At heart, though, she's inspired by everyday women she passes on the street. We spoke to Diane about her rockabilly style, why her workspace smells like tempura and plum sauce, and what inspired her recent move back to Miami from Seattle.
you grow up in Miami?
Yes, I was born and raised in Miami. I love this place, even with its
problems. I just moved back from living in Seattle for three years. I
needed to get back to some serious sunshine. I'm an island girl at heart
and need some warm weather to feel sane. Also, people here are so
different. They're very outgoing and love life. That comes with some
rudeness, but it's a price I'm willing to pay. A good song comes on
here, and people dance even if they're in CVS.
totally. I grew up a bit poor, due to painfully young parents who
didn't like each other very much. So, I would make what I didn't have.
Both my parents are that way too. It's a sort of way I can save money
and make it better anyway.
think I've always enjoyed this. In high school sewing class we had a
fashion show and many of the girls wore my stuff because they liked it
better. I was shy then and they didn't ask me, they kind of just took
the stuff. It was weird. As a kid, my mother made us bad ass Halloween
costumes and my sister and I were always first or second place at the
San Juan Social Club's Halloween party. It was held at Knights of
Columbus. That's when I learned to sew. I'd help my mom cut patterns and
cousins that I'd babysit. I made them outfits with a stapler and Publix
paper bags. As I got older
and would shop with my girlfriends, I would hear their woes. I have a
few plus-sized, gorgeous friends that couldn't find anything to wear. I
thought it was bullshit that they couldn't wear something to show off
their curves. I knew then that I needed to do something about it.
Brache is my first store. It's a work in progress and could be much
better. I need to visit the Small Business Administration and try to get
a mentor. I want to write a business plan and seek out an investor or
loan, so I can hire help and make a better product. I need to hire
someone, but the responsibility of someone else's livelihood from my
business is something I'm terrified of. I want it to be a good place to
making your clothes? What inspired you to make
handmade, rockabilly pin-up dresses and swimsuits?
probably creep a lot of women out. I'm always looking at their clothing
and thinking "very flattering," or "I'd change this seam to make her
waist look smaller." Based on those observations, I make dress patterns.
I want women to feel beautiful just the way they are. A great fitting
outfit is a good start.
handmade to order and made to measure. It's rockabilly subculture with a
modern wearable sense. Who doesn't love pin-ups and that era of
always at work. It's the one sucky thing about running your own
business. I'm either really busy or slow. Slow means I don't know if I
get to pay rent, and busy means I don't eat dinner with the boys, my
Mister and Professor Miles my dog. It's a roller coaster, But I'll see
it through to something great.
been almost a year since I moved the one lady sweatshop out of the
living room. Professor Miles is no longer covered in thread. It's a bit
ghetto, but I love it. I have a big old window that faces Dogma on
Biscayne Boulevard, and it leaks like crazy when it rains. I put the
lucky bamboo my Mister's grandmother gave me underneath the rain so it
get watered. I've seen a couple car accidents from the window.
on top of Moonshine Sushi, and the first floor reaks of tempura and
plum sauce. My neighbors are really loud Miami guys who say bro a lot. I
think they're bounty hunters. They're nice though. Gerri, the building
manger, always makes me smile. She's a sassily dressed Jewish woman with
fantastic energy. I pass her as I get my mail on the second floor.
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love Miami and its style. People like to get dressed up here and aren't
afraid to push the envelope. You see women and the occasional male
doing their groceries in heels. I don't care too much for the Ed Hardy
rhinestone craze, but at least they're dressing up. Just tone down the
cologne boys. I went to the Opera House in Seattle all dolled up, and
everyone was in hoodies. I felt like a turd. Granted, being in Seattle I
should of known better, but that would of never happened in Miami.
like to consider my style rock-n-roll meets the beach bum. Sometimes
I'm in a maxi dress and sandals. Sometimes it's a band T-shirt and my
thick plastic glasses. I love to wear my clothes the most which try to
be rockabilly, a subculture of people who love Gil Elvgren, pin-ups, and
music of the '50s meets the tattoos and debauchery of the new
millennium. I'm not that into the scene; I kind of just admire it from
afar and make clothing inspired by it.