Inspired by tropical resort wear and using 70-year-old bark cloth, the Scarlett Collection is the newest project by local designers Heather Lampe and Marylyn Simpson, under the guidance of Mary Strauss. Shot on location at Strauss' beautiful century-plus home in the Central West End and modeled by our city’s favorite soprano, Miran Halen, this new 'vintage' line really springs to life!
Shot on location at the Central West End home of Mary Strauss
Modeled by Miran Halen
Makeup by Amy Koehler/Hair by Brady Keenan
A Stylish Nod to the Past
By Julia Christensen
Timeless elegance meets Palm Beach attitude in the new Scarlett Collection designs, created using vintage bark fabric. The collection name is not merely a ladylike title, but a nod to fictional fashion icon Scarlett O’Hara and her famed green-curtain gown, as bark fabric is the highly-patterned cloth used to make the tropical drapery of yesteryear.
“I used to do a lot of antiquing and digging through flea markets, and it was one of the things I would look for—and then I started to get this huge pile,” says Mary Strauss, whose drapery collection inspired the line. “I love the fabric—they’re tropical, exotic, happy, fun—and I always thought it would be really cute for clothes.”
The collection showcases both vintage patterns and shapes in ways the modern woman can enjoy. “We are reinterpreting some of the iconic looks of the '40s and '50s,” Strauss says. The original bark cloth is used on the Scarlett Collection runway items, while retail pieces are comprised of new bark cloth with print reproductions.
Also behind the collection are St. Louis designers Marylyn Simpson and Heather Lampe. Strauss was introduced to the designers after working with Simpson’s grandmother—also named Marylyn Simpson, the owner of R&M Designs—to design Strauss' dress for last year's Titanic Centennial Dinner at the Fox Theatre. “I thought, Here’s a young designer, she wants to do this, what a perfect fit, let’s talk about it! and that’s how it all started,” Strauss explains. The collection will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 28, as part of Saint Louis Fashion Week.