Privilege Blog

Mary Jo Matsumoto Launches Classic, Soigne Collection For The Grande Dame

Tonight, at a Los Angeles Fashion Week event, Mary Jo Matsumoto launches her Fall 2011 couture line. Mary Jo and I have been Internet friends for some time. Remember these pearls? I was both flattered and excited when she invited me to attend her reception. But what with the spur-of-the-moment trip to Washington, and that fact that life and its tasks do tend to go on even when I’m not around,  I couldn’t free up time to get down south.

I’m still pouting, just a bit. So I asked Mary Jo for photos. Et voilà.

These pictures speak to me. And they say, “Dear, that’s so good-looking.”

Here is a reversible wool cape.

When Mary Jo says reversible, she means it. Of course, the Grande Dame’s Pesky Daughter keeps borrowing the cape to wear with distressed jeans, ribbed undershirt, and cage booties. An ironic tiara. Tsk, tsk. The young these days.

Mary Jo Matsumoto Cape On The Pink Side

My mother wears capes. I believe every Grande Dame worth her salt ought to own one. Very Courrèges, 1960.

Grandes Dames also always own black velvet gala outerwear. For attending the ballet and opera. Even Sturdy Gals will sigh, and buy a black velvet coat, which they will wear over and over and over again for the next 30 years. Here’s Mary Jo’s. In silk velvet, lined with silk charmeuse. There’s little quite so delicious as the slide of charmeuse.

Mary Jo Matsumoto Black Evening Coat

Here’s my version. 32 years old and scarily similar.

Vintage Velvet Jaeger Coat

Enfin, Grandes Dame like to fancy themselves au courant. Remember that 70s trend we’ve discussed here? Encore voilà. Couture always makes High WASPs pull out their poorly pronounced French. We know Mr. Dior wouldn’t mind. Besides, he’s got other, far more serious problems to turn him over in his fashionable grave.

Mary Jo Matsumoto

Pricing for Mary Jo’s line falls somewhere between Theyskens for Theory and Akris. This is couture, i.e. the clothing is very carefully put together out of very high quality materials and can be sewn made-to-measure for ladies who are in-between sizes. Even better, really, that it’s a slightly under-the-radar brand. Info on brick and mortar stores will be available soon, and the clothes will be available on Mary Jo’s online store. Not up quite yet. Early days. In the meantime, anyone interested in a piece can contact the studio directly at 949-226-4960.

She also offers Plus Sizing. We’ve talked about the difficult of finding high quality, High WASP styles in plus sizes, have we not?

Go here. See what you think of the leopard ruffled dress. Grandes Dames have been wearing leopard since forever and they bridle when we use the word trend. It’s classic. The Dame says so. And she deems the line classic and soigne.

Congratulations Mary Jo. We wish you the greatest of successes.

31 Responses

  1. Oh my, what a great find for all of us, I love many of those looks. Both black velvet pieces are speaking to me Miss LPC, they are lovely. We are off to investigate the link you shared, thank you for the tip!

  2. I wear two of my mother’s coats, hand-made for her when she was living in Okinawa during the Korean conflict (as a wife of a serviceman). One is silk and the other cashmere. They both have the silk charmeuse lining. Every year, I think this the year for them to go. I’ve changed to button at the top of each (They’re swing coats.) and have tried to keep them au courant. Do you think I Should let them have their freedom?

  3. How did you know about my cape?

    Seriously, beautiful clothes. I suspect I will own a peice or two soon.

  4. Ah, the pink and grey cape, so ethereal. Some capes look too ‘country’ for me, but hers is the essence of refinement. Looking forward to seeing more on her site, when I checked the shop was not yet up.

  5. Lisa I adore Mary Jo’s line and would love to view more. That cape is the least matronly cape I have Ever seen it is luscious!!

    Come and enter to win my Spring “Green” Gift.

    Art by Karena

  6. Lisa you find the most fabulous clothing lines to dangle in front of our eyes…that cape, sigh…it reeks of quality.

    Velvet outer wear for the Opera…Yes
    Fabrics do add luxe to simple classic styles…

    Mary Jo has a fabulous line…and the model here is extremely beautiful yet real.

    I think I’ll have to hunt down a velvet bow clasp for my hair and save my pennies until I can purchase a coat!

  7. so VERY good-looking!

    I have 2 capes – one is even reversible. I think I shall trot them out for a late winter wearing.

  8. Sorry I am late to the party–I love this write up Lisa, and your particular spin on my line. I wasn’t sure which pieces would resonate with you. I think you would adore the coat based on what you already own–mine is less structured and feels deliciously slinky sliding off at the opera {yes I test-drove it}. I should’ve mentioned that the cape is cut shorter in the back–photo soon, so that you can actually sit down at a restaurant {or bar} in it and keep your arms warm.

    So wishing you could be here tonight, but I completely understand!

    xoxo Mary Jo

  9. Looks lovely – very simple and stylish – I like the cape and the last grey jacket. Hope you don’t think I’m bonkers, I realised that emailing you a pair of lady’s pants might seem a little odd (er, and calling you by the wrong name, sorry Lisa!)

  10. I am a fiend for capes. And if I’m not mistaken, that glass house is on Carmel Beach. I was inside it once when it was briefly for sale, and the views were identical to what’s pictured above.

  11. I’m a Sturdy Gal in the Grande Dame Training Program so put me down as interested. The fact that I can buy for my no-longer-lithe body is icing on the cake of beautiful clothes. Many thanks for sharing – I never would have known about these otherwise!

  12. I love Mary Jo and her clothes are wearable and beautiful, the cape is wondrous and the pink and grey would suit everyone. Lovely shots of the waterfront too, the wave is perfectly crashing behind her!

  13. Jan – The rule is we can call objets of desire Whatever. We. Want:).

    TPP – I think her line is your cup of tea, in many ways. I wonder if the TPP readers would like it. Does it count as preppy, do you think?

    Jo-De – Oh, I’d keep those coats. I’d keep them until they shred, myself.

    DocP – I thought of you. Absolutely. And that you have a cape surprises me not one whit.

    Duchesse – Now, you, I imagine, would make this quite artsy. Very creative, rather than classic.

    Karena – I will take a look!

  14. Flo – :). I only wonder, should I belt it these days…

    Hostess – I want a velvet bow clasp too! I wonder who might make a deluxe version?

    Patsy – Absolutely.

    Tabitha !

    mary jo – Your opening looked just wonderful. Something for the Artsy, literally.

    That’s Not My Age – Ha! I find that blogging is kind of one long howl of “Oh my god why did I say that!” I loved the email and thought it was hilarious. As for the name, you know, if I’m going to call myself all kinds of things I can’t be surprised if others do too.

  15. Susan – I will follow up.

    Susan – You are probably right.

    Stephanie – Yes. I could imagine it.

    Rubi – My pleasure;).

    Lori – :).

  16. FF – Oh you are the Grandest Grande Dame I know, in the blogosphere.

    Marsha – So glad you like it. We Sturdy Gals must STRETCH our style quotient:). Something about these clothes makes it less daunting.

    Jody – Wearable, exactly.

    Louise – I think you should have one for late night drives.

    Tara – My pleasure!

  17. Lovely clothes! I do not imagine myself in any way High Wasp or any of the “Sturdy Gal” archtypes but I do love these clothes. That leopard dress is so amazing!

    Thank you for bringing Mary Jo’s clothes to our attention!

    1. My pleasure. And I’m happy to hear that my recommendations can be useful to someone who doesn’t identify with the Archetypes. Even better, really.

Comments are closed.