While we could, of course, have been projecting, the crowd at the Lela Rose show sure looked a little worse-for-the-wear the other morning. It was 11 am on Saturday, and while slightly matted hair and dark sunglasses are to be expected in the front row, we noticed several faces with slept-in eye make up and that unmistakable post-fête virescence.
In any case, the collective hangover did little to dampen the mood at the studio. Guests air kissed across the runway, and blogettes swarmed around Ken Downing and Matthew McConaughey’s baby mama Camila Alves in the front row.
The Dallas-born designer has found her star on the rise in the fashion cosmos, with her duds gracing red carpets in recent seasons. Known for her feminine Nanette Lepore-like looks, she took a riskier approach to her collection this season. Maintaining long, feminine silhouettes, her designs successfully integrate chevron designs (without giving the clothes a Charlie Brown look) and complicated grid patterns. The five full-length gowns were particularly stunning, each combining intricate craftsmanship with complete wearability.
After the show, we perused our gift bag and discovered to our delight, make-up, underwear and cookies, the basic staples of our existence for the past week.
We headed backstage to speak to Ms. Rose about her collection. The models were still changing out of the runway looks, and the space was a flurry of sheath dresses, wool coats, bony legs and protruding collarbones.
A model, approached Ms. Rose and, in some sort of central European whisper, asked if she could take an item with her. “Sure, just don’t tell the other girls!” the designer winked.
Ms. Rose explained that Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was the inspiration behind her latest collection. “He is really known for his bridges and railways, and he talks a lot about this poetics of motion and fluidity within architecture,” she explained. Hoping to achieve a similar balance in her designs, she drew from his work. “I so really tired to do all these long, angular silhouettes, and kind of have the dichotomy of this romanticism and poetry with all this fluidity,” she jabbered excitedly, trying to calm her fair-haired five year old, Rosey was hanging around her waist.
“Mommy can you please open this, can you please please please open this, can you open this please, can you please open this?” Rosey sang, holding a packet of gift-bag cookies. Her mother did not indulge.
Although she relishes her time at the tents, she confided that she was happy the show was complete, admitting that her sole focus for the past several weeks has been “Get the show over with and get on with my life.”
She was celebrating the successful show later that afternoon at ABC Kitchen. “And then I’m going to pass out,” she said. “Actually, I’m having a dinner party tonight,” she added, smiling but clearly exhausted.
“Mommy can you open this, mommy can you open this, mommy can you please open this?” Rosey chimed once more.
“And hopefully I’ll find someone to watch her so I don’t have to,” Ms. Rose said, passing her daughter off to a friend.
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