It’s fitting that on the afternoon of what was the Women’s March (or March On! Vancouver), I spent 1.5 hours hanging out with one of our city’s soon-to-be-noticed eco-designers, Laura Bemister of Muse Clothing Co. Not only am I the first blogger in town to talk about this line of basic, organic bamboo/cotton dresses, but I’m honoured to have had a one-on-one dress-up session in her home studio in Kitsilano. When she gets big (and she will), she’ll be WAY too busy to have customer fittings on rainy weekend afternoons!
Laura is a wonderful soul, is super conscious (we talked about finding joy in work, divine timing, and healing sessions), and treated me to a glass of white and chocolate while I tried on some of her recommended styles. While she doesn’t make the dresses herself, she designs them and has a completely local team. So no sweatshops or underpaid workers in this biz. Boo-yah!
Muse Clothing Co has 25 basic dresses each named after and inspired by the personalities of Laura’s “muses” (her friends). Most of the colours are muted and not super bright, but there’s a wide range of them and what’s great about these is that they can always be dressed up or down. (Note: Not all dresses shown below.) What’s amazing is that if you order online or in person (instead of retail), the dress is made to order – like a good gourmet meal at a restaurant.
Muse’s retailers also hold about 5 dress styles at a time in various sizes and have a swatch of colours so that customers can order online or from the store directly, if it doesn’t carry the style or colour they want.
I dressed up the Danika dress with a black blazer for more of an office look… which is what I wore to a networking event Laura and I attended.
Though I wouldn’t call the material thin, be aware that if you wear tights or leggings with these dresses, the waistband will show. I love high-waisted tights, so I had to move ’em down a bit so that it sat where the waistline of the dress was.
Right now, the Danika dress is the only one with pockets… but I’m sure she’ll make more! Also, all of the dresses come with bust lining- so even though I’m wearing a bra in all of these photos, in the summertime you could probably get away with freeing the girls, so long as you have a sweater handy for nighttime. 🙂
Oh my god. I have a few t-shirts and a sweater that are organic cotton and I thought that was luxurious. Let me tell you, organic bamboo (or blend) is the sh*t. The fabric hugs your skin without feeling tight (which is a no-no for me as too-tight waistlines lead to stomach acid and staying up all night in pain). I thought of the Seinfeld episode when George’s janitor at work talks about feeling cashmere for the first time. The material is so comfy that it feels like wearing nothing, in a non-embarrasing way! Moreover, I am an ALWAYS COLD person and I wasn’t cold at all in Laura’s basement studio nor when I wore the short dresses under my coat in the rain. And it’s breathable for the summertime too. Laura said that if the fabric ever gets a small hole or snag, the rest of it stretches to cover it up, so you barely notice it.
Plus, it’s machine washable, and requires no ironing… you might need to steam some of the more intricate styles, but my iron has a steam setting so it literally took 1 minute to steam right before I put it on. And even if the dress looked like it had wrinkles, they smooth out quite a bit when you put the dress on.
Laura said one of her customers has had her dress for 8 years, and it’s still going strong. So you honestly can’t get a better fabric than this.
All dressed up! The long Angela dress has just a bit of a slit on each side for some movement. Gotta admit, the hubby liked this look a lot. Next time, dinner!
I loved that the front neckline was high but it’s racerback style behind. Comfy as a yoga tank, but just showing that bit of skin. Soon as I put it on, I was immediately inspired by Sade.
I thought it was a triumph to get a good pair of jeans that FIT. Let me tell you, this material is awesome and requires no guessing. I’m typically a size 4 so the Small fit me perfectly — but Laura said you can always order up or down if you want something tighter or looser fit… so you can pretty much order whatever the heck you want when it comes to these sizes.
Here is more of a cocktail party look with the heels… it’s hard to see the pleats on the neckline, but it matches the hem and is such a fun style!
I tried to put on more of a summer look with the Veda dress, but let’s face it, it’s been raining like heeeell lately so I put on the new Roma boots the hubby gave me for Christmas (bonus- they’re natural rubber, non-toxic, and buy-1-gift-1). Plus it’s just so damn fun to wear a dress with boots.
All of the dresses are $200 each plus tax (and shipping, if applicable). Which to me, is an absolute steal given how much wear you’re going to get from a basic dress like this over the years.
What’s next for me? Probably ordering a little black dress (LBD) that I can wear year-round to business meetings and cocktail parties.
Originally from the North Okanagan, Laura started Muse in Victoria 10 years ago. The line sells at Empire of Dirt in downtown Squamish where she continues to split her time, at Giving Gifts in Vancouver right near me, and online at museclothingcompany.com. With her e-store, she hopes to eventually take orders internationally. After holding three pop-up shops in Vancouver in 2017, her goal for this year is to establish a solid list of retailers in the city, and also allow women to host private trunk shows… because let’s face it, shopping with friends is WAY more fun than going to the mall nowadays, and ordering online takes a backseat when you can have the designer come to you, try on dresses, and order, all in one. Contact Laura at museclothingcompany.com if you want to host a Muse party with your friends!
Here’s to eco-fashion, comfort, friends, and your favourite indulgences.