Sondra Elizabeth Colburn: Best Summer Party Dresses

The line: “I focus on using bold prints, colors and design details to bring a fun twist to dresses that have classic silhouettes,” says the Seattle Central graduate, who adds playful touches with darling bustier tops accented with vintage coral buttons, dainty peplum designs and demure open back accents.

Creative spark: The 22-year-old Kirkland designer sweetens classic feminine frocks with self-designed prints and unexpected color combinations. “My mom has a collection of magazines and patterns from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s that I love to look through for inspiration,” she says. “I like to use ideas from vintage styles, but still keep my designs looking modern and chic.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “In junior high, I had this orange cropped jacket I loved to wear. Because of my height [Colburn is 5 feet 8 inches tall] and the style of it, the proportions looked really off. Whenever I wore it, my friends used to ask if I bought it in the children’s department.”

Line: Sondra Elizabeth

School: Seattle Central Community College School of Apparel Design, Class of 2012

Find it: sondraelizabeth.com

Clothing shown (From left to right): Colburn wears her own creation, the “Gwyneth” cotton sateen dress made from a self-designed print, with full peplum and vintage buttons on bustier. Sondra Elizabeth “Olivia” silk taffeta dress with jewel neckline and pleated paper-bag waist.

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