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Small boutique in a big city


September 6, 2010/11.50

Alma Lee
Alma Lee
Alma Lee
Alma Lee
Alma Lee

Are you the type of person who doesn’t really care about the current fashion trends, yet you still want to stand out? Perhaps, while perusing the pages of a few favourite clothing catalogues you find lovable pieces but wished there was an entire collection dedicated to that specific style. The Alma Lee Boutique just may be the collection that you’ve been waiting to try. It’s a women’s clothing line designed around the ever-changing female, her mood, her occasion, and environment, not dictated by trend.
   The Alma Lee Boutique was started by fellow fashionista and California gal, Thyme Francis, an accessories designer from San Francisco, Calif. After working in the corporate world for a bit, Francis made an important decision to forgo her nine-to-five job and focus on building an apparel line, one where she could showcase her versatile talents of producing jewellery and fashion. Francis sold many of her designs at local Bay Area boutiques initially, but it was her move to the Los Angeles area where she found her niche market. It was her enamour for fashion and appetite of creating apparel for the trendy everyday girl that was the primary influence for starting the Alma Lee Boutique.
   Designing and sewing was a mere hobby that Francis enjoyed on the weekend. She learned this special skill from her mother and grandmother and she’s thankful they passed down the divine passion along with a few tricks of the trade.
   The Alma Lee Boutique features one-of-a-kind, stylish separates that are easy to integrate into diverse lifestyles. The clothing carries unique pieces, some of which have an almost period æsthetic and others with an everyday-wear practicality. There are structured jackets, reminiscent of the 18th and 19th century with modern twists, avant-garde party dresses, even ethereal maxi-dresses that are quite easy to pack for the chic traveller.
   Francis focuses on inspiration from nature, travelling, film, and motley art mediums. She uses vintage pieces as well as eco-friendly fabrics and supple materials to produce wanted and affordable designs.
   After creating pieces for local LA shops and clients, Francis saw some of her garments grace the television screen on the hit programme, America’s Next Top Model. With the buzz from the show she managed to book local models from the likes of trendy places such as Urban Outfitters, Forever21 and even model Melrose from the TV show.
   The Alma Lee Boutique customers wear fashion-forward dresses and jaunty printed skirts to simple knits that purely make her feel comfortable even while walking her dog. ‘My customers wear clothing that never compromises quality or fit,’ Francis said confidently. This may be a small boutique but, don’t be deceived. Her boutique also features other independent clothing and accessory designers, allowing them to showcase their latest work. It’s like an artist collective boutique that doesn’t mind spreading the love of fashion or an eco-conscious education to others.
   Francis prides herself in specializing in American hand-made apparel and is extremely involved from the early development stage to final production of every item. ‘I design clothing that I want to wear,’ the designer said. Her collection is for the girl who hits the local scene whether she needs an outfit for work, going on a date, to the park or a night on the town. The Alma Lee girl is a fashion page-turning, city-savvy, natural beauty and could also be an uptown sophisticate or forward-thinker. The line really relates to the youthful consumer who stays up-to-date with fashion yet wants to express herself with original, easy-to-style ensembles.
   So, what does this designer do in her spare time? Francis recently finished a fashion show in affiliation with Project Ethos in LA, an organization that provides a huge platform for emerging talent and is working on her spring–summer 2011 collection. There is also buzz of collaborations with local models and other seasoned fashion designers for an upcoming line. To purchase custom garments from Francis’ collection visit—Tamara Madison

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design / environment / fashion / Lucire / modelling / tendances / trend
Filed by Tamara Madison

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