For the launch of the MARGE x Ginny's Closet collection, we sat down with MARGE Woman and luxury lifestyle blogger, Lauren Stoll to talk all things fashion. Learn more about Lauren's design background, creative process and her experience with our one-of-a-kind collaboration.
MARGE: Can you share a little bit about your love of design? How did it come about? Influencers?
LAUREN: I have several creative women in my family – my paternal great grandmother was a designer for Tiffany and Co., my maternal grandmother was a seamstress and my Aunt founded a design company in Japan. My mother also dabbled in drawing/painting. And of course, my biggest creative inspiration comes from my paternal grandmother, Virginia- who was incredibly stylish and elegant. She is the namesake behind my fashion blog, ‘Ginny’s Closet.’ Influenced by these women, my love of design and fashion developed naturally from a young age.
MARGE: What has your involvement in fashion been to date? A study of, intimate involvement with, attendance at shows?
LAUREN: As of right now, I write a fashion blog, ‘Ginny’s Closet’ that details my personal style. I often post my ‘outfit of the day’, share what inspires me, and also provide tips on dressing for all occasions. I have also been invited to New York Fashion Week for several years now and have enthusiastically reviewed runway shows/collections on my blog. I am actively involved in various social media outlets and work with a few designers on collaborative opportunities.
MARGE: Who are some of your favorite designers and why? What silhouettes or styles have inevitably helped to define your style today?
LAUREN: I find myself particularly drawn to beautiful detail, such as beading, embroidery, and unique textiles. Maybe that is why I have a particular fascination with gowns, such as the ones created by the fashion houses, Marchesa and Tadashi Shoji. The intricacies are the very thing that captures my attention. I would honestly wear a dress or gown every day if I could! I am also drawn to classic and feminine collections with a modern twist – such as Rosie Assoulin, Delpozo, Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, Max Mara, Ralph Lauren, and Lela Rose. Their clothing collections are always so seemingly effortless and embrace a woman’s sensuality.
MARGE: What are the things you admire most about fashion? Business, design, creative process?
LAUREN: Fashion is a form of art – it is truly a blank canvas that enables ideas to come to life on the runway. I admire fashion because it allows people to express themselves without saying a word. Fashion tells a story. And fashion doesn’t set strict guidelines or rules – it simply allows designers, consumers, and stylists to be creative in their own unique way.
MARGE: Goals with fashion – describe what your goals have been/are. What do you look to accomplish?
LAUREN: Initially, I started my fashion blog in 2014 as a creative outlet to express my personal style. It was just a part-time hobby. My goals developed over time- now I aim to inspire and help women feel confident in themselves and the way they dress. I also want to write original pieces that discuss entrepreneurial designers, spotlight designers that are making strides for a particular cause, and promote body positivity in the industry.
MARGE: Your partnership with MARGE. Tell us about how the opportunity to design came about.
LAUREN: MARGE Clothing’s public relations agency reached out to me via e-mail back in 2015. I was thrilled to read about an opportunity to collaborate with this entrepreneurial company that specialized in clothing designs for the taller woman. I scheduled an appointment to speak with Kaersten Cooper, the genius behind the brand. She and I instantly connected on the phone – we found common ground in the fact that our grandmothers inspired our pursuits in fashion. We also commiserated over the challenges and benefits of being a tall woman and both had an appreciation for quality, well-made clothing. Our relationship developed over the past few years; including an opportunity for me to wear MARGE Clothing’s beautiful designs to the prestigious New York fashion week. We talked about the evolution of both of our brands and our goals for the future. And the chance to participate in co-designing a capsule collection with MARGE Clothing happened to be brought up in conversation. Fast forward to March of 2017 and our special project (and a personal dream) is becoming a reality. I am so fortunate to have connected with Kaersten and am grateful for this opportunity. Kaersten is kind, generous, and has a brilliant eye for design.
MARGE: Tell us about your inspiration and intention for your capsule collection. How does it complement the MARGE aesthetic – does it broaden, enhance?
LAUREN: While I appreciate trends, I tend to gravitate towards classic, elegant, and feminine styles. I believe that luxurious material and clothing that pays homage to a woman’s figure can enhance confidence. Fit is everything. While creating the capsule collection, I wanted to ensure the designs synergistically blended with the effortless elegance and sophistication of the MARGE Clothing line. The designs are constructed with high quality, upscale material and take into account a number of measurements for flawless fit. Little details, like the bows, add an element of whimsy to the chic woman’s wardrobe.
MARGE: Walk us through your design process, the collaborative design process with the MARGE design team. Tell us about your creative process.
LAUREN: The design process always starts with brainstorming/concepting. Kaersten and I both collected images on a Pinterest board to help inspire ideas. Then, the sketches start to take shape. Kaersten and I exchanged many thoughtful conversations about the evolution of the silhouette sketches. The design process is like a delicate dance – you want all of your ideas to work, but some elements just don’t function in real life. Of course, then Kaersten and her team started to test the fit of the silhouettes on both mannequins and eventually real models. It was amazing to see our designs go from ideas, to visuals, to actual material and finally cumulate into ready to wear apparel. The Pinterest/mood boards also helped Kaersten and I to collaborate on color schemes for the capsule collection. This collection launch could not have been possible without Kaersten and the MARGE team’s enthusiasm, hard work, and willingness to be patient with my learning curve during the design process.
MARGE: What have you created for the capsule collection? Why did you design these styles?
LAUREN: Initially, I conducted some market research with tall friends and family members to determine what items of apparel were lacking or not offered at retail/online stores in longer lengths. The most popular responses were rompers, jumpsuits, and maxi dresses. With this in mind, I decided to sketch some ideas on paper and slowly the ideas evolved. I felt especially drawn to the idea of jumpsuit and a column skirt. MARGE Clothing and I collaborated throughout the design process and we both arrived at the decision to create 5 designs that flattered the elongated body frame.
MARGE: Can you describe each piece of your capsule collection?
LAUREN: Yes, of course!
Jumpsuit with Bow-Tie Back – An elegant shape meant for day or evening – exaggerated straight led pant leg in lustrous white. A V-neck flatters the décolletage. An adjustable, exaggerated bow ties in the back offering discreet undergarment coverage.
Paperbag-waist Maxi Skirt – A light and airy skirt that nips at the waist with a bow and skims gracefully to the floor. It comes in a crisp pink color and the design has a slit in the front allowing for ease of movement.
Silk, Reversible Bow-Tie Tank Top – Reversible; can be worn with satin face out or chiffon face out. Bow around neckline. Offered in a light pink or white.
Flare Leg Pant with Back Slits & Sashes – A pant inspired by the classic MARGE Clothing straight leg pant – updated with larger bell openings at center back calf with sashes that can be adjusted as needed.
Single Button Flounce Sleeve Coat – Bold, pink coat that adds a hint of modern edge with cascading, pleated sleeves. Gently nipped in at the waist with button closure.
Learn more about Lauren and her blog, Ginny's Closet here or follow @ginnyscloset on social.
To Lauren - A special thank you for sharing your elevated perspective with the MARGE Community.