Monday, March 28, 2011

Pun(c)tuation by Tarboo

Some weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the collection preview of a friend’s meticulous shirt line: Punctuation by Tarboo.  The collaborative efforts of Seattle born (the Central District to be exact), Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Creative Director of the Punctuation art gallery, and Matt Noren, local tailor and artisan trained in New York’s garment district, make up the mind and craftsmanship of Punctuation by Tarboo.  The preview was held at the designers work space/studio overlooking Seattle’s acclaimed Pioneer Square.

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes far left & Matt Noren on the right in studio work space

Noren explains that the unique name, Tarboo, actually originates from one of Washington’s last salt water estuaries, which purpose is to empty out and cleanse the Pacific Ocean.  The Tarboo line reflects the organic nature of the estuary, and its impact on sustaining the Pacific Northwest. 


The Punctuation by Tarboo collection is hand crafted here in Seattle using fine locally sourced cotton, wool and felt.  In addition to being impeccably made, these shirts are an ode to classic staples, such as the iconic plaid shirt and the mandarin collar.  One of the things that make the Punctuation by Tarboo line so distinct are the signature patchwork detail gracing some of the shirts – by far my favorites in the entire collection.  

Iconic patchwork hunting shirt


 The line caters to both men and women, attracting “creators, makers (artists) and doers alike...those who influence the masses” as Alley-Barnes would say. The durability of the shirts shows that they’re made for handymen and workers alike, while their edge dresses creative types daring to make a big statement in a small way.  The designers site that their main objective of the Tarboo collection is to continue to source quality, locally made products to sustain the folks of Seattle for years to come.



The ironic beauty of the collection is that when asked who the minds behind Tarboo are, without all the clothes, coverings and barings, Noren answered “goofy and relaxed” while Alley-Barnes answered “super serious”.  Both sides of the designers are easily conveyed in their clothes: from their leisurely fit yet tailored dimensions.  If it was a mistake, it was a very good one!

To learn more about Punctuation by Tarboo or make a purchase, check them out HERE.  The shirts are sold at the Punctuation art gallery on Capital Hill or by special order.

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