I just got back from New York, and I'm sure you're expecting to hear about all my fabulous fashion finds. The problem is that I just didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I picked up a few tops from Uniqlo and popped into a few boutiques, but I didn't find anything with wow-factor. I'm not sure if it's because I'm spoiled by having access to almost anything online, but nothing really shocks me anymore. Nothing jumped out from the racks and said, "Hey, I'm one of a kind, and nobody in Seattle will have me."
I'm the kind of person that thrives on attaining pieces I know nobody else will have. I'm not asking for one-of-a-kind garments, but like a rare coin, I wish they'd make only a few. How can I be an individual if everyone is wearing the same thing? That's where Seattle boutiques come into the picture. They only make a limited number of items, each one with custom care and special little details you'll notice 5 months after you purchase the garment. I grew up shopping in Seattle boutiques. While all my friends in Puyallup were obsessed with American Eagle, I was scoping out no-name brands on Broadway. We have an amazing underground fashion scene that's not gracing New York's runways, but that's a good thing. It's our little secret.
The only problem is that "our little secret" continues to face tough times and more boutiques have announced closures this Fall. It's important that Seattle does not lose the individuality and diversity of offerings that these independent retailers bring to the city because they're the reason fashion is fun. It's not fun going into H&M and buying something you know 5 million other girls already have. Where's the special connection?
If you feel as devoted to this notion as I do, you won't want to miss Fashion First. They're not only supporting local boutiques and designers, but a portion of their proceeds are going to help Rise N Shine to support children affected with HIV/AIDS.
This year's line-up includes:
Sway and Cake
Art Institute of Seattle
Seamless in Seattle
For a little sneak peak of what's going to be on the runway tonight, check out this video with local designer Lizzie Parker.