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The Marcon Court Project Proves Clothing Can Be Both Kitsch and Comfortable - And Also Last A Lifetime  

By Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse 

 

Even on a dull Monday morning, Laura looks utterly fabulous. Popping up on Zoom, the first thing I notice is the insanely oversized collar of her shirt. It practically swallows her neck. Yet alongside her bright green glasses and beaming style, it looks improbably cool. I don’t know what I was expecting her to be wearing. But I should have anticipated this twee-inspired look from Laura. It’s one that she rocks effortlessly. After all, it is the main building block of her brand The Marcon Court Project

 

The Marcon Court Project

I ask Laura to introduce herself. I’m expecting her to speak about her brand. But instead, she softly clears her throat and says, “Well, my name is Laura, I am from Spain and I am a maker. I make things out of fabrics, clothing - anything I can get my hands on.” 

 

She started making ‘things’ when she was only small. Growing up in Spain, Laura had access to abundant fabrics from her town’s local market which she would go to with her grandmother. This gave Laura her first taste of creativity, her first inspiration to make something, and she credits both the market and her grandmother for honing her interest in handmade clothes. “I learnt everything about making from my grandmother. First, it was knitting and then she taught me how to use a sewing machine. We didn't do much with patterns, it was more about us using clothing to upcycle other clothes. That's when I first started to make proper garments, but I never saw fashion as an industry I could go into.” 

 

Given the history, it’s perhaps unsurprising that it was Laura’s grandma who gave her the push to study fashion. “I went to university, and I started studying law, but it was horribly boring,” Laura laughs. “After the first term, I quit and didn't know what to do. But my grandmother said, ‘Well, you like to make, you like to do all sorts of things, just find something that you like to do.’  

 

The Marcon Court Project

“At that very moment, I went on Google and I searched ‘fashion school.’ There was a university with a really good fashion course nearby, so I applied! I can’t believe I got in because my drawing skills are horrible. That’s where I started learning how to make clothing properly and it was love at first sight.” 

 

With a degree under her belt and true passion for creating finally cultivated, Laura moved to the UK to study for a Masters degree in tailoring and then never left. Surprisingly, the UK’s weather was one of Laura’s main draws to it. “I don't like the weather in my town in Spain. It is really hot, extremely hot, and horrible,” she told me. Reading my facial expression, she added, “People are surprised that I'm not bothered by the weather here. But I love wearing loads of layers when you’re cold, you can’t do that in the heat.”  

 

Laura’s explanation makes sense when you look at her brand’s aesthetic. Every piece is screaming out to be styled with myriad layers to create a comfy, kitsch outfit that’s every bit as stunning as it is snuggly. From the ‘Harry Shirt’ with it’ boxy fit that’s made from vintage fabric so every shirt is completely unique, to The Cat dress whose relaxed silhouette can be dressed both up and down, every piece has so much thought put into it and that thought is visible in the well-executed design. It’s this thoughtfulness that makes The Marcon Court Project stand out. So where does it come from? Well, Laura is just thinking about herself…  


The Marcon Court Project

“Everything I make starts out of my own needs for clothing that works for me. I don't sit down with a design in mind or a mood board or this and that. It's nothing like that, it is more selfish. Everything I make is set in the moment, with my designs acting a bit like a diary of what I needed at what time.” 

 

Laura’s style has had a massive influence on the clothing released by The Marcon Court Project, with her love for comfort dictating the flexible fit and loose silhouette of her pieces. “I like comfortable clothing. That's what I’ve come to love as I’ve grown up, especially after having a child. 

 

“With the fit of a garment, I want something to work for every phase of my life. So, when I found that a dress I loved didn’t fit right when I was pregnant, or after I was pregnant for a while or something, that was annoying. So, I designed myself a dress that I could always wear, and all my friends wanted one - and now everyone seems to want one!  

 

“I try to create garments that have room for you to grow. For instance, I have this Paloma dress and it's a corset, but it has an empire waistline, nice and high up. So, if your belly grows or something, you can still wear it. I just think, if you are charging £200 for a dress, you need to maximise that garment as much as possible during different periods of your life, during different moments of your life.” 

 

The Marcon Court Project

Ideally, if someone buys a piece from Laura, she wants them to wear it every day because ‘buying something for a special occasion is just so 1990.’ But seriously, there’s no reason she can think of for saving her pieces as occasion wear. “Every day is a special occasion for me and the dresses I make may sometimes look a bit over the top, but that's what New Balances and Doc Martens are for. You can wear a really puffy, floral dress and pair it with chunky boots, and it can be something that you wear for brunch with your friends. For all the problems with this Instagram era, the good thing about influencers is that it has brought to people the idea of ‘Yeah, I'll wear organza for a casual lunch - why not?’!”  

 

As well as thinking about the future of a piece, Laura is also thinking about the past. “I like to get 80s sewing patterns from children’s clothes because they're so free in their silhouette and style. They’re comfortable because they're meant for kids to run around in! So, I like to try and make a grown-up version of those patterns. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't!”  

 

It’s hard to imagine something not working out for Laura. She’s got such a sunny disposition, and the successes just keep rolling in. But the highs, like her recent popup at Selfridges, wouldn’t be possible without the gruelling slog that goes on behind the scenes. “I'm still not where I want my business to be. I want to have more time for myself and to do more made-to-order garments with customers and also do more special projects to turn all the crazy ideas that I have in my head into a reality. But I don't have the time to do all that now. Going forward, it’s all about trying to find the balance, to find that healthy middle ground.” 

 

The Marcon Court Project

With all the work she’s put in, the support network she has to fall back on, and the crazy ideas she’s still managing to pull off in between her full-time parenting duties, there’s no future in which I don’t see Laura achieving her dream. What is that dream? Well, to become London’s town seamstress of course. “Do you know the woman that I always thought was the coolest when I was little?” she asks me. “It was my neighbour. She was the town’s seamstress, and everyone would go to her house with their magazines, showing her the trending dresses and asking her to make them. She used to take care of me sometimes so I would be in the living room when my mom was at work or something, and I’d get to see all of these ladies coming and trying things on and being so happy with the results.  

 

“I always have that memory of how happy people were when things fit them properly. So, what really is my dream is to have a studio where people can come and get themselves pieces that fit properly. I suppose my dream job is really to be the town seamstress! That's what I always wanted to do. I just need to find the balance and the way of being able to do all of it.” 


Photos: The Marcon Court Project Facebook Page

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