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The M Dash

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The Story Behind the Light Fantastic: Meet Our Summer Collection

April 15, 2017 | Filed in: Your Closet

Hey, summer… over here! It’s been far too long, hasn’t it? Won’t you come in, and make yourself comfortable? We made a new collection, The Light Fantastic, just for you; it’s full of floaty fabrics, sunny colors (hello, goldenrod), and dance-floor-approved dresses. We also found a material that looks like linen but stays crisp all day (translation: it won’t look like a crumpled paper bag by lunchtime). Here, MM’s designer Miyako Nakamura will tell you even more about it. Let me take your coat; may I fetch you a glass of prosecco?

THIS SEASON, MY MOOD BOARD was full of Louise Dahl-Wolfe photographs. I have always loved her work, and a lot of her pictures captured the best of American sportswear: midcentury designs that are easy to move in but still well-tailored. She also took many photographs outdoors, which felt very appropriate for summer as well.

Miyako's mood board

Miyako’s mood board, featuring photographs by Louise Dahl-Wolfe (bottom center and middle row).

A NUMBER OF LOUISE DAHL-WOLFE’S photographs show women with straw hats, and it made me think of raffia. We can’t make clothes from that, obviously, but I wanted to infuse that woven look into our graphics. We landed on a plaid inspired by basketweave, made with very neutral tones, called scratch plaid. It’s similar in quality and texture to one of our most popular jacquard fabrics, crackle. This version is a little more colorful—happier, but not loud.

The Condesa pant

The Condesa pant in scratch plaid with the Didion 3.0 top in true olive.

SUMMER IS A TIME TO WEAR COLOR, and I wanted this collection to reflect that. I began with primary colors, which is unusual for me, and played with more saturated and muted versions of yellow and blue. The green I chose has a lot of shading; I think colors complement each other best when one is more saturated than the other.

THE DIETRICH JACKET is very special to us, and we brought it back with a fresh update: cream piping along the edges. That accent looks really sharp when you wear it with the matching Crawford top and Vesterbro trouser. Last year, we made some pieces with regular linen, and as gorgeous as it was, it wrinkled; traditional linen can be difficult to wear. So, this year we found a fabric that has the look of linen without the wrinkly quality. It’s a woven crêpe, so it’s breathable, and we’ve named it plein air. I wanted to create our version of a summer suit in this fabric.

Plein air

The Dietrich jacket, Crawford top, and Vesterbro trouser in plein air, all in true olive.

WE’RE EXPERIMENTING MORE and more with knits, especially in three-dimensional cutting, which allows us to move seams around more easily. We’re not making pieces with one seam down each side, like two flat shapes sewn together. The result creates a lot of options for beautiful draping, which you can see in the Chadwick and Hamill tops. The silk and linen blend is very lightweight and soft, too.

Hamill top

The Hamill top in ivory with the Zhou culotte in black.

Shop The Light Fantastic, here.

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