Who is Boxcar Boutique ?
          Hello my name is Monica Hankins and I am a Fashion & Costume designer in Los Angeles, California. Ever since I was 6 years old I’ve been interested in fashion, specifically dresses and costumes. I saw the movie Titanic and fell in love with not only Leonardo DiCaprio, but also the stunning gowns Kate Winslet wore!
         My grandmother had given my Mom an in-table singer from the 1940’s just as a piece of furniture because she though the machine was broken. Mama always told me not to mess with it, but one day the 7 year old me could not resist finding out the mystery of the table machine! Once I realized it was a sewing machine I was determined to fix it, and from then on I began teaching myself how to use it. Throughout the rest of my childhood and adolescence, I have made Halloween costumes for myself, skirts for my Barbies, and even tutus for my Golden Retriever, Pierre (He loved his tutus!)
           When high school came around I became very involved with Germantown High School’s notorious theatre department, starting out in the costume room making hats and hemming pants for the 2006 musical production of Ragtime. I worked on 4+ large productions all varying in time periods, allowing me to broaden my range of construction, and in my senior year I was the Costume Chairman. I also made my prom dresses!
                 After high school I moved to Los Angeles from Memphis, Tennessee, to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for an Associate of Arts degree in Fashion Design. I learned many important skills like draping structured garments on a dress form, drafting a pattern using just one’s measurements, and grading patterns for different sizes.
          I graduated in 2011 and then continued my education at FIDM again where I graduated for the 2nd time in June 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. Two years later, I finally decided I wanted to start a couture historical costume and wedding gown line, an then Boxcar Boutique was born!
            The extraordinary designs and silhouettes from the past 500 years in women’s fashion significantly inspire my designs. At the moment I am seriously moved by the Edwardian era. remember how I mentioned Titanic? Yea, I was obsessed with it as a kid. it’s largely responsible for my passion for costumes & gowns( and Moulin Rouge, too!) My main focus here with Boxcar Boutique is to create one of a kind,  couture gowns for clients. however, I do aspire to build a collection of wedding gowns and eveningwear. Each and every one of my gowns or costumes are pieces of my art and I work diligently to make sure they're perfect upon completion! Now that you know more about me and Boxcar Boutique, take a look around and enjoy!
 
Monica