First Post

Maquien featured in The Journal magazine

Country classic cuts with a modern twist

Vonny Law has gone from making doll’s clothes as a child to designing luxurious country-style collections. Natalie Murphy finds out more

Judging by Vonny Law’s designs for her label Maquien’s latest collection, her dolls must have been the best dressed in the playground. The designer, who works from a home studio in Ellerker, learnt to sew by making clothes for her toys.

Now her range of British-made tailored country wear is in demand here and abroad. 

Vonny says: “I had a boutique in Beverley when I was younger – in my 20s – called Perks. 

“The slogan was ‘fashion that works at Perks!”

“I sold it after three years and I had always felt it was unfinished business.”

After her children had flown the nest, Vonny decided it was time to go back to her childhood hobby and enrolled on a degree course at Bishop Burton College to further hone her natural skills.

“I was taught to make doll’s clothes when I was about three and I have always loved sewing,” she said.

“I did do a course when I was about 18 or 19 in sewing. Then, after the children had grown up, I thought now is the time and I started Maquien not from a shop but on the internet and going to shows.

“I have been doing it for five years and gradually built it up.”

“I also do quite a lot of bespoke work, so people come to me if they have seen my designs but they want a specific length or fabric or to choose trims.”

Maquien has a classic country feel, but the cut and quality of the fabrics and designs give the label a modern edge, making it just as wearable in the city.

Its appeal also spans the generations, with customers from 18 to 90 visiting Vonny. 

One even travelled from Ireland to East Yorkshire to see Vonny. She is currently working on an order of 140 garments for a customer in mainland Europe.

Working in tweeds and wools, including plain lambswool, Vonny uses only British-made cloths from mills in Scotland and England. She said: “I’m passionate about that. Also everything is tailored in the UK.”

As for the, it reflects the origins of the business whose slogan is now “stylish and practical”.

“The idea was born in Scotland on a riverbank near an old croft, where the name came from too, with its quirky spelling,” said Vonny.

“I was wearing a threadbare old waistcoat and wanted a new on and I thought I could make it.”

“That’s where it all came from.”

...with kind permission from Natalie Murphy, The Journal.