- Each silk stretch georgette “Angel Sleeve Blouse” is painted individually at Iro Design. Credit: coleimage.com.
“Color is my forte,” says Peggy Russell of Iro Design. “It is the definition of the work.” For 25 years, Russell and her team of talented artisans have crafted flattering clothing for women of all ages—with signature colors that pop off the silk. “Our aesthetic is sophisticated and playful. It’s comfortable and pleasing to the eye.” And the silk is long lasting—up to 20 years if cared for properly.
Russell stresses that the Boston, Mass., studio would not be what it is without her team. “Deb Howard is my production assistant and the backbone of my business,” she says. A painter in her own right, Howard is in charge of the silk-on-cotton painting process, including mixing the dyes and setting the patterns permanently.
Russell has also brought on professional pattern drafters to develop designs that flatter every body type, from size 6 to 20. “We’re trying to make universal shapes,” she explains. Russell and her team use minimal hardware, rely on curves and darts to outline the body’s geometry, and take advantage of stretch-infused silks. “We’re trying to illuminate the body, not hide it,” she explains.
Russell says Iro Design is for everyone—from 0 to 90. She’s slowly developed a line that runs from onesies for babies and T-shirts for teenagers to neckties for men and clothing for women. “It’s all about the wow factor,” Russell says.
“We’re a full-service operation,” she adds. “There’s multi-function, but not multiplicity.” And then there’s the custom work. Russell’s team will tweak any design until it’s the perfect fit for a gallery’s customer base. “We design from start to finish,” she says. “Every aspect of the cloth is touched before it becomes a piece of clothing.”
Next up, Annaesthetic.