Everywhere you go you see people decked out in looks that blow your mind. They're not wearing tired, processed versions of the official fashions that trickle down from Seventh Avenue. Nor are they crammed into the predigested wardrobes pimped by glossy magazines. People in Seattle own their looks the way people in Bellevue own their SUVs: It's a lifestyle choice, an expression of values, and a self-advertisement written in a secret language.
Before we say another word, let's just get this out of the way: We're not telling you how to dress. Or what to buy. Or where to shop. Or what to wear with what. As anyone who's ever laid eyes on The Stranger staff will attest, most of the people who work here wouldn't know what to wear to a nude beach. We can barely dress ourselves, so we're not even trying to dress you. But we have eyes, and we can spot people with a natural sense of style a mile away.
So one sunny spring day Kelly O., of Drunk of the Week fame, and photographer Jenny Jiménez ran around town shooting people who looked good--from pashmina-wearing aestheticians to punk waitresses to leather men and everyone in between. Then we interviewed these lookers and, like everyone wants to but no one ever does, we asked them how they did it. Where'd you get those pants? Where'd you get those shoes? Where'd you get that codpiece? We started with what real people were actually wearing and worked backwards from there.
Our models aren't models at all. They're just normal people with jobs and lives, people who like to look good. And by making an extra effort, they're helping to transform Seattle into the forward-thinking, urban metropolis it desperately yearns to be, rather than the drab, denim-y dungeon of "no" it all too often is.
So relax. No one is trying to sell you the clothes our models are wearing. Some of them are wearing clothes you can't get. All we're asking is for you to take a look at these people. Is that so much to ask? You may be surprised to see a more exciting, more beautiful, and yes, a more fashionable city than the one in which you thought you lived. And if you recognize some of these people from the bars, clubs, and bookstores you frequent, why not stop them and tell them how awesome they look?