November 23, 2011

Stand by your Brand! Meet the ladies behind Prairie Underground

Once upon a time in the capital city of Nebraska two young girls would begin a friendship that would change their lives forever... 

 Davora Lindner and Camilla Eckersley, high school friends, each went their separate ways after graduating high school.  Davora headed to Minneapolis to earn a degree in Fine Arts while Camilla moved to Olympia earning degree's at both Evergreen State College & the Fashion Institute of Design.  Years later with Davora's experience in sculptural art and Camilla's experience in lingerie & corsetry design the two met up again here in Seattle.  Both having a life long interest in fashion and difinitive style they decided to give Seattle a go and launch an environmentally conscious, contemporary apparel line.  In 2005 the two set up shop and launched their first collection, and we're so happy they did!

What's the story behind the name, Prairie Underground?
"Prairie Underground was conceived as an homage to (our childhood) in Nebraska, the name refers to our peer group at that time and reflects our shared point of reference.  We're still very influenced by the style of that era blended with the rustic, Victorian look of early American garments," says Lindner.

What makes Prairie so unique?
"Our line is different and accessible; women either identify with the entire line or a particular piece, but the attachment is strong.  Our clothing offers a practicality and ease.  We're very close to our customer in that way; women are comforted by our clothes.  We're lucky to have lots of different types of customers and we think about all of them in the design process.  We offer a really versatile fit and we're particular about a silhouette, so the line is consistent and recognizable.  Camilla is an amazing pattern maker.  Really that's been the key to our success." say Lindner

Tell us about your design process?
"When it's time to design the next season, we work at home alone, creating sketches to bring back to the table."  Eckersley is a prolific sketcher, and many of her least favorite designs become Lindners favorites.  "We work hard to make sure that the clothes will appeal to different body shapes," say Lindner.  One of us is always interested in something the other has brought to the table as a throwaway idea.  The push and pull of our individual differences helps create a broader collection."   Once they have a a rough idea of the 22 plus silhouettes for their seasonal collection, Eckersley creates patterns and sample garments, and then a direction for the line begins to take shape.

Describe the "look" of Prairie Underground?
"Along with a distinct '80s aesthetic we also really love country or rodeo fashion, and you can see this influence in our clothes. We also indulge in a romanticism about pioneer life , with a focus on humble but strong fabrications, muddy colors and layering."

Tell us about your choice to use sustainable textiles?
"We have always worked with sustainable textiles, or textiles that are produced in a way that does less harm to the environment. We are both socially conscious people and wanted to be true to this ideal in our business as well.  The line is almost all organic cotton and we work with a lot of hemp blends that are strong and beautiful fibers and a more renewable resource.  We are concerned that our clothing lasts a long time and we take quality very seriously." Lindner says

noon till six

Here's a peek at some highlights of Prairie's Winter Collection...

The Cloak Hoodie in Cobalt
The Long Cloak Hoodie in Lipstick
The Long Nomi Jacket

The Neo Country Top

The Charlie Jean

The Prairie Hoodie in Beet

The Fly Me Away Dress
The Doll Dress in Moss
The Belladonna Leggings
The Prairie Hoodie in Tunnel
The Medieval Mood Dress
The Videodrome Dress