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an interview with maxine dillon - spring 2009

After peeping designer Maxine Dillon's collection for Spring 2009, I can't help but fancy her cool, ultra-feminine with a slight tough- girl twist on design. Her pieces are definite must-haves for the happy Spring time season, and can be copped at RevolveClothing and 80sPurple. I'm especially admiring the moto vest paired with the 70's print top. Check out the interview, and get a feel of all the many facets where Maxine draws her inspiration. I'll definitely keep my eye on this talent!

diamond pleat cardigan dress

printed top with motorcycle vest


stash pocket dress

Photography by Lissa Hahn

How and when did you first start off making clothes?
I first started making my own clothes in high school after taking a sewing class. My mom would give me patterns for hoodies and shorts etc. and I would buy fabrics at JoAnne's and make stuff on my home machine. I also would go to salvation army a lot and rework second hand clothes. I still have some of that stuff it's really funny to look back at my first creations. I graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and worked for various independent designers before launching my own line in Spring 2008. The collection was picked up by Los Angeles boutique AERO & Co. They helped me build a customer base and the line has grown from there to be in multiple stores around the country and Canada.

How has where you lived and/or what you experienced in life influenced your designs?
I grew up in Conneticut and moved to L.A. when I was 19. It has been really interesting to see how my style has changed since I've moved to the west coast. Granted I was 19 so you go through many changes in that time but I do think that the east coast has a more preppy vibe especially Connecticut! But C.T. is very close to NYC so I would go in to the city a lot to shop. L.A. has a more casual chic aesthetic which I like very much and I do think that my collection has an interesting blend of these two influences.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from music, film, and street style. My Fall 09 collection was heavily influenced by The Brian Eno and David Byrne album "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts." I also watch a lot of movies and like to pick up on the over all attitude and look of a film and apply it to my collections. Some movies that have influenced me are Pretty Baby, 3 Women, and Badlands. I also love to look at sites like Refinery29, and The Sartorialist to see what stylish girls are currently wearing.

What's your current collection all about?
The current collection in stores now for Spring 09 is all about quirky classics. I like to take classic shapes and add a twist of something different whether it be the fabric selection, unique trimming, or the use of pleating and draping. Some of my favorite pieces are the diamond pleat cardigan dress, the motorcycle vest, and the stash pocket dress. For this collection I was very conscience in picking organic fabrics. The knits are 100% recycled cotton, the shirting's are 100% organic cotton gauze, and the jackets and bottoms are made from an organic cotton and tencel blend. I also design my own silk prints for each collection. For Spring 09 I call it the cloudburst print. It was inspired by a sponge print I found from the 1930's. I love the contrast of the soft puffy shapes against the sharp triangular shapes it's so fun and vibrant! My collection also always has a mix of masculine and feminine pieces. It's important for my looks to have a delicate balance of tough and pretty.

What kind of gal do you imagine wearing your clothes?
Urban girls who express themselves through what they wear. They're independent thinkers and don't necessarily follow trends. They want unique items and aren't afraid to spend a little extra for a quality garment.

Who do you think are the most stylish celebs and/or models?
Some of my favorite models are Irina Lazareanu, Coco Rocha, Agyness Deyn, and Karen Elson. Some stylish celebs I like are Alexa Chung, Camilla Belle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Chloe Sevigny. Drew Barrymore on the cover of the April issue of W was amazing!

Any music faves that motivate you when designing?
I usually draw inspiration from the music itself not the way the particular musician dresses. Like I said before for Fall 2009 I was heavily influenced by the Brian Eno/David Byrne experimental album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. What caught my attention about this album is the contrast of Eno’s electronic synth sounds against Byrne’s quirky world-music drumbeats. Each song incorporates multiple layers of sound and genre which inspired the visual aesthetic of the collection. I kept these things in mind while designing and selecting fabrics. The fabric selection is from around the world including Japan, India, and Korea.

What item(s) do you think every gal should have in their closet?
I think that all depends on body type but for me right now I'm all about over sized tops and tee's with short shorts, tights and ankle boots. I also like pleated trousers paired with tank tops.

What can we look forward to seeing in your future collections?
Keep an eye out for Fall 2009 in stores this August. Also for Spring 2010 I'll be working on some handbags and more accessories! I currently work with Angela Barrow from Cheek-ie for accessories. We do collaborations each season where she uses fabrics from my collection and designs and makes all the wonderful necklaces, headbands, bracelet's my look book and runway photos. Check out her own collection at:


Anonymous said...

nice interview! i like that jumper.

my blog macaroni club is doing an amazing giveaway tomorrow that i'd love for you to sign up for! jewelry designer leah sakellarides has made a custom macaroni club necklace which is SO beautiful, and she's super sweet to be giving one away! please come visit me, and if you like the piece you can sign up for a chance to win it!
xo.... sarah

Rosanna said...

i am LOVING those dresses!

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