Inspired by her mother's battle with breast cancer, designer Maddie Flanigan combines comfort and beauty in her U.S. made lingerie line, Madalynne Intimates.
How did you become involved in lingerie design? I fell into it. I’ve been sewing since I was eighteen. Shortly after my mom passed away from breast cancer, I was in her linen closet when I spotted her sewing machine. I have no recollection of her sewing, but I had always been into fashion, so I decided to take it up. For about six years, I made mostly dresses, skirts and jackets. I worked in technical design for Anthropologie, and one of my categories was lingerie. This is when I was first exposed to the world of lingerie. I had some extra fabric from a project and made a pair of underwear. I blogged about it and it received A TON of comments. The interest was there, so I continued. I made a bra, then I started teaching bra making. One thing led to another and now I’m here.
What materials do you most like to work with? Lace is high on my list of favorite fabrics, but also mesh. The fabric used for the Macie is a blush pink glitter stretch mesh and is surprisingly easy (and pretty!) to sew.
How does your geography affect your designs? Living in the northeast, half of the year is spent bundling up, so I want my styles—like the Nina—to be a layering piece in addition to true lingerie.
What's your design mission? My overarching vision is to provide women with well fitting, comfortable, and modern lingerie, whether that be through sewing their own or buying from stores. What’s most important to me is that every one of my designs is wearable. For a long time, I made dresses and skirts that would sit in my closet unworn. What’s the point? Now, if I’m not going to wear it, I’m not going to spend the time to sew or produce.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs? Like it’s second skin. Many women want to take off, maybe rip off, their bra the second they get home. I want women to feel supported, but also like their not wearing a bra.
What's one thing people would never guess about you? I’m very easy going. One of my favorite sayings at any workshop or sewing lesson is, “We’re not curing cancer, we’re making undies!” Living with a parent who had a long and rough battle with cancer (double mastectomy, hysterectomy, chemotherapy, collapsed spine) that she eventually lost—it put life into perspective. My priorities changed when I say how cancer and devastated her body and took her life. I realized that life is too short and can be cruel. I decided to only surround myself with the people and the things that matter (sewing being one of them), and not to take life too seriously.
For more head to Madalynne.com
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