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Designer Mary Alice Haney Believes in Evening Wear For Daytime

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Mary Alice Haney is a celebrity stylist, fashion editor, and the designer behind the luxury brand Haney. Inspired by the glam aesthetic of Old Hollywood, Haney is also a film buff who's studied at both the American Film Institute and Parson's School of Design. Haney's headed to Chicago for a trunk show at the Racquet Club tomorrow evening with Elizabeth Cole and Meredith Wood. Before the big show, we got in a quick Q&A to learn more about the collection.

You have such an interesting background! Has your knowledge of film informed your fashion design sensibility?
Absolutely! Some of my greatest inspirations are the famous costume designers of the past like Edith Head. Film is such a collaboration and the costume designer is helping the director tell the story. I find that very powerful.

You've styled celebs for the red carpet, but also have a collection that's available to "regular" consumers. What are some tips for making high fashion more approachable for the everyday woman?
I think each woman should be inspired by the runways and red carpet but try and make her look her own. Get to know your body and what looks good on you and it will save you so much time and money. Don't be afraid to mix high and low. You don't have to be in head-to-toe designer to look amazing. In fact, I think the most stylish women in the world mix price points.

What is your approach to dressing clients as a stylist? Do you have a fashion philosophy you bring to this work?
I always did tons of research and saw what looked great and what didn't. I tried to create "fashion moments," like Blake Lively in the red dress at the Emmy Awards, and treated each red carpet appearance as a chance to make a big statement. Fashion can really help transform a career. Look at Lupita Nyong'o and what has happened to her after one season of being a fashion star. She is now the face of Miu Miu.

What gap does Haney fill in the fashion marketplace?
I want to bring evening wear to day time. I think the market really needed beautiful, comfortable and sexy clothes that women can wear both night and day.

The dresses have names such as "Reese" and "Ginnifer." Do you design them with these specific people in mind?
Yes! I created the Reese for Reese Witherspoon and she looked amazing in it. Each one is inspired by a celebrity or fashionista in my life.

What are your favorite accessories for styling up your dresses this season?
My dresses tend to not need much accessorizing. I think a great bag is all you really need. However, I am loving the ear cuff trend. That and no other jewelry.

Do you recommend a specific type of shape-wear to wear with your dresses?
I use really luxurious but also really stretchy and "suck you in" fabric. Each dress is designed to make a woman's body look the best it can be, so you really don't need shape-wear. However, I am a southern girl and always love a Spanx!
· Haney [Official Site]

The Racquet Club of Chicago

1365 North Dearborn Parkway, Chicago, IL