Women’s Studies is a line of women’s clothing designed by Lucy Rockwell to make you look and feel good. Lucy designs and sews shirts, dresses and capes from 100% silk fabric with attention to detail and style. Their beauty is in the simplicity of the designs, which all share a common theme of elegance, comfort and fashionable versatility.
In the Beginning: The idea for Women’s Studies started when Lucy realized there was something missing in her wardrobe and probably in a lot of other wardrobes too. She wanted something that is not only comfortable to wear, but also versatile.
The Missing Fashion: She imagined clothing that is dressy, yet casual and stylish. It should be, she thought, a style that was flattering, loose-fitting, and high quality. Something she would want to wear with jeans, to the office, or out on the town.
Simple Beauty: So, Lucy set out to design the clothes herself. She chose silk as the fabric for its beauty and quality. The clothing has simple lines that hang beautifully on any shape. The colors are fresh. The shirts and skirts are easily dressed up or dressed down, and can either be the centerpiece or the accent to your daily fashion choice.
Designing Nature: Women’s Studies is not Lucy’s first design project. She collaborated with her friend Natalie Barela on the lingerie line, Midge. She worked in creative consulting and product development for a soap line. She even sewed handbags out of vintage fabrics while in high school. It seems that Lucy’s creativity runs deep.
Variations of a Theme: Encouraged by her benefactor, the owner of Communion on SE Hawthorne, Lucy began, and Women’s Studies launched at Communion (which remains the only retail store where you can purchase the line). The line currently boasts 5 to 6 different styles, each hand sewn with care down to the french seams. The designs are variations of simple geometric forms that Lucy transforms into enduring fashion. Lucy even hand paints some of the silk, creating patterns in the fabric that are unique to each shirt or dress it becomes.
For Women: Each dress or skirt is named for a different feminist. Lucy says there are hundreds of names to choose from, and she also has a degree in Women’s Studies and Art History. But I think the names have more meaning than that. I think naming each design after feminists accurately reflects what Lucy is trying to accomplish with Women’s Studies.
Empowerment: Yes, Lucy is designing clothing to empower the women who wear them. She wants women to feel confident wearing her designs, while also feeling free to be themselves. On another level, Lucy is also building something to call her own. Lucy aspires to continue to grow Women’s Studies and expand into an on-line store. She enjoys the challenges of growing the business and the opportunities to collaborate and share with other small business owners in Portland.
It’s Fun!: Not unlike many of the small business owners I talk to, Lucy enjoys the work she does. Sewing is fun, she says. She enjoys the creative outlet of designing new styles and patterns and painting the silk. She loves contributing to the self confidence of the women who buy and wear Women’s Studies clothing.
The Art of Portland: Just like many of us who live in Portland, Lucy came for a visit and fell in love with the city. Lucy says Portland is full of creative people, and she’s right I think. Lucy, and others like her, are part of the fabric of the city that makes it so unique. Like Lucy’s hand painted silk, each of these artisans makes an imprint on the city, creating a culture and space that is vibrant, creative and alive. There is no other U.S. city quite like Portland I think, and the small and creative businesses like Women’s Studies are a big reason for that.
Look for Women’s Studies clothing at Communion at 3556 SE Hawthorne. You can also learn more about Lucy and Women’s Studies at her website, www.womensstudies.pdx.com. Find Women’s Studies also in Instagram: womens_studies
Featured image source: Lucy Rockwell