Category: Interview

Portrait: AnaOno Intimates, Lingerie for Breast Cancer Survivors

Change comes in many forms and at many times. It can be forceful or it can creep along incrementally. It can come as the result of a tragedy or as the result of an opportunity. It can also happen for no reason at all. Just a natural evolution. Whatever and whenever the change, you are one person before and another person after. For Dana, founder and owner of AnaOno, change came when she was diagnosed with Infiltrative Ductal Carcicoma (breast cancer) just shy of her 28th birthday and wedding. Following a bilateral mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy, she set out on a mission to help other women recovering from breast cancer surgery feel confident and sexy. She started an intimates line that offers bras and lingerie exclusively for survivors with each design taking into account anything and everything a patient is going through. Just one example, the Pocketed Plunge Wirefree Bra was created in collaboration with radiation oncologist Katie Deming, MD. Made of eco-friendly modal/spandex, all interior seams are enclosed, so no elastic touches the skin.

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tags: bra making, Interview, lingerie, portrait of a seamstress Comments: 0

Behind-the-Scenes of Madalynne x Urban Outfitters Intimates Collection

If you didn’t hear the news from the last post, let me fill you in. Over the past year, I’ve been working with Urban Outfitters to create an exclusive Madalynne collection of intimates, which is now available for sale online and in 50 stores. Eek! I’m still pinching myself that it’s real!

Today, I’m making an appearance on their blog, sharing more about the collection, my “day job”, producing the collection and more. So hop on over to read more as well as check out some awesome photos of my studios that you don’t get to see often. Above and below are some outtakes.

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tags: bra making, Interview, lingerie, madalynne intimates, madalynne studios, personal, philadelphia Comments: 10

Portrait of a Seamstress: Paige

Just outside Philadelphia, not too far north and west, is Bryn Mawr, Paoli, Narberth, Wynnewood, Haverford, Ardmore, Conshohocken and Merion. The entire area is known as The Main Line. It was the setting of the movie, The Philadelphia Story (gah! I love Katharine Hepburn!), and it has a much different vibe than Philly. To me, Philadelphia is like one borough of New York. It’s a little big city and reminds me of Brooklyn a little. The burbs, however, are picturesque. Very country club. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Since I moved here 6 years ago, I have seen a huge resurgence of sewing. Butcher’s Sew Shop and Made Studios are just two examples of sewing studios that continue to thrive. I haven’t seen that resurgence outside the city though. I might be wrong in that assumption. In any case, I believe there is both a need and a want for sewing in the suburbs. Indicative of this – open for just six weeks, Christine Shirley’s sewing classes are full. Booked solid. When Paige Sullivan first developed her business plan, she was very much at the center of it, but soon after opening, her plan shifted. Now, it’s less about reaping personal benefits, and more about providing a mentorship. A modern day girl’s club so to say. On the surface, she teaches sewing, but on another level, she is giving girls and women confidence and courage. Yeh girl!

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tags: Interview, philadelphia, portrait of a seamstress Comments: 7

Portrait of a Seamstress: Rebeca Imperiano

Simplicity is refreshing and if done right, hard to achieve. It’s easy to throw a bunch of elements next to elements, things next to things, baubles next to baubles, or whatever next to whatever and say that they “go together”. That’s called bohemian. Editing and refining on the other hand – not so easy. Narrowing down an idea, a design or whatever forces you to decipher the elements that work, and at the same time, define your point of view. As a fashion design student at Drexel University, Rebeca Imperiano spent 3 years doing just that – defining her POV. This is just my opinion, but how she defined her namesake line, was spot on.

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tags: Interview, portrait of a seamstress, the way sewing used to be Comments: 1

Portrait of A Seamstress + Illustrator: Chelsey

I commend women who not just know exactly what they want to do, but are doing it. Living and breathing their vision, whatever it may be. Too many wander, wondering what the hell they’re going to do with their lives. Some are brave to seek their future while others think their future will capture them. Chelsey Totten is a dear friend of mine. We work together, and started our careers around the same time. I began just 6 months before her. When it comes to travel, she for sure is a wanderer. Flying out west to Cali or jetting off to Asia to visit factories for work, she’s all over the place. For as free spirited as she is, she has been on a straight, set path since she was very young. Using her own words, she has always known what she wanted to do and there is has never been anything else she’s wanted to be.

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tags: Interview, personal, portrait of a seamstress Comments: 4

Portrait of a Seamstress: Jovan O’Connor

Sometimes, the reality of fashion doesn’t match up exactly with your dreams. I’ve been there – I’ve dreamt about what it would be like to show a collection – my collection – at fashion week. For one woman, Jovan O’Connor, that dream is becoming a reality. This week, she is showing at New York Fashion week. She received a B.S. in Fashion Design the same year I graduated high school – 2006. While I was just starting my career, she was designing for Patti LaBelle. No, I kid you not. It was during her senior year while studying abroad in Italy that Jovan was commissioned to design a gown for the Philly native. Talk about a tipping point, right? Since then, she’s been growing her brand the best way a designer can, at least in my opinion, by organically building her clientele. This week marks another tipping point for her. By showing at NYFW, she is taking one step closer to being a bonafide designer. TELL US YOUR STORY My name is Jovan O’Connor and I’m a local Philadelphian. I grew up in West Philly. I knew I wanted to be a designer from a very young age, but as far as sewing is concerned, I was disillusioned by the fact that designers should know how to sew. I thought that as a designer, I would mostly sketch, and could pass off my design to someone who could make it for me. So, I didn’t start sewing until I went to college at Philadelphia University. My grandmother was a part of Philadelphia’s once burgeoning manufacturing industry. She was a seamstress and worked for many designers. What’s interesting is that I never saw her sew – by the time I was born she was retired – but I feel as if sewing was passed…

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tags: Fashon, Interview, philadelphia, portrait of a seamstress Comments: 4

Little Yellow Couch Podcast: Listen Now!

Just a quick post today to let you know that I was recently featured on the blog Little Yellow Couch in their Style Matters podcast. In it, Zandra and Karen ask me loads of questions about my personal style – why I like fashion and why cultivating an unique look and vision is meaningful to me. They also asked me about my “why not” moments – the times when I decided to try something after letting go of any preconceived and self-imposed rules, norms or standards. That experience where I threw all caution to the wind and said, “hey, why not?” So, if you have a spare 20-minutes, hop on over to their site and listen! Side note – it is super weird to hear yourself talk?! Just saying.

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tags: Interview, personal Comments: 1