Seattle clothing designer Monica Gutweis assumes the posture of an Olympian. As a champion of couture, she gets the gold. Most of what she's wearing she made with her own hands. The numbers above her head seem to beg the question, What will women be wearing in 2405? And those electric-blue fishnets virtually shout: I am the future. But make no mistake, Gutweis is of the here and now.

We are feeling a bit conflicted about this profile, because Gutweis owns a clothing boutique—M. Gutweis (2405 First Ave, 956-4620), which stands across First Avenue from Macrina Bakery, where Gutweis has been known to enjoy sandwiches and cupcakes, although not many cupcakes lately, what with summer coming—and, as it happens, was wearing only her own creations on the day she caught our photographer's eye. She was approached outside her boutique on First Avenue by our photographer because of her unique style, not because we wanted to do a gratis, full-page ad for her boutique in this issue.

When she's not cluttering up our pages with moral and editorial dilemmas, Gutweis can be found sharing her involving personal story. Her country of origin? South Africa, where diamonds were discovered in 1867, sparking the imperial interests of the British, who were not successful in quashing the Boers the first time they tried (in a war that lasted from 1880–1881) but were mightily successful the second time (in a war that began in 1899, ended in 1902, and relied heavily on the "scorched earth" tactic, which means they burned basically anything in their fucking way). The next century and change saw the people of this region colonized and unionized by the Brits before the government splintered into political parties, adopted apartheid, and then dismanted apartheid, which was the right thing to do, although it must be stated that millions of blacks in South Africa continue to live in abject poverty.

LEATHER WATCH by Space-X, $148 at "one of those small shops on Melrose Avenue, I can't remember the name."

Melrose Avenue is a street in Los Angeles, but watch manufacturer Space-X bears no relation to Southern California–based defense contractor Space X, which is currently "developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space ultimately by a factor of 10," according to its website.

COTTON SHIRT WITH SILK SLEEVES, one of a kind, made by Gutweis.

She bought the black cotton from Atlas International Textiles (212-966-9015). The floral silk is left over from a dress Gutweis made for a customer. "I don't want to say where I bought the fabric because I don't want anyone to know my secret." It is somewhere in California, the state that was the destination of 87 pioneers who, in the winter of 1846 to 1847, found themselves caught in a snowstorm in a mountain pass, leading them to eat their own oxen and, eventually, each other.

COTTON SKIRT, one of a kind, made by Gutweis.

Again, from scrap frabric. It's held together with safety pins. Safety-pin technology has not changed since the Mycenaeans first used them during the Bronze Age.

BLUE FISHNETS from Sweet Tease (224 E Ninth St, Los Angeles, 213-891-1945).

While shopping in L.A., Gutweis came across these fishnets and was given them for free by the store manager, who fancied Gutweis and may or may not have been led to believe that she would come by the store again to see him that night, which she did not. She also got a free pair of gloves.

LEATHER BOOTS by El Dantés, $435 from a shoe shop in Covent Garden, London.

El Dantés is a Spanish shoe company; their catalog can be downloaded online ( Covent Garden is a busy retail district in the London borough of Westminster. It is where Eliza Doolittle is found selling flowers in the beginning of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, later adapted into a musical called My Fair Lady starring Julie Andrews (on Broadway) and Audrey Hepburn (on the screen). But, as everyone knows, it is not Hepburn's singing voice that is heard in the movie but the voice of Marni Nixon, who had big hair, a bit part as a nun in The Sound of Music, and a television show for children on Seattle's KOMO 4 called Boomerang in the late '70s and early '80s, back when Belltown wasn't half as fashionable as it is today.