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Behind The Scenes

Meet the Two Little Girls Behind Mabo Kids

Sure, Emily McMaster’s daughters—Ruby, five, and Mabel, three—provide their modeling services free of change for their mom’s line Mabo Kids. But more and more, they want to be involved—and are full of unsolicited fashion advice. —raquel laneri “I make all my patterns myself, usually in my daughters’ sizes. Once I do that, I send it to the patternmaker, who makes one in each size. And it’s more fittings for Ruby and Mabel. But I also go around town asking my friends if I can try the samples on their kids. I’m like ‘Who has a nine year-old I can use?’” “Ruby is an artist—she paints and draws. She’s always bringing me little drawings of clothes that I should make. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Have I created a monster?’” “Sometimes she gives me feedback, but I don’t always like it! Ruby prefers frilly, girly things. She can be a tough critic.” “Mabel doesn’t care much about Mabo. Maybe because I have always tried to dress her, she now insists on completely independent choices about her outfits. At some point she decided that her left shoe goes on her right foot and vice versa. She says, ‘It’s backwards shoe day!’ She goes all over town with her shoes on the wrong feet—we constantly have people coming up to us telling us. But she’s like that with almost everything she wears.” Emily’s edition is something even Mabel could get behind—well, we think! Get her polka-dot chambray dress now.
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Emily McMaster’s 6 Favorite Movies for Kid Fashion Inspo

Mabo Kids designer Emily McMaster studied film, not fashion—and it turns out her cinema-studies degree may have actually proven more useful than a sewing class. “I get a lot of inspiration for my collections from movies. And not just kids’ movies,” she says. Here, her source material, G-rated and otherwise. —raquel laneri Miracle on 34th Street“I can’t say it’s one of my favorite movies. But we watched it this Christmas with our daughters, and I’d take every piece in Natalie Wood’s wardrobe for my daughters’ closets—or mine! Winter bonnets, plaid coats, fur collars, and cozy holiday pajamas and robes.” Never Let Me Go“This is one of my favorite books, by Kazuo Ishiguro. In the film, the haunting juxtaposition of the beautiful bucolic countryside with the dystopian, sci-fi story is so perfectly enhanced by the timelessness of the clothing—earth tones, peter pan collars, nubby sweaters, stocking caps, wellies, and subtle florals—on the kids and then young adults. They’re so classic they don’t feel specific to any particular era.” Breathless“Who isn’t inspired by the ageless and timeless style of the French New Wave characters, young and old? Turtlenecks, pixie pants, berets, and striped shirts!” 7 Up“I love the entire Up series for so many reasons—watching the evolution of the kids’ styles over the years, seeing how their clothing reflects their classes and personalities. But I particularly love 7 Up. The little boys in shawl-collar sweaters, tweed suits, ties, and jaunty hats, and the girls in cardigans, wool skirts, stockings, and, in one scene, adorably simple little ballet outfits.” Hope and Glory“I watched this again recently and was smitten with the adorable 1940s British clothes on both the boys and girls. Tweed trouser shorts and blazers on little boys; simple dresses, headscarves, and wool pinafores on the girls.” Picnic at Hanging Rock“I love this eerie movie and the breezy, ethereal white school dresses that the girls wear while picnicking. As a mom to two little girls, there’s a constant battle between their desire to wear frills and ruffles and my more pared-down choices for them, but these dreamy, linen dresses, long locks, and bows are kind of magical for everyone. Little Botticelli angels! Also, who says you can’t hike in a dress?” Score the kiddie edition Emily made just for us! This little polka-dot chambray dress really couldn’t be more adorable.
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