My Flaming Heart, a quaint, colorful, and eclectic boutique carrying handmade and vintage crafts, will have occupied its spot on Main Street in Midtown for three years this summer. Owner and designer Judy Masliyah is an avid collector--you're likely to see her hunting down knick knacks at local antique stores and estate sales--and the store marries her love of collecting with her love of clothing. As a tribute to treasure-hunting, her shop is full of odds and ends, eye-catching eclectic jewelry, and rows of lust-worthy cowboy boots.

But the stars of My Flaming Heart are Masliyah's dresses, which in their cuts and prints suggest an unusual blend '50s rockabilly and Day of the Dead themes. The dresses are designed as body-con garments to flatter every figure. "I design body conscious dresses, for whoever's body it is," she told Houstonia over coffee at nearby Double Trouble. 

True to the spirit of independent design, the clothes, which Masliyah constructs out of bright print fabrics from LA-based textile company Alexander Henry, are inspired not by mainstream fashion but by her own background in art. Judy attended design school in New York, and has been making clothes independently for 30 years. "I was never a person who dressed up Barbie dolls," she said.

So what's the best part about living and designing in Houston? "It's a big major city, it's open, there's not a type." And that's a welcome place for a local designer to be.

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