Interview with vintage lingerie designer Jenny Mearns

Today it’s lingerie designer JENNY MEARNS of Brighton based Frantic About Francis and she’s urging us all to release the inner Marilyn MonroeAnd looking at this picture of Jenny we think she’s certainly released hers!

Phtoto of Jenny Mearns

‘I think there’s a pin-up girl pouting inside us all’, says Jenny.  ’To let her out, simply compliment yourself, believe in yourself, and know that you are amazing, no matter what anybody else thinks, your opinion is the one that counts. If you think you look a million dollars, everyone else will too.  And, Hey Presto, your inner Marilyn is released’.

Jenny Mearns has always loved 40′s and 50′s movies, she loved the glamour and the style.  After studying historical costume design Jenny started working in another Brighton based lingerie boutique, She Said.

‘And that’s when my love of pin-up really started  as staff were encouraged to dress the part in seamed stockings, red lippie and vintage hairstyles. 

I just adore the feeling of wearing seamed stockings, and knowing that the little seamed line hints at  so many things, but that is the point, it hints, rather than screams’.

Whilst working in the boutique Jenny continued her studies and began to look at American artist, Gil Elvgren, and his pin-up and burlesque paintings. His work has been a huge influence on the designs at Frantic About Frances.

‘I try to steer clean of ‘in-your-face’ sexy, as girls can find this type of lingerie intimidating, and that it is turning them into something they are not.  With my lingerie, the main aim is to allow girls to love themselves and have fun’.

Jenny is fiercely patriotic and makes her creations with a special ingredient – Love.

‘Regally Donned is a limited editon corset and I designed this to mark the Royal Jubilee, and all the other patriotic events this year. A corset seemed the perfect way to do this as it can be worn out and about with a pencil skirt or trousers, and later on in the boudoir’.

‘The very first pair of knickers I made for Frantic About Frances were made form original 1950s printed cotton, and had vintage lace decoration on the back.  As the brand has grown, I tend to create collection from fabrics I know I can buy in bulk, but I do still occasionally use vintage fabrics and trimmings for one-off bespoke items’.


But how do we release the inner Marilyn?  Jenny has three tips to share.

1. Start off by introducing a small bit of pin-up glam into your wardrobe, says Jenny.  This can be a dash of red lippy, seamed stockings or a 1950′s wave in your hair.  Notice how you feel and notice how others are reacting to you, they are probably thinking ‘wow, she’s hot’.

Photo of Strawberry Smooch Frantic about Frances Bullet Bra2. If you want to look the pin-up girl part, buy a bullet bra set. If you are a bullet bra virgin, just start off by wearing one without bullet bra pads, as this gives a more gentle look.  Move on to the pads and you will look like an authentic 1950′s sweater girl – A la Jayne Mansfield.

3. And remember, pin-up girls come in all shapes and sizes.  Look up Gil Elvgren’s work online and be inspired.  Go out there with your head held high, knowing that you look amazing.

Wow, what’s stopping all of us?

Frantic About Frances

Frantic About Frances SHOP

If like us you are curious about the Frantic and the Frances - Frances is just one of Jenny’s middle names along with Louise. My parents couldn’t decide on names, so just gave me loads.

And FranticThe frantic just kind of popped into my head and sounded kind of 1950′s and retro, which was perfect for the brand.

Be Sociable, Share!