Local Spotlight: Sheila Frank

Designer Sheila Frank certainly knows a lot about making something out of nothing: Growing up in Upper Darby, she resorted to toilet paper and tape to make gorgeous gowns for her Barbie dolls. But after graduating from Moore College of Art and Design in 2007, she decided to start up her own super-chic swimsuit line after her job search turned up empty. Since then, she’s gone from using MySpace as her free publicity to showcasing her fab designs on the runways of New York City during Fashion Week. (Not bad for just two years out of college!)

And we couldn’t be happier that Frank has traded her toilet-paper creations for fabrics of a finer kind: Her spring 2009 collection — flirty rompers, girly skirts and dresses — are made of Dupioni silk, satin and chiffon (you’ll never see this animal lover use leather or fur). You’ll fall in love with the old-Hollywood-meets-the-modern-It-girl feel of her clothes — but be sure to check out her swimsuits, her self-proclaimed specialty. One look at her ultra-cute one- and two-pieces (think 40’s pin-up girl with a fresh twist) will make you instantly forget that its 25 degrees and January. Pick one up at Topstitch Boutique or sheilafrank.com, and escape to warmer climates.