November 11, 2010

first preview of mary jo matsumoto fall 2011

Luncheon in Newport Beach


The first pre-preview of my Fall 2011 Women's clothing line was held at Fashion Island in Newport Beach last week. It was a small luncheon hosted by Style 2020. I showed about 18 pieces of clothing, and there are more in production right now. As you can see, there are many late 1930s vintage-inspired details, but all my pieces have been tweaked and worked on to make them thoroughly modern and wearable. I primarily design high-end prêt-à-porter or luxury sportswear, which means there are lots of separate options for women who need well-made but fun clothes for work. I'm also big on cocktail dresses and coats, because these are pieces that women need all the time.


This is one of the trays from my fine jewelry line. The strand on the left is a classic creamy white South Sea strand with diamond ball clasp. The strands on the right are akoya pearls with 18k designs inspired from a textile that I created for my clothing line. Some of them have a sprinkling of diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. They're whimsical and a wearable length designed to be practical to wear during the day.



It was such a fun event and I was so happy that Katie from Goodnite Irene was able to attend!

What does couture mean?


There's a lot of confusion about what the word "couture" actually means.

* Couture is the French word for sewing and generally refers to Haute couture or "high sewing"/"high dressmaking. And no, Juicy Couture does not count. Haute couture is usually confused with prêt-à-porter (the French term for ready-to-wear fashion).

* Technically to be considered Haute couture, you must be a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. There are only 10 official Members in the world and they include Chanel, Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier. To give you an idea, Ralph Rucci is a former member, and he's the only American to have been accepted in decades.

What is the difference between prêt-à-porter and off-the-rack?


* The fit, fabrication, and quality of the garment are the main difference.

* The pattern is what determines the fit and a good one can make you look 10 pounds thinner! A good patternmaker knows how a garment should hang, understands the importance of designing and cutting on the bias (more expensive because it uses more fabric, but gives a much nicer drape). I feel fortunate to work with an amazing patternmaker. He was the head patternmaker for James Galanos for 30 years and I learn from him every time we make a new garment.

* The fabric: Expensive fabrics like silk and wool contain little man-made content. They breathe much better than cheaper fabric and feel wonderful to the touch.

* The lining: some lines claim to be high-end, but if you examine the inside of the garment, they aren't lined. That's one way to cut down on cost, but it makes the garment much less luxurious. All of my garments are lined with silk charmeuse, making them as luxurious on the inside as the outside--it's one of the first things women gush over when they try on my garments.

* The sewing: most off-the-rack garments use overlock stiching because it's fast and cheaper to produce in a factory setting. A high-end garment is made by highly specialized sewers who use princess seams, meaning you don't see any of the stitching on the interior of the garment. Baby stitching is used to finish of chiffon and there's often plenty of hand-stiching on special details. Even the zippers are sewn differently for a high end garment. A cheap replica will use overlock on every aspect of the garment. Once you get used to wearing garments that feel great and fit you correctly it's hard to go back!


Brent said...

Congrats on a beautiful fall line!

CJ said...

Beautiful! Stunning....I am in absolute love. Wishing you much success with the new line.

Emma said...

Lovely pieces! I love how simple but feminine they are.

Brandi said...

Mary Jo, your line is gorgeous! When do we get to see more?? I'm in love! It's so my style.

And I love this fashion lesson. I knew about couture, but I had no idea of the difference between the other two.


Well done!
Updating the classics is always a smart move.

There is a great photographer down your south side named Ursula Liv, who does well by the fashion lines as well as the models.

And will you create a Mommy & me line?

Cheers! your creative genius.

James Michael White said...

Absolutely gorgeous! The coat and the jumbo pearl necklace with a diamond ball clasp are both beyond amazing.

Anonymous said...

These are just stunning, MJ! I'm sure you'll do well. These are looks that will never go out of style.


Christina said...

i am so very proud of you, my dear friend.
i believe in you.
xoxo said...

that. pink. coat.......aaaaaaaaaaaaah.
twirl! twirl! twirl!

thank you again for having me.

every piece is more beautiful than the next.

anytime you need someone to model clothes again: i'm your girl; free of charge!!!!

the joy of dress up is my currency!
much love,

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ohmigosh Mary Jo...congratulations! I am so incredibly proud of you! And what a beautiful way to preview your new collection!! :)

Gabriela a.k.a. Naiano said...

i recently discovered your blog! it`s amazing, keep going on good job!i`m looking forward for new posts! you may check on mine, you`ll love it! if you follow , i shall return the favor! thanx!

Couture Carrie said...

Fabulous post, darling!
Love the pearls!


Rico said...


Rico said...


Whimsy Being said...

I love your preview, Mary Jo! I love, love that pink coat in the first photo. It's the definition of classic glamour. ANd the grey cocktail dress in the last photo..i love! Beautiful work. =)

shari @ little blue deer said...

"Juicy Couture doesn't count," love it! You are so talented, my dear! XX!

Absolutely Ladylike said...

OMG dear Mary Jo it looks gorgeous and everything is super elegant! That pale pink coat is calling my name! Your jewelry line is also fabulous. Big congrats to you! I would love to photograph some of these divine pieces one day...

I hope your weekend is lovey, much love: Evi

Ps: Thank You for the nice comment about my photos dear Mary Jo...your opinion means a lot to me and I'm so happy to catching up with you. I've been very slow with my blog recently but I'm happy to be back...missed you by the way...:-)

Mary @ RoomPolish said...

What a beautiful line...I'm so glad I stumbled upon you! I especially lOVE that last dress, the "silk linen with chiffon cocktail dress"....Lovely! Congratulations on your new line, and thanks for the couture etc tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your Newport Beach show. Couture clothing, jewelry, perfume....what's next?

Char said...

congrats! love the line and the soft colors. especially the pink coat

Sarah Klassen said...

Oh, Mary Jo these are such beautiful pieces! I have been dying to see some of your new designs—these are to die for! I cannot choose a favorite of the three, but could very much see myself wearing that pale pink coat. It looks so luxurious and timeless. Oh, and the pearls? Divine!

I am so happy that the luncheon went so well :) love the explanation about the differences in fashion—I find that the word "couture" is thrown around far too easy—certain terms ought to be respected and to stay true to what they really are.

hope your weekend was fabulous*

p.s thanks for the email—I am sending one your way soon

Down and Out Chic said...

gorgeous, all of it! and thank you for the lesson on fashion terms which definitely helps to clarify some things. i can't wait to see the full line!!!

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo, as your partner in jewelry, I always felt your designs are classic and whimsical, and stand the test of time. Pearls are the perfect match to your fashion and design sensibilities. Onwards and upwards!

The Zhush said...

Gorgeous pieces...truly blown away! Congratulations!

escapade said...

Mary Jo - these are amazing! You should be so proud. Elegant, classic, timeless - these are beautiful investment pieces no doubt to be treasured for a lifetime!

Well done - so impressed!!!


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