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Issue Date: July 2013

Devoted Designs

Georgie & Elaine celebrates romance with an ethereal collection.
Kathy Ames Carr

Devin VanderMaas takes her grandparents' love story to heart. Their journey is simple and timeless: Married for 48 years, the successful entrepreneur and creative homemaker have built their lives around what matters most — each other and their family.

The couple's century home in Burton was the family hub, and it's where VanderMaas fell in love with sewing.

"I was 8 years old when my grandmother taught me how to sew," VanderMaas says. "She taught me about aesthetics, matching fabrics and how material drapes. She's a perfectionist. I grew up designing my own clothes."

Now VanderMaas is unveiling her Georgie & Elaine collection — named for her grandparents whose youthful spirit and romance inspire the line of classic separates, silky slips and feminine dresses.

"My grandparents' recipe for success has been their simplicity of life and integrity of choices," she says. "They didn't overcomplicate their lives with material things."

Ethereal seasonal garments target the ambitious modern woman ages 28 to 38. Pure silks, natural-blend cottons, crinkled chiffon and other natural fibers feel luxurious, yet each basic piece is suited for the office.

Take the 2013 spring/summer collection's white Kristin Relaxed Blazer ($323), a classic staple that supports professional attire with its three-quarter-length sleeves, relaxed fit fabric and smart shoulder pads. A quick roll-up of the sleeves transforms formal to flirty.

"My favorite piece is the light pink Rachel Blouse," VanderMaas says. "The yoke of the blouse is hand-tucked, with a Peter Pan rounded collar. It's delicate and extremely artisanal."

VanderMaas conceptualizes each silhouette, color scheme and overall look at her LaunchHouse studio in Shaker Heights and fashions the pieces using fabrics from New York City's Garment District. Samples and patterns are sent to a production facility in the Big Apple, where pieces are marked, grated, sewn and cut before final production takes place.

"It's important that everything is made honestly and with integrity, just like my grandparents," VanderMaas says. "It's very expensive to produce clothing in this country — like 12 times what it costs in China — but I refuse to produce clothing anywhere else."

Look for an online fall collection of plums, black and rich jeweled tones inspired by the 1920s, followed in spring with a 1950s vintage retro line melded with a contemporary twist.

"I'm interested in selling clothes around a story," she says. "[The 1920s] is my favorite era. America was booming. It represents excessive glamour and grandeur."

Lovely Looks

Rachel Blouse $258 Kristin Relaxed Blazer $323 Michelle Jersey Mini Dress $340 Arielle Lace Mini Skirt $212
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:02:42 PM by Anonymous
Great Article! Keep up the good work, CLE Magazine!
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:10:13 PM by Isabella Cardina
Georgie & Elaine is the perfect combination of sophistication and simplicity
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:13:42 PM by Kirstie Hegedus
Georgie and Elaine is a timelessly romantic line! These classic separates and timeless pieces are any woman's must have!

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