Monday, May 6, 2013

Southern Fashionistas

There are so many talented, budding designers all over the world, but there is something different about the South.  Drive meets hospitality meets talent and the result {as you’ll see below} is magnetic.  When you think High Fashion your mind wanders to New York, maybe Chicago or LA, but these ladies are changing things and making their mark right where they are.  In Atlanta and Dallas and Memphis and Nashville to name a few, they are changing the norm and coming back home to launch their lines.    

{vintage Vogue cover celebrating all things southern fashion}

We have great respect for fashion designers, because while there are certainly similarities to interior design, they create a brand that must appeal to LOTS of people.  In interiors, we choose an aesthetic to design a room with a certain person or family in mind.  But in fashion….you don’t necessarily know who you are designing for {other than yourself of course.}  That’s what makes these ladies accomplishments even more outstanding.

{what's more Southern than the Derby!?! Dress:  BHLDN} 

First, there’s Leona, by Lauren Leonard from Nashville, Tn.  Lauren founded her dream line in 2008, and it’s been a non-stop success ever since.  With classic pieces that are work appropriate and lady like (but also have enough character to take you straight into a fun night on the town) her line has evolved to include reversible swimwear and, most recently, bridesmaids dresses too!!  With extensive press and even more promise, this line is one you definitely want to keep your eye on.  And while Lauren has recently moved to New York City to grow her line, she’s proud of where she started and her designs are soft and graceful…true to their southern roots. 

And Lissa Mar, (who is offering an awesome discount extended through May 31 on our blog!), founded by Missy McGuirk in 2011 whose motto is “fashion isn’t a job, it’s a calling.”  A grown up Lily Pulitzer looking collection of loveliness (Missy once modeled for Lily!), there are big things to come for this southern lady and her bright creations.  With an impressive resume and a stint in NYC, Missy decided to return to her roots to create Lissa Mar and founded the line in Atlanta.  Her line is like a wake up for your wardrobe, but these well made pieces will be around for many seasons to come! 

But there’s lots going on in Atlanta (fashion capital of the south!), so we also caught up with Emerald August creator, Laura Moylan.   This southern lady, born and raised in Birmingham, got her start at SCAD in Atlanta, and perfected her passion first by sewing and creating clothes for her twin nieces.  She has since created an eco conscious line for stylish little ladies.  Each article of clothing is manufactured in the US with sustainable fabrics and natural fibers whenever possible.  Read here to find out a little more about her, today!

Oh, and A. Barclay, one of our favorite new lines, is ANOTHER up and coming Atlanta based brand that we can’t get enough of.   After attending college at Rhodes in Memphis (where was one of my sister in law’s best friends, so we’ve been on to her collection from the start!) and a stint in NYC, Anna landed in Atlanta and pursued her passion by creating a high-end socially responsible line of scarves and resort wraps.   Made with 100% natural fabric and handcrafted by Italian artisans, the prints are so pretty we want to frame them on the wall.  They are multi-functional and can be worn as swimsuit cover ups, tops, dresses, and more.  Perhaps the most interesting element of A. Barclay, however, is the buy and supply program Anna created, where each scarf purchase goes to support orphans in Tanzania. 

We were also THRILLED to find out that a fellow Ole Miss lady will be launching an awesome new purse line, Kelly Wynne, on May 13th.  After a three-year stint in public relations, this Dallas native followed her passion and created a purse line that is sure to be the next big thing.  After just one year full of research, branding, and sketching, Kelly Wynne came to fruition and the line is something you surely don’t want to miss.  Hard working Kelly not only creates her own designs, but she locates the materials and hardware, plus takes care of the business side—this article pens her as the epitome of a Texas, driven, entrepreneur.   These sophisticated bags, lined in bright green an covered in the most covetable fabrics and colors around, can be preordered through the brands facebook page…..and some designs are already BACKORDERD before the website has even launched! 

And finally, when we came across Gresham jewelry a few weeks back we immediately snatched up a few pieces by another Texas Native, Gresham Hodges.  She’s also another Ole Miss grad that’s been making jewelry since high school, and travels internationally to find the right charms for her pieces.   With classic styles that get punched up with color, there are big things ahead for this driven young lady.  Check our her etsy shop, and pick up a few of our favorite antique charms.

And finally Annie Griffin, by a sister team from Memphis, is a classic line full of pieces made from rich silks and stunning fabrics.  Self proclaimed "southern girls" their designs are hopeful to evoke the delta spirit they grew up with in the heart of the south, and boast easy to wear feminine silhouettes echoing styles from earlier eras.  Around since 2009, after the sisters Annie and Robin graduated from SMU and Georgia, respectively, the designs are inspired by Annie's artistic background and marketed with Robin's signature fun flair.  

While many of these ladies have spent time in New York or other better known fashion meca’s, they all came back home to create lines that they (and we) should be proud of.    In fabrics and styles we covet for multiple reasons! (Perhaps to repurpose into pillows or curtains after we’ve gotten a few wears?) and with eco-friendly and charitable purposes behind them, we are inspired by these brands.  Keep your eye on these talented southern ladies who are proving that you can start where you are and with drive and talent, anything is possible. 

Here’s to Monday and a wonderful week!

Betsey + Becca  

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