While most local boutiques lean more toward skin-revealing garments and beach-friendly casual-wear, one brand is bringing designer-inspired couture to your closet. Marigold Shadows’ refreshing array of individualist avant-garde clothing is a departure from on-trend retailers with its oversize fit, dark color palette and asymmetrical silhouettes. In fact, most of its inventory looks as if it could fit in an Alexander Wang or Jil Sander runway show thanks to the brand’s propensity to engineer what its owner calls “wearable art.”
“I’d say our styles are an everyday avant-garde,” Zoe Abel says. “For the most part, they’re functional—you can walk down the street in them—but they’re pretty unique.” Looking through the store’s online catalog, there’s a cohesiveness behind the collection whether a garment is as minimalist as a long sweater dress or as constructed as a ruffled-sleeve blouse. Add to that the clothing’s gradient of dark colors and wide, flowy tailoring, and Marigold Shadows delivers an element of sophistication to 21st-century street-wear. No basic tees or body-con dresses à la Nasty Gal wanted.
Abel and her team of designers usually make about 10 pieces of each style to test market. Inspired by Japanese and Korean street styles, as well as Día de los Muertos (the store’s name references the marigolds displayed at altars during the holiday), Marigold Shadows caters to people looking for statement apparel and would probably fit in equally with the New York Fashion Week set, Goths and other artsy millennial types. Plus, the brand’s use of faux leather makes it a hit with vegans.
With a brand-new warehouse, Marigold Shadows primarily operates online-only, with the occasional pop-up at the Lab in Costa Mesa and Marcas Gallery in downtown Santa Ana. But Abel says she’d ideally like to open a brick-and-mortar in DTSA, with Instagram-worthy interactive experiences. In the meantime, find your supply of threads at marigoldshadows.com.
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers film and previously contributed to the OCW’s long-running fashion column, Trendzilla. Don’t ask her what her favorite movie is unless you want to hear her lengthy defense of Showgirls.