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Bonjour! My name is Melissa and I'm a wedding and portrait photographer in the Pacific Northwest. This blog is where I want to tell you the beautiful stories of my clients, share their weddings, and give you a behind the scenes peek of this crazy business that I love. Grab a glass of champagne, snuggle up, and get lost in love stories... xoxo

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Style of Seattle – Steven

Filed in: Fashion

With each passing year as a photographer, I’ve discovered I’ve become increasingly passionate about people and clients with a fearless sense of style, but even more, a fearless sense of self. For the longest time, I’ve had this dream project brewing of discovering individuals across the Pacific Northwest who are excited about fashion and expressing themselves with what they wear.
You see, here we have a reputation for majestic mountains, the salty sea wind in your hair, hiking and kayaking every weekend.  We’re known for Northface jackets, socks with sandals, and driving any sort of vehicle with a roof rack. And while we do all of these things, and do them well, I have discovered a pocket of people that don’t quite fit inside this stereotypical PNW box.
While out celebrating my birthday with friends, after one (or more) cocktails, I finally had the courage to ask my amazing friend Steven to be a part a blog photo project that shows off the incredible sense of style you can find in the Seattle area. And without further ado, I introduce you to the first of the series….

Age: 29
Occupation: Regional Merchandise Coordinator for Marc Jacobs

seattle fashion

What does fashion mean to you?

What really gets me excited is personal style! Style is where our clothes are given integrity, where we personalize our look based on our own experiences and taste. We get to give a little glimpse into who we are through what we wear. It’s visual storytelling!

At what age did you start becoming interested in what you were wearing?

My mom says I was always “picky” with my clothes. Granted, as a youngin’ in Oklahoma, the extent of my fashion choices were whether to wear the wolf tie-dye tee or the OU shirt with cut off sleeves underneath my overalls. It was in Middle School when we moved to Washington that I really had fun with what I wore. I could’ve filled a crayon box with all the hair colors I had in those years. Every outfit had a DIY personalization to it, a hole here, a pin there, a patch for good measure. Adding many details and accessories is still a big part of how I dress.

Where or who do you look to for inspiration?

We live in an incredibly beautiful place. I remember moving here as a child and being deeply impacted by the change in landscape. Tall dark green trees with deep brown trunks against a pale gray sky; that’s a far cry from the flat plain fields of Oklahoma! My wardrobe began to reflect my love for the outdoors and nature. I wear a lot of rich earth tones, and my accessories are typically made from wood or leather.

My favorite inspiration is real people, in every day life. I spend a lot of time in airports, and honestly it is where I spend the most time scoping out what other people are wearing. Imagine the blandest runway, but with models from all over the world, all walks of life, going to all sorts of places. It’s pretty amazing! Want to see Texas couture? Gate C11. How about London street style? Gate M33.

What is the last thing you purchased?

I was in Vancouver recently and had a rough day at work, so I pretty much cleared the racks at Zara. I tend to shop in bulk because I like to purchase full outfits. When I find a good piece I look for what was designed to go with it, and then imagine how it will fit into what I already own. Shopping with me is a process for sure, and it typically involves alcohol.

Currently, what’s your favorite piece in your wardrobe and why?

My current favorite is a watch from Marc Jacobs. It has a dark brown band, gold hardware, and a hunter green face. It is one of those items that a friend would see and say “Steven would love that.”

Where is your favorite place to shop?

Melrose Avenue in LA. Man, there is nothing like it. This street is packed with intimate boutiques and well curated vintage stores that are filled with great finds. The shops are immensely diverse in style and price, so you are bound to find something that suites you. A couple of my favorite LA stores are Posers, which has a distinct British Punk vibe, and Alchemy Works, that has a seriously rad 1959 Fiat Spyder convertible parked in its showroom. I have so much fun jumping from store, to bar, to store, to art gallery for hours down this street.

What’s the most prominent color in your wardrobe?

My wardrobe is full of earth tones and brown leathers.

Is there anything you can confidently say that you will never wear?

I have a hard time with bright colors or bold graphics.

How would you describe the style in the PNW?

We are a casual group, it is true, but I think it has a lot to do with how laid back we are. The West Coast lacks the fussiness that you find on the East Coast, and our style reflects it.

Our area’s past significantly impacts what we wear today. The Pacific Northwest has a lot of history tied to the outdoors. Loggers, trappers, coal miners. You can see the influence of these original industries in our style through the popularity of plaids, denim, and work boots. There is also an epochal Native American history here. The incredible use of beautiful furs, feathers, leathers, and beading in their art and clothing continues to be iconic for this region today.

seattle fashion

seattle fashion

seattle fashion

seattle fashion

seattle fashion

seattle fashion

If you think you are, or know some one who would be, a great fit for this photo project, send me an email at info@melissakilner.com . I can’t wait to hear from you!

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