We had the good fortune of connecting with Lizzie Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lizzie, what do you attribute your success to?
I owe a lot of my success to being bold and staying true to my style and ideals about fashion. I love bright, sparkly pieces that mix kids wear elements with lady’s sportswear. That certainly isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but it’s this fun, funky elegance that lets my work really stand out. It took me a while to feel comfortable designing looks without holding back but once I began doing that, all the pieces fell together. My best work comes from designs I create without thinking “who is this for?” and simply make what I would like to wear but can’t find on any shelves! 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Combining fashion and function has been my focus from the start. I don’t just want to create something that looks nice, I want it to feel nice, too. I was a very physically sensitive kid; I wouldn’t wear socks because the seam across my toes felt bad, I hated zippers because of how they bubbled and poked you when you moved, I wouldn’t wear jeans because I felt restricted in them. While I’ve grown out of those discomforts bothering me, that early relationship with clothes stuck with me and formed how I design and construct garments today. Because of this I put a lot of thought into picking comfortable, easy to care for fabrics for my designs and construct them with the wearer’s comfort and range of motion in mind. I’m also a huge advocate for pockets in women’s clothing! This comfort first approach has been integral with my mask making business. I must have tried every elastic and elastic alternative under the sun before finding the perfect one that combines durability with comfort and functionality. I use a separate pattern for sequin masks verses printed cotton or embroidered options so that nothing rough is against the wearer’s face. It is so important to just slow down for a moment while sewing or designing. Take a second to imagine you’re the person wearing what you’re making and look at the clothes not as a designer, not as a seamstress, but as a person trying to live their life and notice the things about the garment that would make it a little harder to do that. Taking that moment to change your perspective on your work has helped me in so many ways and I really think I am a better designer for it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First and foremost we would be going to the Dallas Arboretum for a picnic. That is one of my favorite places, even when not limited to DFW, and I truly think everyone who comes to Dallas needs to spend an afternoon there. As a native Texan I have some wonderful memories there, and its just a beautiful place to enjoy the season. I’m a home-body, so after that I would honestly be wiped and want to treat my friend to a home cooked meal by my fiancée who is a wonderful cook. During the week I would definitely want to hit up some of my favorite sports from college in Denton, like Beth Maries for their incredible lavender honey ice cream, and sit and chat over a few drinks at Paschall’s across the street. For something a little closer to my current home we’d go to Yoon to feast on some Korean BBQ and follow that up with some sesame seed ice cream from SomiSomi. Can yall tell I love food? Eateries aside, I’d love to show my friend the Dallas Museum of Art via DART, hopefully they would have another beautiful fashion exhibit, like their recent Christin Dior one, or less recent Alexander McQueen. Strangely, one of my favorite things is volunteering with For the Love of the Lake to help clean up around White Rock Lake. I would love to take my friend with me and go for coffee afterwards at Native Coffee CO. to discuss the most interesting trash we were able to remove from the ecosystem.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am today without my support team, but a few stand out from the crowd. Firstly, a college professor of mine from UNT, Barbara Trippeer. I only had 2 classes with her my entire 4 years there but she has encouraged me and been supportive of my work more than I could have ever hoped for. It was her input that lead to me designing for award winning opera performances like Don Giovanni, and her encouragement to experiment wildly with new techniques that gave me confidence to not fear my mistakes. secondly, my day job manager, Jasmina Lukic. She has been like an open book, ready to teach me everything she knows from her many years in various parts of the fashion industry. She understands that as my business grows, I will grow away from my job with her, and still she teaches me what she knows to help me be the best seamstress, designer, and patternmaker I can be. I owe so much of my skillset to her. And lastly, my parents. It is not so common to have your parents support going into the arts, but there was never a moment where my parents doubted me or tried to steer me onto a different path. I think my parents believe in my business even more than I do myself! They are my first and biggest fans, and having their full support truly means the world to me.

Website: www.etsy.com/shop/retrogradedesign
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/retrograde_designs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/retrogradesigns

Image Credits
Sergio Islas, Brittany Noel, Sara Dela Cruz, Renell Bell, Anneka Presston, Ashley Zola, Vivian

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.