Monday, July 07, 2008

mary benson

Another ace episode of Mary Queen of Shops tonight, which you'll doubtless be able to watch with your iPlayer whatsit in hours and days to come. This time Mary visited an amazing, fusty old boutique in York and utterly transformed into it without sacrificing it's wayward sense of style. Best of all was the discovery of a wonderfully eccentric fashion designer - Mary Benson - whose dresses were absolutely fantastic and who casually described her clientele as "crazy cool girls" who "all have nice hair". Oh, and she was only 17. If you're ever in the distant North, she's selling stuff in Blue Rinse in Leeds and Selkie in York, as well as via her own website. Here's a brief BBC profile of her, and click the image below to access her myspace:

[Update: lots of hits on this page, so here's a bit more info I found. From Image Magazine].

She is only in her second year of her fashion course at Leeds College of Art and Design but her metallic dresses are already stocked in the boutique Blue Rinse and she will soon be seen on the TV programme Mary Queen of Shops.

Mary said: "I had to pitch my ideas to Mary Portas from Mary Queen of Shops. The competition was whittled down from 30 to three and I was one of them. She said that I was well established and that I was doing really well for my age."

Mary creates womenswear and accessories inspired by the 1950s and 1960s, including pinafore dresses with a splash of eccentricity. She began designing in the summer after she finished high school when she made skirts and sold them at the Corn Exchange.

She then applied to Leeds College of Art and Design and has been unstoppable. Her collections are varied from monochrome to metallics and, most importantly, are wearable.

Mary said: "I’ve been asked to create a collection for Vidal Sassoon. I have also been working on costumes for a music video as well as attending vintage fashion fairs where I sell accessories."

With meetings set with boutiques in Nottingham and a trip to London planned, Mary Benson is definitely one we will hear about in the future."


oldoldfashioned said...

wasn't she great? i'm only gutted that i live too far to ever have a chance of coming close to her collections!

jonathan said...

Yeah, I though that as well - suspect that Selkie is rammed today...

Anonymous said...

So glad you had info on her. I googled her as soon as I saw THAT DRESS!!! I hope she gets her stuff in a London shop for those of us in the south!

mary bensson said...

Hi, Mary Benson here. Life is so mad at the moment! I am looking at seeking out stockists all over the UK. In the meantime you could visit where you can buy direct or mail me at

Hope to speak soon.

Luv, Mary xxx