Stacie Taylor is the San Diego based independent designer behind Stacie May. Her timeless fashions are inspired in part by her appreciation of the past; not just vintage fashions, but antique and vintage collectibles and art too. Stacie’s got a flair for experimentation with fabrics, and a way of making cuts that compliment curves, so I was excited to ask her some questions.
Hi Stacie, I’m a lover of vintage style, and have been so for years, so I understand the appeal of it — the details, tailoring, etc. But can you attempt to explain how vintage inspires you and how you balance that as a designer creating new fashions, not copying old ones?
It is my belief that all designers are inspired by vintage design in some way or another. Some use the inspiration in a more evident way and for some it’s not as obvious. What I like to do is use certain features and details of vintage styles and incorporate them into my pieces in a more modern way or sometimes it’s that the style is more modern but the fabrics are more vintage.
There are very few things in fashion that don’t already exist. It’s only how they are utilized, applied, and manipulated that is inventive.
I totally agree!
I see a lot of the 60s in many of your creations, especially the mod patterns; and the 70s in the “hanky hem” angles. Is that the period or decades you are most enamored with? Or is that just what inspired the latest collection? (Any tips on what to expect next in terms of future collections and their inspiration?)
There is definitely a good amount of 60’s and 70’s influence in the Stacie May collection with touches of other decades. I tend to like a lot of the flattering cuts such as the a-line cut for skirts and dresses and wide leg pants which are directly related to those two decades. I am, however, truly inspired by all decades of fashion.
One of my pieces, the Audrey May, though heavily Twenties-inspired, has sleeves that take you all the way back to the Renaissance Period!
As the new collection evolves, there are clearly hints of 60’s and 70’s influenced pieces as well as some 50’s, with fuller skirts and smaller waists. There will also be a touch of some 80’s as I bring back a new version one of my personal favorites from childhood, the satin roller skating jacket!
Obviously, as a lingerie blogger, I’m a believer that foundation garments are the true foundation of fashion. As a designer — and a woman — do you agree? If so, which foundation garment do you believe is most invaluable?
Any foundation garment that makes the wearer feel pretty is most valuable. Whether it be a lacy bra, sexy bustier, fancy panties, or even Spanks! Whatever makes a woman feel good wearing it is priceless in my book.
Currently there’s no lingerie in the Stacie May collection — any plans for foundation garments or sleepwear in the future?
I’m often asked that, I think because some of my pieces have a very feminine style that is reminiscent of lingerie. I would definitely not be opposed to the idea of a possible future lingerie line.
There are actually a few pieces in the current Stacie May collection that sort of teeter on the edge of being such. The Sharon May and the Reversible Robe Jacket have both been suggested as possible loungewear pieces.
The Tracy May is made of a wonderful soft knit fabric that actually feels like you are wearing sleepwear.
I really like that your clothing can be worn — it’s not impractical stuff you “covet and closet.” While your shop offers what most of us would call the standard retail rack sizes, not “plus sizes,” you do offer custom sizing. Do you design with the average woman in mind, both in terms of livable clothing and sizing, as opposed to art you hang on a hanger?
I do try to design with the average woman in mind, such as myself, while still achieving a unique and creative look. It’s been somewhat challenging to do so in a bit more casual town such as San Diego having a design style that’s a little on the dressier side. My next collection will incorporate many more separates and everyday pieces as well as elegant dresses so that SD and all women don’t feel like they necessarily need a specific occasion to wear one of my pieces. I offer custom sizing because not all women have the exact proportions of standard sizes. There is nothing I love more than to make a piece that’s custom to a specific woman’s measurements.
What’s most thrilling for you as a participant in the Project Ethos event?
Honestly, the most thrilling part of participating with Project Ethos aside from the excitement of the show itself, has been the refreshing feeling that the PE team genuinely cares about promoting designers, artists and musicians. They have shown that they will do everything they can to help that along with the only motivation being that everyone involved is successful! With Team Ethos, I have felt like I have been adopted into a new family.
Thanks, Stacie, and good luck!
If you’d like to adopt pieces in the Stacie May collection, go to www.staciemay.com to purchase &/or to sign up for the mailing list to receive updates on the latest news (like news of future lingerie pieces, maybe?) — I did!
PS Etsy fans, the designer also has an Etsy shop.