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Kathy Malone

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Fofolle (French for wacky girl) is the brainchild of Kathy Malone, a highly creative and self-taught clothing designer. After moving to New York at the age of 18, Kathy studied millinery at the Fashion Institute of Technology, "which absolutely delighted my parents," she says with a grin. She learned to sew on a second-hand Elna built in the 1970's, when they were still manufactured in Switzerland. That sewing machine, says Kathy, still runs like a dream. Following graduation, Kathy apprenticed with numerous New York milliners, including Lola Millinery. Because of her skill, she was enlisted to repair some elaborate head pieces needed for a production about Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo for the Jose Limon Dance Company, This led to more work with Jose Limon and other dance and theater companies. When her son, Milo, was born in 1998, Kathy decided that the demands of the theater and dance world were incongruous with the needs of her new family, so she got a job in the wig making department at the Metropolitan Opera. In her "spare time" she began to design children's clothing. Her quilted skirts with their trippy, vibrant, floral linings and inside-out style were a particular success. Kathy even began to have some admirers among the 7-year-old set in Brooklyn. Apparently, their mommies liked the skirts too, because she began to get requests for adult sizes. And so began her line of women's clothing, Fofolle. Most of my "re-inventions" have been those boxy, unflattering, velvet jackets popular in the late 70's. They are usually found in burgundy, chocolate, or black. the fabric is good but the shape is unsightly! I then like to look deep into the overall color and pull out the undertone, the overtone, or the contrasting color. And so, hunting for thread, ribbons, and buttons I go. This is the best part! Off with the arm! Off goes the other arm! Snip! Snip! There goes the side seam... Out come the shoulder pads! And I re stitch until I have a shape that is flattering and romantic. Imagine that - a cinched waist! A beautiful bow, velvet trim, antique buttons (maybe even my grandmothers). Each piece is truly an original. And I can transform a skirt or a dress too.