Skip to main content

"I like the idea of feeling like you just stepped out of a fantasy novel:" An Interview with Manon Marguerite


Images used in collage from hereherehere

I first stumbled on Manon's work as a thirteen-year-old on tumblr and I was immediately enthralled. In my nauseatingly pink feed, her work always stood out as cute yet elegant; it was clear she drew from a compendium of inspirations and the results were tasteful and completely distinct. Strawberry Skies , Manon's brand, remains one of my favorite brands, not only because of their imaginative and whimsical designs, but also because the emphasis they place on ethical practices and the environments matches the pleasantness of their products. It's such a rarity nowadays to be able to support things fully without having anything uncouth to reconcile with. Manon is not only incredibly talented, but also a genuinely sweet person and continues to be a positive force on the internet (another thing that's all too rare these days). It was such a privilege to be able to talk to her. Below you'll find her inspirations, her perspective on creativity, and her journey with starting Strawberry Skies.

What work are you most proud of?
I think I'm most proud of this dress. I love that it can be worn as a skirt or a dress and the fabric is really beautiful.



What was your biggest sewing fail?

When I was first learning I had a lot of fails but I haven't messed up a project in years. Especially working with recycled fabrics, you only get one chance to do it right. I do a lot of planning before starting to cut or sew anything to make sure it will work out the first time.

What inspired you to start Strawberry Skies?

I have always loved sewing and started my creations online. A lot of people really liked my designs and encouraged me to start selling them so I did. I never really imagined people would be so interested in my work.

How would you describe someone that wears Strawberry Skies?

I think the kind of person who would wear Strawberry Skies is someone who cares for the environment, but also loves beautiful fabrics and feeling beautiful.

What are your favorite places in Tokyo?

Lately I'm in love with an area called Jiyugaoka. There are a lot of cute shops, cafes, and plant stores around there. I feel really relaxed whenever I'm there.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs? Has there been any influences that aren't directly related to fashion?

I'm really inspired by fantasy creatures and characters. I absolutely love the traditional style of fairies (the little garden fairies you see in old books) so that inspires me a lot. I like the idea of feeling like you just stepped out of a fantasy novel.

Who do you think is the most creative person alive right now?

This is a really hard one because there are a lot of different ways to be creative. For example, I see someone like Elon Musk as just as creative as say Issey Miyake or the people who make up teamlab. And in the same way, like little old ladies who can embroider anything you ask, art students who can draw and paint like it's a photograph... I don't really know if there's a measure for creativity.

Is it ever hard coming up with designs? Do you ever find yourself at a a loss for ideas?

Kind of the opposite, I always have too many ideas and not enough time!

Have you ever wanted to create something or had a design that just wouldn't work because you didn't have the right resources to pull it off or because it didn't fit with your brand?

Hmmm, since I've started working with kimono, the fabrics are so beautiful, so I really wanted to make extravagant ball gowns, but the reality is that there just isn't enough fabric in one kimono for that. I would also love to make bigger collections but I don't have the time or resources at the moment.

How do you hope people feel when they wear pieces from Strawberry Skies?

I hope they feel comfortable, relaxed, and a little bit magical. At least, when I wear my own designs, that's when I feel happiest, so I hope they feel that way too.

Where did you go to school? What was your first job in the industry?

I studied textiles and soft sculpture in Australia. My first job in fashion was doing PR for a company that imported Japanese brands to Australia. It was a really fun job and it's how I made a lot of the contacts I now have in Japan.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Steps to healing and solastalgia.

It's quite amazing how your inner landscape changes after abuse and trauma.  Things that never used to bother me, or never even entered my awareness are now triggers sending off anxiety responses and distress.  The intensity of these varies and even though I am aware of them and have good protective strategies in place, frequently they go where they want to go as happens in trauma response.  Your hypothalamus hijacks your brain and off goes your heart rate, blood pressure, cognitive function etc.  If ever you find yourself in the company of someone with severe anxiety or experiencing a traumatic trigger please don't expect them to snap out of it or just get over it, the healing process doesn't work like that. They are not being dramatic or silly, nor is it something they have control over.  Be patient, help them to ease their anxiety and fear by using their senses.  Smelling the smells around them, feeling the breeze on their skin. Noticing the texture of their shirt, the …

a heart who's love is innocent

Lately I've been thinking about the difference between being alone and being lonely. I actually don't like the label of introvert, especially the way it's used nowadays online. People that I've encountered online who identify as introverts seem to have swell heads and think that wanting to be alone sometimes counts as a personality. Or they're incredibly misanthropic and think hating people will make them popular online. Obviously this is a generalization, and I'm sure there are some wonderful people in online introvert communities, I just never felt comfortable calling myself part of them, especially lately. I've also been questioning the usefulness of labels-- I think pretty much everyone has introverted and extroverted tendencies.


I am a pretty solitary person, though, and I've always been okay with that, until recently. In high school, I was hardly a party animal, but I had friends that I could go get coffee with and study with and make flower crowns…

lip gloss and cherry pop

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the ways in which my online persona differs from how I act in real life. I think that my demeanor is mostly the same-- I'd like to think that my online friends and my real life friends view me as a kind and intelligent cheese lover. I've met several online acquaintances in real life and they don't seem at all surprised by my mannerisms or anything. But, strangely, I think I'm more open and expressive online. It sounds strange to say "I'm more myself online than I am in real life," because, like most people, my digital life is heavily curated. But I do think that, as someone who suffers from social anxiety, the internet has allowed me to share my thoughts more freely without the intimidation of talking to someone face-to-face.


My (real-life) friend and I are starting a silly podcast-- it's mostly just us talking and we still don't know if we for sure want to make it public or just record conversations for ou…