The very first time that I saw a design by Marlene Haute Couture, I was ready to run out, grab the first guy that I saw, and marry him just so that I could wear one of her wedding dresses. There are no words that come to mind that can describe the amount of detail and creativity that she puts into every piece. Originally from South Africa Marlene Thomas affectionately called Marli has traveled the world living in various places from Australia to Italy, and she describes her designs as “very feminine and soft with intricate detailing”.
Over the past couple of months Marli and I have become good friends, we’ll call each other up and talk for hours from fashion to just life in general. She’s been one of our biggest supporters, cheerleaders, and motivators. She’s even shared with me several of her confidential sketches—which I’m going to go ahead and say are Oscar Red Carpet worthy. There’s not a week that hasn’t gone by that she has not called either myself or Junda to share some big news about her work and her appearances. In recent months Marli has been highly sought after by the Sundance Channel, her designs have been recruited for the Grammy’s, most recently she’s been approached by the PR Staff of Vogue Magazine, and in July she will be the headlining designer for Dayton Fashion Week.
Since a child Marli has been a fan of fashion and upon enrolling in Linea Fashion Academy in South Africa she was advised that her designs and work were too advanced, she had natural skills and was told that she should go to Italy to study fashion design. According to Marli, she does sketch but very rarely will she find it necessary to sketch out a final look. “I usually have an idea which fabrics to use, then when I start working with the fabrics I make additions to the base design… It’s all about the fabric, especially the soft fabrics like chiffons, voiles, and silks”
If I had to describe Marli style of design in one word, it would be impossible because her style ranges from business professional to avant-garde. She doesn’t follow style trends she believes that every person has their own style and they should follow it. She does have some fashion pet peeves—a big no no for Marli is people who wear animal prints from head to toe—“if you’re going to wear an animal print, please don’t wear animal print shoes.” Another fashion no no according to Marli is over accessorizing, “I always say LESS IS MORE” so don’t wear huge earrings with a huge necklace and finally a big no no for Marli is clothing that clings to all of the wrong areas!
The Marlene Haute Couture line has been on the rise and one of Marli’s major goals is to have a ready to wear production line. “I would love to see my designs at a very high end fashion boutique and of course land a major celebrity to wear my designs”
The thing that I love and respect most about Marli is the fact that she uses models of all sizes and in fact she will have a size 18 model in her show for Dayton Fashion Week. “We all love fashion, big, small, tall and petite. Women of all sizes want to wear beautiful fashions and designs. Although thin models are often used on the runway, it is also good to have plus sized models, and for me to see them on the runway, is almost a “must”! It is important for me to know that a model is healthy and has never had an eating disorder or losing weight just because they want to be that perfect fit on a runway. I do not like to use model at all who are sizes 0 – 4 anymore because the facts are the ones wearing my designs in the end are sizes 6 – 10.”
Marli also has some advice for those seeking to enter the fashion industry—“It’s hard work– nothing happen instantly. You have to develop the business side for it to be a viable company. You always hear people say “That is my passion” but I go a step further by saying put effort into your passion to become successful. And forget being a copycat of someone else’s designs, do your own thing, use your creativity!”
Marli, has also let me in on a few secrets and a surprise for her appearance during Dayton Fashion Week including a one of a kind design to be auctioned off during DFW’s Silent Auction for Hospice of Dayton and Clothes That Work. As far as the other surprises are concerned– my lips are sealed and you’ll have to be in attendance to find out!! “This will be my highest couture line ever! I am very grateful that Dayton Fashion Week has given me this opportunity to design “out of the box” which of course I love.” Marlene Haute Couture is well known for the one of a kind, very high fashion, avant-garde pieces for the person who wants to make a fashion statement. “Those in attendance during Dayton Fashion Week will not be disappointed!!” For more information about Marlene Haute Couture please visit http://marlenehautecouture.com.