Fashion & Beauty for Friday, September 2, 2011

LIHU‘E — Quality, style and detail. That’s what fashion designer Sierra Dizon strives for in every garment she makes. It’s also why she decided to pull her designs from Kaua‘i boutiques, even though she could barely keep her brightly colored tank tops and signature draped tees in stock.

“When I decided to pull everything out, my biggest focus was quality,” the ambitious 24-year-old designer said while sipping an iced tea.

At the coffee shop she worked in as a high school student, Dizon begins to pull out pieces from her clothing line, Sierra Dizon.

“I really love quality,” she said while holding a pair of patterned shorts. “Quality next to style, I want to keep that hand-in-hand.”

Dizon shows off an array of soft jersey knit tanks and draped tees, a light blue cropped pullover sweater with black crochet lace down the side and a purple bikini top with multi-colored braided ties she made from leftover pieces of fabric.

The pieces she displays shows her evolution as a designer, from breezy knitwear tops to a ready-to-wear line, which includes tailored jackets, blouses, pants and dresses.

“I try to keep everything seamless,” Dizon said while holding a turquoise pencil skirt with ruffles. “When I see something, I need to fall in love with it to really work with it.”

When asked about her style, she explained she likes some notes of the 1970s, 1990s grunge and the bright vibes of the 1980s.

“You throw all that in there, and somewhere I come popping out,” she said.

Dizon’s emphasis on quality, keen eye for detail and intense passion  makes it hard to believe she taught herself everything she knows about fashion and design, including how to sew.

“In high school, the first skirt I made was navy blue with polka dots. I hand sewn this thing and it was falling apart at the end of the day,” Dizon said with a laugh.

In her “rookie” year, Dizon created all her pieces from trial and error. In 2008, she bought her first sewing machine, the same year she launched her fashion line. In the past three years, Dizon branched out her business to include alterations and custom formal wear designs.

Now she’s reeling back to focus on the quality of the pieces she makes.

“This is my bible,” she said while clutching a copy of French Vogue.

Dizon uses the magazine to keep up-to-date on trends, but don’t expect Dizon to copy other designer’s clothing lines. Instead, the designer’s biggest inspiration comes from the fabric she uses.

“When I see a fabric, I think ‘This fabric inspires me to design something that reflects myself,’” she said.

Dizon uses vacations as an excuse to purchase high-end fabrics, which she brings back to her home studio to work with.

Today, Dizon is moving away from custom orders and alteration services to focus on her new line of ready-to-wear garments and the launch of her online store.

“I’m taking it slow this time around,” she said. “If I put myself out there too quick, I will loose consistency.”

Visit www.facebook.com/beachesandcoconuts for more information about Dizon, or visit www.beachesandcoconuts.com to shop her online store.

In celebration of her store launch, Dizon is offering a discount and free shipping from Sept. 2 to 9 with the discount code GARDENISLAND.

She added that once her Facebook page reaches 250 fans, she will be offering an exclusive discount to her fans.

• Andrea Frainier, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 257 or afrainier@ thegardenisland.com.

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