Kimberlee’s background in fashion design and sewing is extensive and genetic. She grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and moved to Seattle when she was 18. On her mother’s side, every generation has had at least one seamstress. Her mother designed and constructed all of her clothing from infancy to junior high and was the costumer for a local dance company in Minnesota. From her mother, Kimberlee picked up a basic knowledge of sewing, pattern making and design.
On moving to Seattle, Kimberlee quickly found her niche as a costumer for independent films. In addition, she became the head costumer at a local theater, doing historical wardrobing, and costume construction. During that time, she maintained a small recycled-material clothing line, sewn and distributed completely by hand. After years in costuming, Kimberlee decided to enter the New York Fashion Academy, where she earned her Certificate of Mastery in Fashion Design and Construction.
Kimberlee is proficient in all aspects of sewing construction and design, as well as the skills it takes to design, construct and maintain the business end of a budding fashion design house. After graduating from the New York Fashion Academy, she worked as associate designer and office manager for a small organic clothing line in Seattle. She continued to create custom commission pieces during this time and eventually left the company to create her own clothing line – based on vintage design techniques. She named the new line Deco Modiste and debuted the line at the Seamless in Seattle competition in 2008. Her spring collection was well received and garnered her attention from local boutiques like Velouria in Ballard, Violette in Pioneer Square, and Last Waltz on Capitol Hill.
Deco Modiste continues to offer clothing at Velouria. The line has been featured at the Half Past Lavish Parasol Party, the recent All For Fall costume competition at Pacific Place, and the Eco Lavish fashion shows. Kimberlee continues her wardrobe styling career to date, working in film and photography.
As well as ready-to-wear seasonal lines, Deco Modiste is hard at work on their Fall/Winter 2012 collection.
Shawna – or “Birdie” as she’s well known through her site Bonne Vie – moonlights as web-mistress, and marketing whiz for Deco Modiste.
Alongside her background in theater costuming and construction (including work for the Helena Civic Center as a theater technician), Shawna has experience in apparel and marketing – including three years as Visual Assistant and sales for Gap/Banana Republic, and displays for Ann Taylor at University Village.
Shawna first began working with Kimberlee constructing period costumes for a local theater production of Kiss Me Kate, and since then, the pair have worked together on various projects.
With an eye for marketing, she currently works as social-media guru, blogger, writer, a photographer. Shawna has a sharp eye for color, design and aesthetics.