Dorothy Ling Lin was born in Canton, China. She and her family fled from communist China to Hong Kong in the 1950’s. She went to school in HK until 1968. When she was 12, she took pattern drafting and tailoring classes from a renowned master tailor while other kids were in summer camps. She had to beg the teacher to accept her as a student because the teacher did not think a 12-year-old could handle the complexity of pattern drafting. She ended up being the best student the teacher ever had. That was what she was told.
Upon graduating from High School, she came to the US to further her education at the University of Washington where she met her husband Richard Skea. Hence her name is Dorothy L. Skea now.
Her first job was in the finance department with the Boeing Company. To stay in touch with her passion for designing, she would shop for fabrics and create a new outfit to wear the following week. After weeks of showing up in the office with interesting new outfits, she got called into her boss’s office. Bear in mind, he was the best dressed man in the building. That was significant. He asked if she would not mind him asking her a personal question. He asked “Dorothy I know how much you are getting paid. May I ask how you can afford to buy the clothes you wear?” She answered, “I design and make all of my clothes.”
After that conversation, he told everybody in the office that she was a fashion designer. There after she started getting orders. After 4 years of using her lunch breaks to take orders and doing fittings, she decided to quit her job at Boeing and started her own company, FASHION IMAGES.
She started designing her own line of clothing to sell at art shows. Her design concept is to create garments that are timeless and flattering on women. With her training in tailoring, her signature pieces always have multiple seams to give the garment a good fit and enables her to mix colors, textures, and patterns for an artistic look. She makes her fabrics by piecing hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics together. Her garments are then made from these one-of-a-kind fabrics. Her designs can be worn for work and/or casual wear. Her attention to detail is noticeable in all her work.