How did The Proper Peony really start?
It all started with a vintage dress we uncovered in a closet at our parent's house. It was a darling, white dress our ever-stylish and shopper-extraordinaire grandmother "Queen" bought from Sak's Fiftth Avenue in the early 70's. It had perfect pleats and darling red strawberries beautifully embroidered up the front. It's been a lot of work from that day, but seeing that dress was what made us realize we wanted more styles like that for our own children, and we didn't see them being done!
Where do you live now?
Annie and her crew moved into a "new" old house on a tree lined street in Dallas, and Page and family are in a similar old house that they've renovated in East Memphis. (Although, the renovation is never complete!) These homes are filled with lots of tutus and bows because there are seven girls among the families! Our sweet husbands are really outnumbered!
Are your pieces really hand-embroidered?
Each one is exquisitely hand-embroidered in techniques that are getting harder and harder to find (and that a machine just can't replicate). We love looking at the embroidery detail even on the underside, because even though no one will ever see it, it's just as beautiful as the front. The details are so important to us!
How do you describe your style?
We love both classic traditional and modern! (Can't we have it all?!) We strive to design styles that take the exquisite hand-work you see in vintage hand-embroidery coupled with fresh colors and more modern lines and cuts.
Why the peony?
We grew up with pink peonies in our mother's garden. (We even carried them in our weddings!) We love that they are sophisticated and beautiful in a subtle way. Understated elegance is one of our mantras!
So, why do you use the word "Proper" in your name?
We love children dressing like “proper” children. (We don’t mean perfect, but proper in the sense of looking their age in sweet, classic clothes!) We believe “proper” styles wear well, and they don’t sit in their mother’s ironing pile for months on end. We also want to accentuate the proper idea of kindness, like letting guests go first, using thoughtful words, and remembering that clothes are only as pretty as the smile on your face!
Where do you get your inspiration?
We don't like this answer, but everywhere! We could be driving down Knox in Dallas and see an element that catches our eye on a beautiful dress in a window, or looking at old tea towels in an antique store we found in Virginia. We are drawn to color and unique lines, and we love the classics, too!
What would you collect if you could?
We are in love with vintage sterling silver pieces, especially if they have an old monogram on them! What stories they could tell! And, if we had never-ending space and dinner parties every weekend, we'd love to collect more china patterns. We never tire of looking at the hand-painted details, and love being able to mix and match different plates and chargers! Oh, and we'll include beautiful monogrammed linens, too!
We love our work and love all of the people we've met in this adventure! Thank you for helping to make it all come to life!
Annie and Page