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Stylee Fridays: Another Happy Birthday

April 03, 2009

Every now and again we get a serious craving for glamour, generally fiending for the kind of willowy elegance that vintage Hollywood dreams are made of. New LA-based line Another Happy Birthday have been helping us out with our fix of late, creating graceful dresses in gorgeous wide lace and bias cut satin infused with enough whimsy to take the edge off the glitz. Amanda Benefiel and Richard Low are the duo behind the line and have been friends since childhood, bonding over antique silk gowns while working in a vintage store called La-di-da in their hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. As Low tells it, he used to walkie-talkie the store owners every time there was a paying customer (at 11-years-old he was a little too young to work the register). Memories of a back room filled with "the good stuff"—pieces that were often too fragile from decades spent in family closets—have definitely influenced the pair's aesthetic.

With Another Happy Birthday, Low and Benefiel are resurrecting that gorgeous ’20s-era craftsmanship as well as the spirit of style icons like Jean Harlow. Of course there's also a little sartorial teenage angst in there, with a nod to Courtney Love and slip dress-clad coquettes everywhere. Even in the demure, floor-sweeping silhouettes there's plenty of mischief: The wide lace floor-length number, for example, takes on an entirely different existence when paired with a skin-tight black body suit as it does with a pretty pink slip. We persuaded the beautiful Benefiel to model a couple of pieces from the collection while she was in NY this week. She likes to accessorize all her dresses with an old Hollywood shade of rouge on her lips and the highest pair of stripper heels she can get her hands on—the kind of birthday suit we happily encourage.

From The Collection:

Stylee Fridays
Posted: April 03, 2009
Stylee Fridays: Another Happy Birthday