7 Minutes with: Emily Dumitrescu


Courtesy of Emily Jane Clothing

As a college student in Boise, Idaho who started out studying criminology, Emily Dumitrescu—the SF designer behind Emily Jane Clothing—once had her heart set on becoming a CIA agent. But after a move to San Francisco to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, it was clear that she had found her true calling. Since the debut of her eveningwear collection in 2007’s SF Fashion Week, the 29-year-old’s body-conscious cocktail dresses and floor-sweeping gowns in a grown-up palette of black, white and champagne have put Dumitrescu’s design skills in demand. (For SF’s recent Black and White Ball, she was asked to whip up several slinky numbers.) But for this glam loving gal who favors the everyday outfit of a skirt and heels, you can never be too dressed up. “My mother always told me—you never know who you are going to run into so always dress the best you can. You never know where the day will take you.”

Why formal wear?

Overall the way people dress is so casual now, the only way people get dressed up is to go to an event. I tend to overdress, so it’s just more fun to me.  I think formal wear can transform someone —it can make a woman feel like she is the belle of the ball. 

Who is the woman you design for?
I design for someone who likes old world glamour—those who like to show off the fact that they’re a woman and have a womanly body. Basically someone who wants to look sophisticated yet sexy.

What’s your best advice on gown shopping?
Try silhouettes on that you don’t necessarily think will look good on you. A lot of women with big hips don’t want to wear anything that hugs their hips because they think, “this will make me look big.” In actuality, if you wear something that is fitted around the waist, hugs your hips and flares out, it may actually make you look thinner than something that just covers it.

Courtesy of Emily Jane Clothing

What does style mean to you?

Someone who owns their individual style; it’s different to everyone. I think as long as it’s your personal style and you own it and it’s something you feel good in. Anyone can have style as long as it’s not contrived, and it’s what makes you feel best.

So where do you shop to suit your individual style?
I love Neiman Marcus. I feel like you can’t go wrong there. There’s something for everyone. Another store I visit to gain inspiration and just look is Torso Vintages. I think those are my two favorite stores in the city and the ones I have the most fun in.

What can we expect next from you?
I’ve just done a few bridal gowns and I loved it. I didn’t initially think that would be something I would want to get into because there’s so much pressure—I mean it’s a girl’s biggest day. But the clients that I’ve worked with have just been so amazing and fun—it’s been so interesting to get to be a part of that process.

Keep an eye out for Emily’s new Elizabethan-inspired collection at Mingle, 1815 Union St., 415-674-8811, or emilyjaneclothing.com.
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