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The M Dash

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Ultimate Office Attire: Designing the Perfect “Presentation” Dress

October 03, 2014

Jenny and Miyako discuss the details. (Images courtesy of Jenny Liu)

Remember back in January when we launched our #Mmazing contest? Well, the big winner was Jenny Liu, a Vancouver-based program manager (who also happens to write a killer fashion blog). Over the past year, Jenny worked with our designer Miyako to create her perfect dress, and at long last, it’s finally here!

Below, we give you the story of the Jenny.

“I’ve felt like I shared the same vision as MM.Lafleur since the beginning, so I knew I wanted to work with Miyako,” Jenny told us. “She brought many years of high fashion design experience, an expert eye, sketching skills, and the ability to articulate her design decisions. I brought the perspective of the end user: a professional woman in a corporate environment who wants to project a polished, feminine, and capable image.”

Miyako asked Jenny to think of a theme or “problem” to be solved, so that she could design the solution. “I wanted to address a real need in my life,” said Jenny. “I deliver a lot of presentations at work, and what I needed was a dress that makes me feel confident, capable, and beautiful, so I can focus on delivering a great presentation.”

Miyako and Jenny spent months developing and refining their vision. “There were specific features I wanted, such as full-length or three-quarter-length sleeves,” explains Jenny. “I wanted it to be a stand-alone dress that didn’t require a cardigan or blazer.”

“For the silhouette, I wanted something close to an A-line because most of my current dresses are pencil-shaped,” says Jenny. Miyako, ever the innovator, proposed a “fit and flare” silhouette with a cinched waist and flared skirt. As for the material: “Since it was a presentation dress, I wanted to use the most luxurious material we have, and this viscose blend is like a dream,” says Miyako.

“Miyako said that V-necklines were becoming fresh again, and we both felt that they looked sharp and were easy to accessorize,” says Jenny. “MM.Lafleur already makes the Etsuko with a boat neckline (one of my all-time favorite styles, by the way), the Karen with a curved neckline, and the Narie with a notched neckline, so I knew that the Jenny dress would be very unique.”

During New York Fashion Week, Jenny visited the MM showroom to meet Miyako and get a first look at her eponymous dress. “It was beautiful, but I wanted to make sure it was also practical,” explains Jenny.  “For example, how would the twist detail look on women with smaller frames, or on women with fuller frames? How does it move when you sit down?” Well Jenny, we’re glad you asked…

Miyako and Jenny talked through every aspect of the dress, from the aesthetic flourishes to the pragmatic design details. “After that, I was able to stand back and really appreciate the beauty of the dress,” says Jenny. “The wrapping detail was a nice surprise. It’s a variation on the wrap dress and I think it looks wonderfully feminine.”

“The sleeves are very slimming, the fabric drapes beautifully, and the unique twisting and wrap detail takes it to the next level,” Jenny observes.

“I will definitely be wearing it to presentations,” says Jenny. “I can also picture myself wearing it to nice dinners, events, and date nights. The neckline and three-quarter sleeves make it perfect for accessorizing.”

“From the design process, I learned that no feature was an accident. Every part of the dress was designed on purpose and with a purpose. I really like that,” says Jenny.

“I hope that the Jenny will fill gaps in women’s wardrobes and make them feel beautiful and confident.”

Thank you, Jenny! Such fun working with you, and we can’t wait to share your dress with the MM universe. Shop the Jenny here. 

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