One to Watch: Petiole’s Designers Would Rather Remain Anonymous

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Perhaps you've been noticing the irresistible sorbet-colored bra tops and silky rompers on the racks at Steven Alan. Oozing with girly charm with a dash of ladylike mystique, it turns out that Petiole's origins are as unconventional as their underpinnings. Unwilling to reveal their identities, founders M.L. and C.O. agreed to chat about their new undertaking on the condition that we protect their names.

"Petiole is the stem that connects the leaf to the plant," explains M.L., who handles the press end of the brand's business. "We feel our collection does the same for clothing: it is the base of your wardrobe." Designer C.O. is responsible for "staying up all night to create patterns and sew muslins ... It’s great, because we’re all on the same page. We think about what we want most in our closets that season and C.O. interprets it, sketches it, makes it, and then we all meet and try it on to ensure it fits or looks the way we all imagined."

Composed of a relatively small range of styles, including silky chemise dresses, camisoles, maxi skirts and pants, all of Petiole's ready-to-wear is crafted from 100% silk, giving the collection a warm, boudoir vibe.

"The secret is we double wash them," says M.L. "Double washing makes the silk unique—extra silky, extra smooth, and it gives it this cool casual feel. We also sew with the shiny-silk side down, so it lies against your skin as a lining. It’s very soft and feels super sexy."

Precisely-placed lingerie details including french seams, baby hems, silk-covered buttons and trimmings with "a delicate old timey touch" add interest and a storybook appeal to the Petiole pieces. "C.O likes to look at old, delicate pieces that have a certain intricacy and high-end quality," explains M.L. As for us, we're content to gaze at Petiole's perfect creamsicle orange bustier, which is screaming to be paired with a gauzy white tank top come summer.

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