Mimi Plange is an African-American designer to look out for. Combining African inspiration with modern cuts and pastel colours, Mimi’s designs herald the spring and bring out the romantic in us.
Mima was born in Ghana and raised in California where she attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California and went on to study Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley.
After graduating, Mimi went to New York to work for a men’s designer after which she and her husband started their own label, Boudoir D’Huitres, which she later changed to Mimi Plange.
Her architectural training is obvious in her designs, as is her strong desire to make wearable, beautiful clothes for the successful, powerful woman. The First Lady Michelle Obama agreed and wore Mimi’s periwinkle gabardine skirt the same year that Mimi won Designer of the Year at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in South Africa – 2012. “I am catering to every woman’s body from a female perspective,” Plange told T magazine. “It’s not about me or what I want to wear; it’s about wearable, real fantasy for real women.”
One of Mimi’s signature, defining elements is her adaptation of the Italian embroidery technique, Trapunto, to interpret scarification, a call-back to her Ghanaian roots. The traditional African tattoo-type body etchings are still used in certain West African regions and considered to be a sign of beauty. Mimi likes to play with texture, uses clean lines simply to follow the elegant grace of the female silhouette. Her designs hark back to the romantic Victorian age – of Pride and Prejudice ruffles and florals, or Jane Eyre-style silk, high-necked blouses yet, she opens up the brusque and severe qualities by using vibrant, more modern colours.
Her latest collection is softer and definitely more romantic. She has used lots of soft materials, pastel colours and sweeping lines to create her overtly feminine look.
If Mimi Plange is good enough for Michelle Obama and Rihanna, she’s good enough for us, right? Check out her full collection on her website here.
photo credit: Mimi Plange/ NY Mag/Fashizblack