Lucy Agnes imports vintage kimono silks from Japan and incorporates them into its signature label of elegant yet uncomplicated women’s fashions. Designer and owner Jacques Morera became attracted to the beauty and serenity of the design in vintage kimono fabric from the 1920s and 1930s. Yet, for a westerner accustomed to working with bolts of cloth at 36 to 60 inches wide, he encountered a bit of a problem in the width of the kimono silk at just a little over 14 inches wide. Figuring out how to marry his line of high-quality Korean silk clothing with the narrow Japanese kimono silk was something of a challenge. But Jacques, enamored with the Japanese silks, found a way to put it all together by cleverly sewing the decorated silk as a panel on the leg of a pair of pants or an inset panel on a blouse. The result is a unique and timeless creation that can be worn for all kinds of occasions. “It is like wearing a work of art from the museum,” said Jacques.
Jacques and his longtime partner Missy Freygang own and design for their company Lucy Agnes Couture, located in the Plaza 57 Building. Their training and experience in the French and American fashion industries led them to create their own company after working together in New York City. They have been in business for 15 years, first operating their boutique on Sunset Drive in South Miami Town Center, then moving to the SW 57th Court location just a few years ago.
Jacques learned the fashion trade as a young boy in France. In Paris his family had a shop in their apartment. “My father was a tailor, originally from Spain. As a little boy, I would crawl around under the sewing machines,” said Jacques.
Both he and Missy appreciate the Japanese aesthetic. The kimono is very much like the Lucy Agnes line of simple, unconstructed, and flowing clothing which utilizes the somewhat liquid quality of silk. “We love Japan,” said Missy.
Kimono means ‘the thing worn;’ a traditional garment worn by men, women and children. Dating to the 16th century (when it was called kosode, or ‘small sleeve’) the significance of this article of clothing is in the pattern on the surface, not the cut or fit of the piece. Social status, personal identity, and cultural sensitivity are conveyed through color and decorative motif. Decoration often includes fine embroidery in metallic thread that picks out the details of a bird’s wing or a flower’s petal. Natural motifs are common. Jacques and Missy like to use silks with depictions of the endangered red-crowned crane, known as tancho (‘red mountain’). They donate to a foundation working to save these majestic birds in Japan.
The fabric for a Japanese kimono is purchased in a set length called a tan, about 12 yards long and about 14 inches wide which is cut into seven straight pieces. Two panels, each extending up the front, over the shoulder and down the back are vertically seamed to create the body. Two sleeves, two more overlaps, and a narrower panel for the neckband complete the T-shaped garment.
Jacques and Missy are looking to grow the kimono silk line and will be showing it to high-end boutiques on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and Worth Avenue, Palm Beach. “We are working on a new direction and more customers to add to our locally-based list of loyal clients,” said Missy.
Their boutique in South Miami is a labor of love and a dedication to the world of fashion. “We are here all the time. We really enjoy doing business in South Miami, the most beautiful village in the Miami area,” said Jacques.
Lucy Agnes Couture is located at 7301 SW 57th Court, South Miami. Visit them at www.lucyagnes.com or contact them at 305-667-2585.