Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Designer Interview~ Vintage Suits by Mary
Ifirst discovered Vintage Suits by Mary at the Viva Las Vegas fashion show last year. I kept spotting these gals hanging around the hotel on the Thursday before the show in these absolutely adorable sailor style playsuits-hair all done up, rosy like a cherub. So as I was backstage helping Miss Hussy out with that portion of the show, I was pleased to see those same playsuits traipsing in and out of the room next door. It turns out, Vintage Suits by Mary was also showing at the event and both the playsuits and the swimsuits were undeniably perfect for such an occasion.
This year, I so wanted to catch up with Mary at Sunday's pool party for an interview. But unfortunately, the sound capabilities on my camera just couldn't keep up with the demands of conducting an interview in such a noisy environment. So I'm doing this blog interview and hope that all of you will enjoy it as well.
LFSt: Can you give us a brief history and/or Mission Statement of the company?
Mary: Vintage Suits by Mary was incorporated about a year ago. Before that I was a pattern maker in the swimsuit industry for more than 25 years. When I started VSbM, I wanted to make clothing that really replicated the fit and glamour of the 40's and 50's. Back then, clothes really fit and made women look fantastic!
LFSt: What is your primary inspiration for the suits you create?
Mary: Most of my inspiration comes directly from vintage clothing and old swimsuit ads. I love how cheeky the ads always were! (That's one reason why I try to make my ads a little humorous.)
I usually find a detail that I love, then work it into a swimsuit or a playsuit. I have so many ideas swirling around in my head and not enough hours in the day to produce them. I also have a fantastic fit model, who is also my muse: Shelby Loveland. She inspires about 2/3 of my designs. (and how nice to have an entire line that you know will fit you perfectly, huh? :D)
LFSt: I'm Jealous! So can you describe the differences we can expect from the custom and the pre-made suits you offer?
Mary: The "in-stock" suits have been produced by my contractor to my specifications, using my pattern (so it fits the way I would have made it). The custom options can either be ordered straight off the website and made by me, or in the case of some girls who may not match the measurements exactly, can be ordered in split sizes, or shorter or longer. (or in different fabrics)
LFSt: I wish more companies would offer that option! I've noticed that you also carry aprons. Will you be moving on to other wardrobe pieces as well?
Mary: I would like to start doing a line of separates, but again, having the time to do it is difficult right now.
LFSt: I'll bet! You are one busy lady! What about new suit designs? Anything in the works?
Mary: We have our new line for 2011 that we just unleashed at Viva Las Vegas to OVERWHELMING positive feedback! We are bracing for a tidal wave of growth right now. We are going to be producing parasols that coordinate with the outfits, though. I have a fabulous artist!
LFSt: I saw those adorable ruffled suits at the car show! They are fabulous indeed. And my viewers are constantly asking me where to buy parasols so I can't wait to see the ones you will offer! Last question: What advice would you give a lady who is interested in embracing a vintage style every day?
Mary: I would say to not necessarily follow the crowd. Find styles that flatter YOU. If you are small busted, look for pleats, shirring, or ruffles up top. If you have a tummy, you can't go wrong with sarong style shirring at the waist. Hips can be created or hidden with a flared skirt, or accentuated with a straight one.
Always wear the proper undergarments. Women back in the day always wore pretty supportive bras, girdles, and waist cinchers. There is a large amount of amazing underwear out there!
I personally am a big fan of real vintage, but I know that vintage swimwear can be incredibly fragile. SO I make my suits so that a girl can look like a vintage vixen, but still go into the water or spend the entire day in her outfit and not worry about ruining it.
This post was dressed up by pin up models: Shelby Loveland, Lisa Luxe, and Lisa-Ann.