On a small street in Ferndale sits a quaint house that's interior reminds me of a Parisian flat. Sheer black curtains, French vintage posters and the smell of cigarettes fill the air. It’s the home and studio of two of Detroit’s most talented up and-comers in fashion, Emily Thornhill and Fotoula Lambros and their clothing line, Femilia Couture.
The two started Femilia in 2007 casually brainstorming over a Pistons game and bottle of wine. Their ideas took hold and they designed a line that is high-end, hand made couture. An homage to feminine power and timeless glamour. It’s warm and sexy; sophisticated, hip.
Their latest collection was recently showcased at a red-light Boudoir extravaganza at the Loving Touch in Ferndale. The pool-hall was transformed into a burlesque soiree with Goth chandeliers, red-chiffon drapes and masquerade performances by Satori Circus, Audra Koubat, Chantal Dixo, Ish and displays of cool artwork.
Models showed-off two 10 piece collections. One, a retrospective of Femilia and a Sneak Peak of 2010. Their latest collection titled “Vintage in Technicolor,” was inspired by the old-school glamour seen during the recession of the 30s and 40s. “It is a tribute to the strength and integrity of a former era of women in post recession times when women were in the middle of the empowerment movement,” said Emily. “These women were finding the balance between glamour and function. They were working, while still remaining feminine and stylish. We still are faced with the same challenges as we women then, and share the same style features. The Spring/Summer 2010 is full of enhanced shoulders, jumpsuits, corseted and drop waistlines, and heavy draping.”
Inspiration for the color palette (a range of dusty vintage hues and gem-like saturated tones) was drawn from old films. “We were stimulated by films such as "The Women" (1939) for the beautiful couture and multiple silhouettes used alongside its iconic glamour vision and "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (‘64) for their remastering of a black and white film into a film askew with color and hue saturation,” they said.
Femilila works with rare fabrics not in most couture. Ninety-five percent organic, they range from cottons to duchess, burnout and charmeuse silks, as well as bamboo, hemp, soy and viscose blends.
Over the last couple years Thornhill and Lambros have showcased their work all over Metro Detroit and are currently focusing on the marketing sides of their business; preparing to bring the latest collection to boutiques and potential clients. They’ll be at Fashion In Detroit, an internationally listed fashion event October 1 and 2 and are collaborating with OceaNZ Blue, a sea shell distributor to bring more fashion forward couture with one of the most natural shells, Abalone.
“Femilia was an idea born from passion,” they said.