WHITE LIGHTNING

White drop crotch pantsuit
White tailored outfit

There is just something about the color white. Its crisp, clean quality exudes elegance and a sense of free spirit, which is actually ironic considering it takes considerable amounts of effort to keep your whites bright (read: stand as still as a mannequin and don’t even think about drinking red wine). This is probably the very reason that the history of the color white is associated with innocence, perfection, new beginnings, and of course--weddings.

Many people recognize Queen Victoria to be the most well-known woman who started the tradition of white bridal dresses. At the time, royal brides typically wore heavily brocaded colored dresses. However, Queen Victoria wanted to wear a lavish and luxurious white dress to communicate how wealthy her family was and how secure her leisure class life was. After her wedding, etiquette books turned wearing white at weddings into a tradition--changing bridal wear into the beautiful white garments they are today.

Despite the fact that some people believe white is reserved for weddings or the summer, I am all for wearing white at any time of the year. White outfits are easy to take from day to night while still maintaining a feeling of freshness and lightness. I think the key to having a white moment akin to Marilyn Monroe is really committing to a full white outfit. (Shop the White Twill Dress No. 1 we are down to our last two!) There’s something about wearing all white that gives off a sense of class that is different from any other color--whether it is a white dress, jumpsuit, or pantsuit. Just don’t ever wear white to a wedding if you aren’t the bride. Nobody wants an angry bride on their hands… Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

-Anna Choi

White dress

TUNE IN TOKYO

Gora Kadan April Pride Tokyo
Tokyo Japan shopping

I went to Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. I have NEVER prepared so much for a trip. EVER. I was so afraid of missing a thing that I made sure that I talked to anybody and everybody who had been to the city. The bottom line is you cannot eat a bad meal. You will always be greeted by people who are beyond friendly. You will get lost. A lot.  There is too much to see/do so here are my tops for a trip short or long. 

1. Start following Tokyo Dandy on social media well ahead of time. Read old posts on Instgram. These guys know what is up. 
2. Stay at Palace Hotel or have high tea. Try the olive tea. Surprisingly delicious. We stayed and rented bikes to ride the perimeter of the grounds of the Imperial Palace. A family still lives on this sacred land in the middle of Tokyo. I cannot get over the true luxury of that. 
3. Be at the Tsukiji Fish Market at 4am. With jet lag this seems possible. We showed up at 6am and were way too late. 
4. When you do arrive at a fish market at 6am, the only this to do is stand in line for sushi! Which we did for 2.5 hours. Crazy tourist? That was all I could think. A friend in Seattle who grew up in Tokyo recommended Sushi Dai though so I was confident. This was our first sushi in Japan and turned out to be the best the entire week. No regrets. Highly recommend. At market. Building 6 (look up to see numbers). 
5. SHOPPING! Find Cat Street in Omontesando. Oh! If you are larger than a small, do not plan to shop for anything other than jewelry and handbags. #notkidding My new favorite Japanese brand I discovered is Undercover by Jun Takahashi. Quirky and cool. Very distinct. 
6. Find an S&M bar even if it isn't your thing. Totally mainstream in Japan. Think of the visuals in manga and anime. Rose Bar is Fisher-Price, my first bondage bar. 

Rose Bar Tokyo Japan dining

THE ONE-PIECE

Claire McCardell one piece swimsuit
Kate Upton one piece swimsuit
Eres one piece swimsuit

If you read April's short post on Las Alamandas, you’ll remember that April is a huge fan of the endless summer--finding summer everywhere you can all year round. And now that summer is finally almost here, I am so glad that retro swimwear has found its way back on the scene. AP has dedicated a Pinterest board to the one-piece. 

The first documented use of the swimsuit actually took place in Ancient Greece and Rome, where public bathing (in the nude) was sometimes accompanied by a swath of cloth resembling a bandeau and bikini bottoms. However, later fashion primarily reverted to a much more modest look. In the late 1700s to the 1800s, the Victorian upper-class women wore the “bathing dress” or jumpsuit to beaches. Some of the bathing dresses even include weights in the hems to ensure that they wouldn’t float upwards! Then, as women’s rights movements began building more steam in the early 1900s (and women actually started swimming) women began wearing a one-piece tank swimsuit that went down to the mid thigh. Finally, from the 30s on, women began to wear swimsuits resembling the ones we see today, ranging from high waisted bikinis to form-fitting one piece swimsuits to the stringier bikinis.

One of my favorite styles of the swimsuit is definitely the one piece. While some people believe one pieces to be boring, I love the clean minimalistic lines of swimwear of the past--like the white one piece that the up and coming NYC-based swimwear brand Ward Whillas posted on their instagram. Claudia Schiffer knocked that fresh white one piece out of the water! Similarly, Kate Upton wore a Dolce & Gabbana striped one piece in the June 2013 Vogue, proving that sexiness isn't always about showing more skin. If you want to mix it up, there are plenty of different one piece designs to play with. Designers like Miu Miu and Dolce & Gabbana have some girly flower prints and patterns, while others such as Josh Goot and Tomas Maier opt for sportier, scuba-inspired vibes. And really, who cares about tan lines when you’re wearing swimsuits as hot as these?
-Anna Choi

Herve Leger one piece swimsuit

MOTHER'S DAY

Seattle Met April Pride Mother's Day

Seattle Met asked me to dish on Mother's Day. This year I will be in Japan while my mom is watching the boys. Perhaps that is my gift to her or is it the other way around?
Best gift received: No question it was my first Mother's Day. My husband, Jimmy, sourced these unbelievable coral beads and had a necklace strung. I am pretty sure he had his own mom help him. Moms on Mother's Day: I sent my mom Dress No. 1 in Navy last year. Clearly meaningful because it was living proof that we had both done well. You know? With $75 of mad money: From Paper Hammer, I would stock up on Merchant & Mills sewing supplies (I am a sucker for the packaging). I would buy magazines at E. Smith Mercantile and grab a handful of candies for the boys. To ensure that I read the latest issues within the month, I will happily dip into my own stash to hire a sitter. Hit list: I cannot walk out of Glasswing without buying a plant for my sons. Totokaelo is where I go for me. ME ME ME, but I will venture downstairs and take notes for my husband. London Plane's big space has ceramic coffee mugs in the perfect blue/teal. A set of six is on my list this Mother's Day. When the boys have a birthday party, we find the perfect gift for their friends at Red Wagon. I am having an instant film moment—so much so that I am this close to investing in a vintage camera from Rare Medium. My mother-in-law has e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g so I always get her a gift certificate for a service at Spa Noir. When I want something really special, I go to Ty for vintage denim

BIB + TUCK

black deep V dress
White pant suit

Bib + Tuck asked a group of us in Seattle to ship 10 items of clothing/accessories/shoes that were still great but no longer a staple. I must say, I definitely went through a DvF phase a decade a go. (Has it been that long?) A couple of examples of my brilliant cast offs. You should definitely check out Laura Cassidy's goods along with Rachel Ravitch, Emily Smith and Kimberly Baker. 206 REPRESENT! 
All photos of moi featured on Bib + Tuck were captured by the amazing Jess Carter of Love City Love
Below are my *deep thoughts*. 


One lady in Seattle gives credit to both her grandmothers (more so than others, we assure you) - one grandmother modeled for Neiman Marcus and the other was a furniture whisperer. And when you combine the style savvy from one and the love for interior design from the other, you have a modern take of the two muses also known as April Pride. April, who describes her personal style as a "grandmother from the 1960s," has built herself a formidable career in Seattle on fashion and interior design. Read on to find out more about her favorite project as of recent, and where you may be able to catch April on a given Saturday Night (Four Seasons anyone?).

How did you get started in fashion design? I was gifted a vintage dress that I simply had to have in every color.  
Any pieces you've worked on recently that stick out in your mind as one of your favorites? I have executed collaborations with other designers this year with really stunning results. Lots of leather. Python skins and horse hide. 
What influences you the most in terms of designing/cultivating personal style? Elegant Street. You should always expect a surprise invitation and be dressed to roll into any venue, occasion. The high should work in the low and vice versa. That is also attitude. There is a lot of attitude that makes personal style unquestionable. 

Tell us about your personal style. 
A grandmother from the 1960s meets Kate Jackson a la Charlie's Angels meets Alison Mosshart. 

Where are the best places to go for vintage shopping in Seattle? My secret shopper for vintage is Style Syndicate AKA Paul Mendes who pops up. Coleman Collection is by appointment. Indian Summer Vintage. My other spots have ALL recently closed (Vutique, Karen's, Kaleidoscope Vision, In Commune).
Give us the top 5 places you frequent in Seattle:  Paseo, La Bete, Totokaelo, Spa Noir, Four Seasons bar
Where would you suggest everyone MUST go if they were only visiting Seattle for the weekend? Brunch at Boat Street Cafe then a walk through SAM Sculpture Park down to a ferry. Walk on and ride across the sound and back. Walk into Pioneer Square and hit Bar Sajor for lunch. Take a taxi to Capital Hill and hit Love City Love. Hole up at Linda's for an afternoon of libations then La Bete for dinner. That is a good Seattle day. 
Are there any words of advice (professional or personal) that you try to live by? Stick to what you like and outsource everything else. 
I'm craving...travel. 
Last night...I slept 3,000 miles away from my sons and 30 feet from my dad. 
If I had a choice...I would pick both. 
In 15 years...life as I know it will be over. 
My favorite...quote of the moment is by Oscar Wilde: “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.”

 

THE JEAN GENIE

Confession #1. Historically, I have not worn denim jackets. Never have. No interest.
Confession #2. Lately, I see denim jackets and I get it. Finally. I mean, why was I so dense all those years? Perhaps because this was before silk, cotton and linen dresses - along with black jeans became my staples. Pairing any of these with a jean jacket immediately dresses all down. I am into a quick fix to navigate different social engagements. 
Confession #3. (beginning to sound like Usher) I will only wear a vintage denim jacket. Anything else seems inauthentic. 
Confession #4. This may be my way of saying my own take on vintage jean jackets is about to debut. Stay tuned!

PYTHON IS THE NEW BANGLE

I cannot believe I have not formally introduced the + RACHEL RAVITCH collaboration. There has been mention. True. Rachel introduced her eponymous collection of leather jewelry last year. Her pieces are the M&M's of accessories. Just one simply will not do. I stack two-to-three at a time and pair with my favorite silver or gold bangles or chains. 

When AP launched at Four Seasons, I knew I wanted to work with Rachel but I loved her shapes. Her game was tight. As I was brainstorming new materials, I recalled a python Ferragamo belt that I loved but never wore (Wrong buckle. You know the story.). It occurred to me that I wanted the skin on my wrist and around my neck. Eureka! Python jewelry. 

+ RR PYTHON is available exclusively through APRIL PRIDE.
Shop TEAL.
Shop RED.
 

MS. CLAIRE

APRIL PRIDE online means photo shoots. LOADS of photo shoots. I have one rule: No models. Why? I have just always found that I am attracted to the look of a woman because of her style rather than her perfect measurements or nose. Claire is the epitome of the girl I must know more about. Perhaps it is because she reminds me of Chloe Sevigny. Here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes with Claire during our last shoot. Keep checking back for upcoming shoots with Claire and other women who have IT. 

Sharply shot by Heather Allison. 

FOR THE LOVE OF LINEN

Linen gets a bad rep for looking lived in but there is no other fabric that I could live in. For years, I have coveted a 1980s linen dress I found on Kauai. The shape was perfect but the washed out orange was not-so-versatile (although quite awesome!).  And I wanted it in silk for upcoming holiday parties. This is how Dress No. 2 came to be.  But now I am staring at summer - or at least shopping for it- and I want my favorite orange linen dress to be blue. This is how Dress No. 3 came to be. Now available in 12 colors. 

 

 

MEETING OF THE MAKERS

JULIANNA VEZZETTI, STYLIST

I like people. Extreme extrovert is one way to describe it. Insanely interested in a person's story may explain it. One thing is certain, I have always been drawn to the makers of the world. People who always have an interesting answer to, "What are you working on now?" Recently, I kept having conversations with one person thinking that they just had to meet another creative. Rather than an email intro, I had a party. Natch. Meeting of the Makers. So much talent chatting, I cannot wait to see what hatches. Stay tuned.  

CLAIRE HARANDA, STYLIST

NICK BARTOLETTI, LIGHT ARTIST

JENNIE GRUSS, INTERIOR DESIGNER

JAMIE LEIGH FISH, MODEL SCOUT

ANDREW FOX, WRITER

JULIET SANDER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

RACHEL RAVITCH, JEWELRY DESIGNER

SIERRA STINSON, CURATOR + PHOTOGRAPHER

TAMARA CODOR, FURNITURE DESIGNER

ELEANOR PETRY, PHOTOGRAPHER

DAWN SMITHSON, LEATHER DESIGNER

TILSON, MUSICIAN + CREATIVE

FLOOR 2 at Four Seasons

April Pride aykut ozen

Earlier this month, APRIL PRIDE began a pop-up at Four Seasons in downtown Seattle. As the shop is on the 2nd floor, I thought it apropo to name this experiential retail FLOOR 2. Not only did opening this shop offer an opportunity to expand the line but I reached out to some of my favorite designers working in Seattle to collaborate.

A few of these new pieces- exclusive to APRIL PRIDE- are pictured. Including Dress No. 2 in navy silk georgette and Dress No. 3 in white linen paired with Belt No. 1 in navy lambskin. Also pictured is yours truly in the wool/horse hide coat designed by Aykut Ozen and tailored with details I JUST HAD TO HAVE! Like 3/4 length sleeves.  The jewelry is Rachel Ravitch's seminal line reimagined with python.  

All of it very cool. Very necessary. Very Seattle. 

April Pride blue silk dress
April Pride blue silk dress
April Pride navy obi belt
April Pride navy obi belt
April Pride grey obi belt
Rachel Ravitch gold necklace
Rachel Ravitch gold necklace
Rachel Ravitch gold necklace
Rachel Ravitch teal knot bracelet
Rachel Ravitch teal loop bracelet
Rachel Ravitch red loop bracelet

BIGGER IS BETTER

oversized kimono

Years ago a friend- a very good and very stylish friend with an amazing retail shop- introduced me to an entirely new way of dressing and playing with personal style: Bigger is better. I was completely captivated by the fact that none of her clothes actually fit. Everything was too big. And she always looked amazing. The most chic woman in the room.

Years have passed and this way of dress is standard for me. (How could you go back to low-rise jeans and tucked in shirts?) The look has evolved and definitely influenced Dress No. 2, my second introduction to the line. I have also taken to wearing kimono-like cover-ups in the last couple of years. I have collected images that inspire the perfect laid-back West Coast alternative to the buttoned-up East Coast cardigan.  -AP

blue kimono
grey and white kimono
white kimono
black kimono

BUTTONED DOWN

white button down shirt

As I was packing for a flight to visit my first niece, it dawned on my that rather than a pink dress I was bearing Vans and checkerboard socks. There you have it. My life with boys has clearly had an impact on how I dress girls- both tall and small.

My boys lament the mornings that I pull out a button down for school. Me? I raid my husband's closet for button downs to dress up. What is it about a woman in a man's shirt? While I have my own reasons for crossing the line, the images below are evidence that a woman's touch- as usual- makes all the difference. 

chambray blue shirt dress
black button down shirt
black suit
white button down shirt
Striped button down shirt
mary kate olsen striped button down shirt
blue button down mens shirt
white button down shirt dress

LEMAIRE! I NEED AIR

lemaire black wrap dress

In a time when high profile designers are tapped to resuscitate venerable houses (can you say Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton?) it came as quite a shock when Hermes announced they were replacing Jean Paul Gaulthier with a relatively unknown French designer, named Christophe Lemaire. Lemaire was not a total stranger to fashion insiders. His pedigree includes interning for Christian La Croix, Thierry Mugler and Yves Saint Laurent, and launching his signature line in 1990. In 2002 he was appointed creative director of Lacoste. Lemaire was successful in updating the vintage sportswear brand, reintroducing generations to the little green alligator.

However, it was a risky choice for Hermes, known throughout the world as the consummate luxury brand. A house with origins in hand-crafted equestrian goods, which eventually created the urban fashion legend that is the handbag wait list for their coveted Kelly and Birkin bags. 

Lemaire made an impressive showing with his first collection for Hermes. However, it was his spring 2014 collection that made the fashion world sit up, and take notice. These were looks most women would want to wear. Lemaire’s designs are feminine, strong, and effortlessly glamorous. Clothing that is a meant to be lived in - and loved. Neutrals are a mainstay in his collections yet when he does color or print, he nails it every time.  His girls are swathed in luxurious layers that beg to be touched, each look more desirable than the next. Lemaire has become one to watch, and it appears that the risk Hermes took is paying off.  
-Andrew Fox

lemaire white pant suit
xiao wenju dress
black trench coat
lemaire grey pant suit

DO THE SWOP

french bulldog
Photo Eric Becker / We Are Shouting

Photo Eric Becker / We Are Shouting

swink pop up shop

Don't you really want to love eBay? And remember when Craigslist was all you needed to start and end all projects? And then you grew up. Had kids. Lost all free time. And acquired mountains more stuff. eBay is now only for serious sellers. Craigslist is only for the seriously insane. Enter SwopBoard, the brainchild of Natalie Angelillo. 

Natalie is a serial entrepreneur who creates businesses she needs. (She launched Swink when she wanted a weekly blowout!) Done with a packed garage and just giving away really good loot, she dreamt up a marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to make a deal. And give 10%+ to their kids' school. SOLD!

In addition to parents meeting to SWOP goods, we can all shop in sponsored SwopBoard boutiques and 10% of our purchase is donated to a school of our choice. 

The ladies of Seattle Design Foundation included some of my favorite Seattle designers in their SwopBoard boutique. Faris, Ladies & Gentleman Studio, Jen Ament Art, Akiko's Pottery and Rachel Ravitch made the list!

The rest of the story is: Erin is a fan of Dress No. 1. Like Natalie. She and Amber just make shit happen. Like Natalie. They support Seattle creatives. Like Natalie. 
DO THE SWOP. Like Natalie.

A final bit of great news: very Friday this summer (well, almost.) AP will be popping up at Swink Style Bar! Grab a friend and come in for a private fitting of THE DRESS. Blow-out recommended and coffee appreciated. Schedule below! 

June 7 - University Village 10am-3pm

June 14th - Downtown 10am-3pm

July 12 - University Village 10am-3pm

July 19 - Downtown 10am-3pm

July 26 - University Village 10am-3pm

Aug 2 - Downtown 10am-3pm

August 9 University Village 10am-3pm

August 23 - Downtown 10am-3pm

BIG WEEK

Kate Moss metallic dress

Last week was my birthday. March 6. This is also the day I launched my two month pop-up at Four Seasons Seattle. (Laura Cassidy of Seattle Met LOVES what AP is offering Seattle locals and visitors.)

An amazing week for sure and to honor celebrating another year- and certainly starting it off right- frequent contributor Andrew Fox pulled some of his favorite iconic images of birthday girls.

I have to say, the image of Kate Moss quite surprised me until I investigated. The theme for her 30th was inspired by Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned, which is set in 1920s NYC. Let's just say it was a night for the books indeed

grace coddington
birthday
liz taylor
Bianca Jagger
Marilyn Monroe

SKI STYLE

ski wear jacket
ski jacket
Emilio Pucci ski gear

While on a recent trip to Lake Tahoe, I got to thinking about ski style: how it has evolved and how it has remained a constant source of inspiration. Recreational skiing dates back to the early 1800s. Since then, the sport has only gained in popularity. The idea is a little crazy when you think about it. First, you bundle yourself up in layers, add accessories (not the good kind), cram your feet into a pair of clunky, uncomfortable boots without any hope of looking stylish, lock them into two long planks, point downhill, and go. The thing is, for those of us who love it, skiing is one of the most thrilling experiences life has to offer. Skiers create their own rituals: what they have for breakfast, what time they like to be on the mountain, where they choose to lunch, and the best part of all, how they après ski! From my childhood ski trips, I have vivid memories of gazing at the fashions worn on the slopes, and those that were strictly chosen for their lodge appeal, furry boots anyone? Skiing and the alpine experience have long influenced fashion. Designers have had a lasting love affair with these classic, sporty looks, which periodically pop up on runways, additionally due to their tried and true commercial appeal.

The French company Moncler was founded in 1952. Originally they produced sleeping bags and tents. Their first quilted outerwear pieces were created for workers to wear over their uniforms to keep warm in the cold. In 2003, the company was bought by an Italian entrepreneur. Today they produce several high-end lines overseen by designers like Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli. Take a peek at the Emilio Pucci pre-fall 2014 collection. Designer Peter Dundas payed homage to the house’s namesake, who actually began his career by designing ski wear, adding several winter resort looks intended to be as comfortable worn on the mountain or to dinner in town.

Famed society photographer Slim Aarons, regularly photographed his fabulous globe trotting subjects on holiday in glamorous, alpine resorts like Gstaad, St Moritz, and Aspen. He was known to photograph “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” He created iconic images, which take you back to a golden era when people dressed up to get on airplanes and manners mattered. Skiing may not be for everyone, but ski style is clearly here to stay.
- Andrew Fox

skiing
skiing