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Mallory On: Fall/ Winter 2018

Updated: Aug 12, 2018

Mallory opens up about her Maine-based fashion label's Fall/ Winter collection.

Mallory Sophronia's Farmington Full Length Faux Fur Vest in candy apple red
MS' Farmington Full Length Faux Fur Vest drapped over one of the brand's rustic wooden fences, onsite at their organic farm/ studio in Vacationland - Maine, USA

What influences MS' cold weather styles?

In New England, especially Maine, we can see temperatures begin to drop as soon as August. Because Fall comes quick in Vacationland, it's this natural but dramatic change that often initially inspires me. When there's a sudden chill in the air, it's impossible not to be drawn to cozy knits, fuzzy faux furs, warm fleeces (salvaged, of course) and the like. Fabrics come to mind first and then the styles and shapes develop next. Unlike our Spring/ Summer collections, the Fall/ Winter lines are more dependent on function and I'm always working to merge this idea of wear-a-ability with our label's undeniable romantic aesthetic. Luckily, despite New England's sometimes harsh climate, hearty women in the area have been expressing their femininity through fashion for hundreds of years. I spend a lot of time rummaging through old black and white photos in local antique stores and libraries.

Can you tell us more about these historical photographs and how they motivate you and your Fall/ Winter designs?

My childhood home was built about the time of the American Civil War. Interestingly enough, this was around the same time that black and white pictures were first developing, pun intended. Coming of age among Victorian architecture has allowed me to really connect to images of women who lived in similar houses over 100 years earlier. I think, not unlike today, this was a very torn era in US history and out of strife comes a realness. The photographs from the mid to late 1800's, provide an honest look into the lives of Americans before they were entirely engulfed by the industrial revolution and eventually what we now consider to be the "modern world". It's easy for me to fantasize about an America when farming and crafts were a part of most people's daily lives, just like they are mine today. Ruffles, delicate rows of buttons and hand-sewn aprons are all traces of the hard-working wardrobes of a by-gone era that can be seen in MS' Fall/ Winter line today.

You've recently added beauty and home goods, handmade from herbs and flowers, from your studio farm. How are you balancing harvesting and hand-making this Fall/ Winter season?

Of course, moderation takes practice and some days my process is a little more functional than others. But, as a whole, I've found that mornings through lunch are best for caring for plants and nights and evenings work well for tending to design and production aspects. The sunshine I experience in the garden is energizing and can carry me into the late nights that are so often required of fashion designers.


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