Monday, March 15, 2010

Fashion For the (Birthday) People

While I may be in denial over my advancing age, I can't deny that I like getting presents for my birthday.

My husband wanted to get me "something pretty" for my birthday, but he had vetoed the Drifting By Dress that I'd coveted from Anthropologie ("It's okay, but I think you can find something that looks cooler on you..."), so I decided to look for an alternative for my birthday present. I'd been interested in checking out Matrushka Construction after reading about their unique, handmade dresses online. A quick glance at their current collection convinced me to make the drive to Silverlake this past weekend.

I was greeted by Laura, the owner, immediately upon my entrance. She was seated near the back of the shop, behind a sewing machine, dressed in workout clothes. She looked like she was about to go on a run.

I knew I liked her already.

The whole vibe of the shop was extremely low-key and unpretentious. Laura cheerfully invited me inside to have a look around and try anything on, and she assured me not to worry about sizing as anything could be tailored to fit my exact measurements.

The tags sewn inside the dresses pretty much sums up their philosophy:

I couldn't believe that all the gorgeous dresses around me were all handmade right there in the shop! I can't even tell you how many dresses I grabbed to try on. I had actually wanted to try on more, but I was embarrassed by how many I was already taking into the dressing room with me.

In the end, it was like how I am with potato chips - I couldn't have just one.

Behold, my birthday dress(es)!

The "Belted Blouse" Dress, in black with red silk screen and red silk sash:

Couture Independence!

And the "Veronica Lake," in floral print:

(It should be noted that this dress also comes in a floor length style, but I decided on the short version, for today.)
Oooh, note the back:

And you know what else is awesome? The dresses are machine washable! How great is that?
And the other awesome thing? They sew their own shopping bags out of leftover materials!
Here's the one they gave had a Navajo theme:

What's not to love?

While I was trying on dresses, a gal came in to have her measurements taken. She was bubbling over with excitement, as she was a bigger gal and she had trouble finding dresses that fit her properly. Laura was going to custom make a dress for her!

So it goes to show you, it doesn't matter what size you are - Matrushka Construction really does live up to its motto: "Fashion for the people."

I do have half a dozen dressing room photos from the day, but a) I hadn't asked permission from the shop if I could take them (and I'm not comfortable publishing them without asking permission), and b) the photos were from my cameraphone and not very good, so they don't do the dresses justice. that I have two new, fabulous dresses...where should the hubby and I go, for my birthday dinner? And which one should I wear? *happy dance*

Allrighty, that's it for now. Thanks for reading!



  1. Kathryn, you look amazing in that Veronica Lake dress. I want one!!! (Are these machine washable?)

  2. Yea those dresses are super cute!! And machine washable?! Awesome!!!!! And they can make dresses for bigger gals?! I know where I'm going for my bday! :)