Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dandelions And Pearls: Unleash Your Creativity

For many, fashion can be a creative outlet and when find someone who shares the same outlet with amazing things can happen, which is the case with Lynsey and her mom. They decided to combine their love of vintage apparel thus creating Dandelions And Pearls. I spoke to the two of them to find out more about their shop.

Dandelions and Pearls, pinup, vintage clothing designers, vintage fashion, How did you and your mom start your shop? "Dandelions and Pearls began as a hobby that my Mom and I shared. Dressmaking has always been a passion of ours. For me, it was an outlet for my creativity while my children were young and I was a stay at home Mom. The Etsy shop really came about as a way to sell our sample dresses. We’d been making custom vintage reproductions for friends and clients for some time, but every now and then we’d have an idea for a design or come across a vintage pattern that we just had to try out. When we started out we only ever wanted to create truly unique one-off garments, but over time realized that this doesn’t make much business sense.

There is so much work and time that goes into producing a unique, one of a kind item that it was a labor of love for us, rather than a means of making money. When my daughter started school last year it gave us more time to dedicate to Dandelions and Pearls and I’m excited to see where we can go from here. Its a win-win for me as I get to do something that I’m truly passionate about while working from home means that I can still be around to do the school run."

Dandelions and Pearls, pinup, vintage clothing designers, vintage fashion, Can you tell a little bit about your lives and how it lead you to start designing? "Since introducing a small line of limited edition customizable designs, things have really started taking off. Orders are coming in regularly, and we now even have a waiting list for clients requiring custom work. Creating one-off custom pieces is still our favorite thing to do. We’ve had the absolute privilege and pleasure of creating bespoke wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses for unique brides and made hundreds of dresses designed especially for individual clients. There’s no better feeling than creating a clients dream dress that makes her feel like a million dollars.

My Mom taught me to sew when I was a little girl. For as long as I can remember my mom had amazing style. We never had loads of money, but she always wore the latest trends, often before you could get them in the shops because she would make them for herself. She would make clothes for me and my brothers too and I remember feeling like the bee's knees whenever I wore them. Every time Mom had a sewing project on the go I was always wanting to help. She started by giving me easy jobs, but as time went on and I got better we’d work together on projects. There was never any doubt in my mind what I would do when I left school. I completed a GNVQ in art and design then went onto university to study fashion."

Dandelions and Pearls, pinup, vintage clothing designers, vintage fashion, Why did you choose to design vintage style fashion? "A couple of my friends and I were really into Mid-Century style, but back then good quality authentic vintage from that era was hard to come by at a price we could afford. This was before the market was totally saturated with cheap vintage reproductions, so my Mom and I started making dresses from vintage patterns for me to wear. Then a friend of ours asked us to make her a 1950’s style wedding dress and from that moment we were hooked. At the time I was working as a visual merchandiser at a department store, so it never really occurred to me that this could be something that one day we might turn into a business."

Dandelions and Pearls, pinup, vintage clothing designers, vintage fashion,
How did you two get into vintage fashion? "As a Teen, I was really into alternative music, mostly punk rock and heavy metal, so naturally had quite an alternative, eclectic dress sense, but as I got into my early twenties I started getting into vintage clothing. I suppose I was influenced by the whole indie/electro scene in the early naughties. I’d scour my local charity shops for vintage gems. I was a magpie for anything sequinned or sparkly. I ended up with quite a collection of vintage from lots of different eras, but it wasn’t until the TV series Madmen came out that I really got into mid-century fashion. I was completely in awe of all of the beautiful dresses and had a total girl crush on Joan. She was sexy, sassy and totally knew how to rock her curves. As a girl who's always been curvy, she helped me see that you don't have to be stick thin to be attractive. From then on I started to wear wiggle dresses and lots of fit and flair silhouettes typical of the 50’s and early 60’s and I was rarely seen without a beehive and winged eyeliner."

What old Hollywood star's style inspires you the most? "There are so many, but I think I’d have to say either Ava Gardner or Rita Hayworth. They both played the ultimate femme fatale characters and exuded glamour in the most fantastic gowns. Ava’s signature long black satin dress split up to the thigh and long elbow length gloves from the film ‘The Killers' is such an iconic sultry look. Even off screen she clearly appreciated fashion, knowing how to accentuate her unique natural beauty with an excellent understanding of her own personal style.

Rita’s whole wardrobe in the film “Gilda’ is just to die for! We’ve actually just been contacted by a client who wants to commission a reproduction of the white and gold “Amado Mio” two-piece from the film and I could not be more excited to get started. "

Dandelions and Pearls, pinup, vintage clothing designers, vintage fashion,
What era do you like to recreate the most and why? "Ooh, that's a hard one too because I go through phases. At the moment I would definitely say I have a love affair with 40’s style. Specifically recreating the glamour of Hollywood film noir and it’s bad girls characters. I adore the strong shoulders, nipped in waists and clever use of draping from that era. I think Mum’s favorite era would be the late 50s to early 60s. Favoring simple, yet elegant tailoring with wasp waists, pencil skirts, and wide-collared boat necks. We’re always thinking about what we’re going to do next and when we get some time we’ll start playing around with more 30’s looks. We’ve already been making some beautiful 1930’s style beach pajama sets, but next, I'd love to experiment with some bias cut evening gowns in fluid satin fabrics.  "

Dandelions and Pearls, pinup, vintage clothing designers, vintage fashion, Do you two wear pinup style fashion often? "To be honest I don’t as much as I’d like to these days. I have two children and pin-up style can be difficult to pull off while juggling being a full-time Mum and running a business. Saying that I have nothing but admiration for anyone who manages to look so glamorous on a daily basis. I’m also kinda fickle when it comes to my style. I love to play with fashion and experiment with lots of different looks. One day I might dress quite grungy, another day boho or minimal, but both my Mom and I love an opportunity to dress up. If ever we have a wedding or vintage event, you can bet we’ll choose to wear true vintage or one of our creations. My Mum would usually choose a simple but elegant wiggle dress and I might go for one of our 40’s inspired gowns with either victory rolls or soft pin curl waves. "

Are you two active in the pinup community if so how has it treated you so far?
"We’ve been dressing many beautiful ladies in the pin-up community for years, so I’d say that we're active in a more behind the scenes kind of way. The community has been great to us and shown us nothing but love. They inspire our designs and keep us going. Without the pin-up community, we probably wouldn’t be here doing what we do. "
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