tartan halter dress

Have you seen the tartan. Not to be mistaken simply for plaid. But definitely okay if it evokes nostalgia for an era of Seattle fashion that embraced these pattern with, ahem, a more casual approach. With that association it makes sense that it would be a Seattle fashion label who brings "plaid" to the people with, ahem, a less casual approach. Admit, plaid was never cool before Seattle said so.  We're saying it again and calling it tartan.  

tartan maxi skirt

Perhaps I should back up. Everyone knows me as April Pride but I have a pseudo-secret superhero name that requires a few white lies, um, daily.  My maiden name is April Pride. I kissed in a tree, fell in love, which led to marriage and the carriage, um, twice. That version of me is April Allison. Not a bad name. I mean the alliteration is "really pretty." But after 8 years of being called Allison as a first name in email correspondence, at the bank, in the grocery store and, gasp, by friends, I was done. I like to say the husband is a keeper just not his name. Most people would take a quick trip to the social security office and make it official. That seemed unceremonious.  Why wouldn't you just start a company to announce that the old name is back? All of this background will make sense. Keep reading. 

Back to tartan. Whether adapted by Alexander McQueen or Ralph Lauren, it works. So much history but so modern graphically. I first used tartan as an interior designer so it was a matter of time before it was in the living roomand the closet.  A hunt for holiday attire that nodded to tradition without the fuss meant that time had come. My girlfriend Jessica Cantlin (the macaroon MAKER) was totally game and commissioned the most radical of tartans, Buchanan Modern as shown here on Jamie Leigh Fish whose clan wears Hunter Dress tartan (skirt imminent). Jessica hosts a helluva holiday party and this was to be her party dress. I was honored and excited by her faith and as a guest to the most fashionable hostess. 

Fast forward to this summer. THE SKIRT launched and I wanted to see it in tartan. This time I commissioned myself because the husband's name was good for something. Allison has a tartan. It is very traditional, which bummed me out slightly. (I think I sound terrible so permission granted to cringe at the double blow to this poor husband.)

Turns out, tartan reminiscent of Christmas wrapping paper looks damn good on THE SKIRT. (Making amends one step at a time.) So, of course, I posted on Instagram. Laura Cassidy texted me immediately to use for Seattle Met's fall spread. She knows WTF is up so I knew I had a winner. A client requested THE SHIRT in McRae tartan. (McRae may be the fairest of them all.) The IDRS panel of judges loved and demanded more tartan. Can do. Tartan on THE COAT it is. 

And, ladies and gentleman, we have a collection. Off the cuff, I named it "The Highlands Collection." Clearly, this was a subconscious reference to McQueen's F/W 1995 "Highland Rape." I'd like to think that my work and that of King McQueen could share a moniker - even partially- but that would be both wrong and unoriginal.  And just like that, it came to me: "The Allison Collection." With those words, I ceremoniously announced that the new old name is a exciting part of the venture bearing the old name. My husband agrees. 

Come see "The (aptly named) Allison Collection" at the Independent Designer Runway Show next Wednesday.  And mark your calendars for October 8th trunk show with Anne Sylvain. Incredible handbags that are impeccably construction of thoughtfully appointed materials.  More details on show forthcoming (Read: after next Wednesday!)

Important to note: This trunk show is the last day to order tartan pieces for delivery by December 1 for holiday parties! xXx April