on select items by Robert Geller, Filippa K, Opening Ceremy, Orthodox and KZ0. Visit them in store at 5410 22nd Ave. NW. or shop online at

Alhambra has been one of the fabulous boutiques in Seattle’s Fashion First Runway Show since 2004. The thing I love most about them is that their product mix is diverse and you can find something for everyone. They are currently featuring sales of 30-50% off select apparel and accessories (including shoes). Also, be sure to mark your calendar for January 15th when Alhambra will begin their annual ½ off sale featuring 50% off selected clothing, jewelry and shoes. Alhambra is located in Seattle at 101 Pine St. 

If you’re on Queen Anne check out Oslo’s A Men’s Store which is having an after-Christmas sale featuring up to 50% off select items. Brands like AG, Agave, Loomstate and Chip & Pepper make this menswear boutique a must-see. Plus, if your man is looking a little scruffy you can always take advantage of Oslo’s in store grooming services including traditional shaves, haircuts, scalp treatments and more. Oslo’s is located at 1519 Queen Anne Ave. N.

Posh on Main in Bellevue is now having a 40% off sale on all Fall Shoes and Handbags. The sale includes brands like Tory Burch, DVF, Valentino, Stella McCartney, YSL, and Chloe. After personally viewing their sale shoe selection, I suggest that you just cut to the chase and shop online at Or if you prefer to shop in store, Posh on Main is located at 10245 Main Street.

Encanto Barcelona has a large selection of items marked down 20-50%, so if you’re in the city, it’s worth stopping by. Encanto Barcelona is located at 1406 1st Avenue.
All merchandise at the Merge boutique in Fremont is currently on sale for 30% off. This includes brands like American Vintage, Enza Costa, DKNY, Nolita and more. They also took additional markdowns on merchandise that was already on sale. If you have not been to this great new boutique now is the time to experience it shop!

Happy Shopping and most importantly, Happy New Year!

Photo: The image above is of an Elizabeth and James dress on sale now at Sway & Cake.