"She loved mysteries so much that she became one...”
PHANTOMLOVELY is named after the childhood nickname of founder and designer Leila Marléne. The nickname was given to her by a neighbour, who would often witness her 'haunting' the historic cemetery beside her home, dressed in antique attire. Entirely self taught, it was an insatiable desire to travel back in time that first inspired Leila Marléne to take up sewing at age 8 in an attempt to open a doorway to a long forgotten past.
Her first garment was a man's 18th century frock coat, painstakingly drafted from an antique French pattern book. The sensation that this offered; of being able to conjure forth, as though from the aether, a tangible relic from another era was, for Leila, revelatory – not unlike an alchemist transmuting lead to gold. So many people asked to buy the clothing Leila was wearing that in 1996 she started a small company under the label Tenebrae (Latin for "shadows" or "darkness") to make her designs available to the public. She continued to make custom clothing for private clients, forming her eponymous fashion label PHANTOMLOVELY in 1998.
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