Behind the Seams: Celebrating The Holidays with Nanette Lepore in Montage

For twenty years fashionable aesthetes have adored Nanette Lepore’s eponymous label. Her simple silhouettes and eclectic use of color have come to define nonchalant glamour.

Lepore, who has a penchant for decorating, is always looking for a reason to entertain—and to get dressed up. Her December calendar is packed with glittering occasions, including an intimate soirée at her West Village apartment, a Christmas visit to her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and a tropical getaway to Jamaica for New Year’s Eve. If you ever wondered how a designer decks the halls, check out these storyboards that capture Lepore’s unique spirit of the holidays.

Finding the perfect party look is essential during this time of year. So what occasions will a Nanette Lepore girl dress up for? “She’s dressing up for all the fabulous parties that make this time of year so special,” says Lepore, whose following includes Blake Lively, Taylor Swift and Freida Pinto. “My girls are getting excited to see The Nutcracker. They’re also having a special dinner somewhere really beautiful like the Russian Tea Room or the Rainbow Room in New York City. You may not frequent these spots during the year, but you go during the holidays because the décor is wonderful.”

A feeling of inclusiveness also defines the holiday spirit, with trips home and doors open for visitors. The West Village apartment that Lepore shares with her husband, Robert, and daughter, Violet, seems to be the gathering place of choice for fashion insiders (as pictured to the right of the image). “We like any excuse to throw a party at the house of Lepore, and we’ll have three parties before the holidays are up. For the recent party at my home, I created a lavish table that had lots of levels,” she adds on creating a personalized ambiance. “I like to use fruit to create drama, so I always arrange a big, giant mounded fruit bowl in the middle.” One of the most talked about table accents at the party was an aluminum casted boar’s head that Lepore gave to her husband. “I gave it to him early because I needed to use it as the centerpiece, that thing is so wild,” she says with a laugh. “To complement the boar’s head, I added the drama of rugged bone candlesticks inside of sophisticated silver candelabras because I like the contrast of mixing materials.”

When selecting your party guests, Lepore says that sexy, charming men are a must as are a few flirtatious women to spice things up. “I had a dinner party with almost the entire cast of Mad Men that was a good evening,” she adds. “After all the 70s, 90s and Rihanna-type tunes have been danced to, we play The Nutcracker and everyone throws tinsel and we do the waltz.”

For Christmas, Lepore will head back to her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. There she says, the fashion statement must include warm textures and glittery things. “Holidays in Ohio are all about rhinestone and shine. Think a giant pair of earrings from Karry’O Paris,” says Lepore. “I always cherish the aromas from our tree and the way the lights brighten a room. One of my favorite Americana Christmas movies is White Christmas, and I’m really loving Diana Krall’s holiday album.”

At the Lepore family Christmas brunch, she’ll be donning the ‘Dorian’ Silk Shift Dress’ “because it’s so glamorous.”

To celebrate the arrival of 2013, Lepore will ring in the New Year at the Rockhouse on the Pristine Cove of Negril, Jamaica and will definitely be packing her ‘Electrifying’ Silk Maxi Dress’. “My family will be in Jamaica with lots of friends and kids who run wild and have a great time. We have a nice dinner and dance for NYE. I’m planning to wear the black knit gown from my spring 2013 runway collection. The dress is a mix of jersey and lace, very sporty and sexy with open holes.”

When the countdown to 2013 begins and New Year’s resolutions are uttered across the globe, Lepore will be making this pledge: “To seriously do yoga at least once a week.” She may certainly need a Zen outlook, because come January 3, Lepore will be working nonstop to get her fall/winter 2013 collection ready to hit the catwalks of New York Fashion Week.

Get Holiday Glam with Nanette Lepore.

Interview by Qianna Smith | Photo credit: Courtesy of Nanette Lepore

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