Interview with Mal Amora

Sharing is caring!

While scrolling through Instagram one morning, I came across mal.amora, a name I didn’t recognize but whose work I loved. Obviously I was following this account and the lingerie in the photo on my feed looked familiar, so I clicked on their profile. I quickly realized that Mal Amora is the new name of the brand Mollie Blue. Mal Amora is the brainchild of London-based designer, Mollie Blue Falkingham, who launched the line in 2016 under her real name. The line fuses luxury with kink and brings a retro element with overwire bras and vintage inspired shapewear. When any creative professional changes the name of their business, I’m always curious, which led me to DM Mal Amora to ask about the name change and overall to see what was up with the brand. Falkingham was kind enough to let me ask a few questions and to feature her work and the new direction her business is taking here, and I hope you enjoy it!BB: When did you first discover your love of lingerie and what was the first piece of lingerie you bought?MF: I first learnt about being in love with lingerie when I realized my corset obsession had spiralled into the world of fine laces and silks; I had made several corsets as a punk rock teen, all black and tartan with a haberdashery’s worth of safety pins on them. I thought I’d stay in the corset realm forever through art college but one day I fancied making a bra and I was hooked! The first fancy piece of lingerie I ever bought was Agent Provocateur’s scarlet Birthday Suit during an internship at Sparklewren Corsetry and it’s still one of my favourites.BB: What is your background in lingerie design and construction? MF: For starters I graduated the illustrious De Montfort University’s Contour Fashion degree with a 1st Class Honours but it’s also 14 years of continuous sewing, pattern cutting and dreaming big. I’ve interned internationally at Clover Hong Kong, WGSN & Sparklewren and worked at Something Wicked as well as Gossard & Berlei.BB: Your brand was previously known as Mollie Blue and has recently changed names, what led to the name change and what does Mal Amora mean to you as a brand?MF: That’s correct! Mal Amora came to me in a very natural, almost dream like way when I needed it the most. I wanted a word that described my aesthetic which is romantic, fiercely feminine, dark, divine, fetishistic and seductive; I needed a calling card for that, a certain mood. Mal Amora stands for an evil love, but for my brand it’s the spell I want to cast on those who behold my designs on the body. My old eponymous brand name couldn’t evoke that.BB: How do Mollie Blue and Mal Amora differ from one another and are there any other changes we can expect to go along with the name change?MF: Mollie Blue was very much my testing ground and badge of pride – seeing ‘Mollie Blue’ on stage last year at London Graduate Fashion Week was a highlight of my life. In my uni years I was very experimental and every garment was a learning curve. Mal Amora is the polished and precise dominatrix of woman Mollie Blue has bloomed into. It means you can expect pret-a-porter collections, one of which, Marlene, is coming out in late June this year followed by Harlette and Malicia and a Bespoke Collection of corsetry and couture lingerie soon to be revealed. You can also expect a full size range in soft intimates, XS to XL as well as a Made to Measure service on all wired bras.BB: A lot of your work is bespoke and custom, what benefits do bespoke have as a business owner and as a consumer?MF: From the business owner’s stand point it’s about delivering the very best in couture lingerie in a way that’s feasible and personal. I cannot make a leather overwire bra at a mass market level, but I don’t think that should stop me from getting that piece of art onto a woman who wants it. As for the consumer you get to experience the secret world of haute couture in the most intimate and caring way possible with every attention to detail taken. Every Bespoke customer is measured meticulously and from that a pattern block is made. This stays on file so you can return to Mal Amora, time and time again, for flawless ‘size-you’ lingerie that you know will fit. You also have a rainbow of laces, leathers, silks, satins and meshes to choose from all beautifully crafted into a Mal Amora masterpiece.BB: Who and what are your major influences on your work as a designer?MF: That is a difficult question to answer; I’m inspired by a width and breadth of influences! For Mal Amora specifically, Dita Von Teese is my total muse as well as her protégé Violet Chachki, both of whom can go from burlesque babe to ravishing Domme in the blink of an eye. That duality excites me, so I always look for that. I love the rage of the 30s party scene, the seediness of Bettie Page’s innocence and the dynamic of leather and nudity. Mal Amora’s Marlene range is so called after the Dietrich Dame herself of the Art Deco period, and in that I juxtaposed harsh graphic lines with the hazy softness of black and white films. The other two ranges, Harlette and Malicia are inspired by Tudor & Rococo fashion and 50s BDSM photography respectively.BB: You make both lingerie and corsetry, how are the skillsets for lingerie and corsetry the same and how do they differ?MF: I like to think of lingerie as the spritely grandchild of corsetry; it’s innovative and forward whilst the latter is traditional and intensely challenging. Both however are a feat of wearable engineering and architecture so precision is a must; pattern cutting for these two can be nightmarish without proper thought or measurements! The only real difference I find in skillset is patience – I have had to practice being patient with corsets as they take time and care, even though I’m using the same techniques for both types of garment. Some bras take a day and some take a week, but corsets, they can take a month or more to get to perfection. But in the end, always worth it.BB: What is your five-year plan for your brand and what do you hope to accomplish as a designer and business owner?MF: My five-year plan is to steadily grow into an established luxury lingerie label, in boutiques and high end department stores in the next three years or so. To be able to arrive to work as Creative Director in five years to a beautiful workshop studio with a busy team of seamstresses and designers is the absolute dream, my idea of heaven if you will. As a designer I want to expand my creative couture, be involved in grand photoshoot projects and I’ll die blissful if I get in Vogue! As a human being though, I want to carry on as happy as I am right now with the (other non-lingerie) love of my life.

Source: Interview with Mal Amora