John & Mickie


Interview by Taylor Dent — Photographs by Jenny Kim

Ten minutes from Venice Beach’s carnival-like boardwalk, where fortune-tellers’s shop line the road and tourists dodge teenage skateboarders, is the home studio of designer Loraine Ebbins. And it’s here, inside her studio, that Ms. Ebbins dreams up the concepts for John & Mickie, her up-and-coming women’s dress line. All the dresses from her collection are hand-dyed using her own techniques in order to produce one-of-a-kind garments.

Ms. Ebbins invited the crew of Marrow into her home for a conversation about her newest creations for the label:

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Marrow Magazine: When did you begin John & Mickie?

Loraine Ebbins: John & Mickie was established in February 2011 when I bought a few rolls of fabric with a business plan in mind of making some dresses selling those dresses and buying more fabric.

MM: Your entire line consists of dresses. What’s behind that decision? 

LE: I choose to make dresses because personally I was tired of seeing women, myself included wearing jeans. A dress celebrates being a girl. I think putting on a dress in the morning says I care about me and what I look like in the world  and besides your bottom always looks good in a dress.

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MM: How long did it take you to develop the wrap design used in your dresses?

LE: I am fortunate that I have no idea, I am always experimenting with fit for each dress that I make. Every dress evolves from the dress I made before as is true with all creative work I think.

MM: Do you have a favorite dress in the collection?

LE: The answer is no because if I do not love the dress and cannot see it on a woman it is not in the collection. I really do love them all.

MM: On another note, we loved the antiques and vintage pictures in your studio. What past decades inspire you? 

LE: I have always believed that to design for the future you need to know where you have been. From an early age I have loved and appreciated the way a thing looks and a love of history. I do not have a favorite era as you can tell from my Pinterest boards.  I really do love and appreciate all good design.  When I work I love touching my Grandpa’s tape dispenser, my Dad’s boat curves and looking at my Grandma’s fashion plates. My Mom collected old buttons, beads and lace that continue to inspire me.

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