It was thrilling to collaborate with Eva Franco showcasing her summer and fall designs. The opportunity to wear many of her amazing dresses was a dream, as was getting to know this lovely, down to earth designer at her Downtown LA warehouse where all the magic happens.
For the photoshoot itself, Bard + Paul brought to life the whimsical side of Echo Park (the home of Eva Franco’s boutique), creating seasonal picnic and outdoors scenes at Elysian Park inspired by Franco’s designs. The shoot wouldn’t be complete, of course, without a homage to the beloved Echo Park Lake, so naturally, an afternoon adventure by the water’s side became part of the story.
We were lucky to have two very talented ladies whose skills and creativity brought the images to life. Photographer Madeleine Marine complimented the world of Eva’s dresses with whimsical artistry, effortlessly giving the images a sense of life and story. It was also a special treat to have our friend and Echo Park local, Melisa Saraceni of Scores of Hellebores, design the stunning flower head wreaths and flower arrangements for the shoot. Between her stunning floras, Madeleine’s gorgeous photography and of course, Eva Franco’s incredible frocks, this collaboration has undoubtedly been one of my favorites.
I caught up with Franco to learn more about her inspiration, designs and thoughts on the fashion world today. Enjoy! ♡ ☆ ♡ ☆
☆ Interview with Eva Franco ☆
AP: Your dresses reflect a certain nostalgia for vintage eras and designs. What inspired this style and is there a particular era you gravitate to most for creative ideas and inspiration?
EF: Yes, vintage is a big part of my inspiration and it’s nice to revive certain details I discover in garments. I also grew up having watched a few vintage Hollywood musicals where the showgirls were gracefully emerging from the water twirling in fabrics in these huge scenes. I am sure somewhere early on this obsession with glamour was carved out as a very important achievement for women.
I love the 1950s because there were such great tailored lines. There was a love affair of having fabrics available after the rationed fabric shortages of the 1940s, so I think designers just went for it and used volume to great new heights. But recently I’ve been loving the patchwork of the 1960s. It’s always changing and that keeps things very exciting.
AP: A good portion of your designs seem universally complimentary to many body types, with some emulating a more curvaceous, womanly form. Was creating dresses wearable for multiple body types a conscious decision on your part? And as a designer, what role do you believe fashion has in the greater body-conscious conversation affecting so many women in today’s world?
EF: I think being a woman with curves myself really informed me early on that it’s best to design flattering styles so more women can feel and look great in my designs.
AP: Though Eva Franco designs can be found in 800 stores around the world, your company headquarters are in Downtown LA where all the clothing is made. The Eva Franco boutique is also close by in Echo Park. What are your thoughts on keeping production local and does this choice have an ethical component? And from your experience, what are the benefits of keeping production local and personal and what effect does this have on the productivity of your brand and staff?