Though Althea Harper (who you might know for her second-place finish on Project Runway’s sixth season) spent her college years hopping around Europe to study under titans like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, the Dayton, Ohio, native’s non-technical design approach is her real hallmark. Not long after she launched her namesake line for fall 2009, she realized she needed to backtrack. “It’s one thing when you’re designing in this fantasy world for yourself, but it’s another when you’re designing in the real world,” she explains. “As I started wearing my collection, I remembered that not everyone wants something that’s super fitted or severely cut.” And at 5’10”, Althea knew she had another problem to eradicate.
Enter Sittella, a breezy, ultra-comfy offshoot of her main line. In addition to hand-dyeing each organic bamboo jersey piece, Althea purposely leaves ample material at the (unfinished!) hems so shorter ladies can cut a skirt, dress, or jumpsuit to whatever length they prefer without visiting a tailor. “To accommodate, everything in the line is designed so people can make those changes themselves,” Althea adds. The result: something for everyone. —lauren caruso