“Well it’s only 18. The rule is: If it’s less than 24, I cook,” says New York-by-way-of-Texas designer Lela Rose. She’s talking about guests, not hours—because if we were talking hours … well, one suspects she’d have a generous rule for hours, too. One that would still allow her to be in the kitchen prepping Oysters Rockefeller in heels.
Lela presented her fall collection at a luncheon at the restaurant Loring Place on Monday afternoon; by Tuesday afternoon she was in her art-filled Tribeca home preparing dinner for tonight’s party, which includes members of her team as well as Nordstrom buyers and friends.
Lela Rose showed her tulip-embellished fall 2017 collection one day
before she hosted a dozen and a half of us at a dinner party.
Based loosely on her just-unveiled collection—which was based loosely on tulips and what she sees as their inherent properties of beauty, hope and resilience—the evening was an opportunity to see Lela as Lela. Beyond her flattering peplum tops and fit-and-flares, she’s a woman who loves being with friends. An urban southerner thoroughly at home in the world.
“My motto is ‘Match your drink to your dress,'” Lela Rose tells me as she gets ready to uncork a bottle of bubbles. Earlier today, she held her small, personal spring runway presentation inside chef Ignacio Mattos’s Cafe Altro Paradiso. They served a light, quick lunch and a cocktail called Pretty in Peach: Blanco tequila, grapefruit juice, peach shrub, Peychaud’s bitters and a splash of soda.
All images by Kirby Calvin
As you’ve no doubt already guessed, the spring line is full of fruity peach tones as well as sunny yellows and rich, oceany blues. Once you know the Texas-born founder’s credo, and then the fact that she recently issued a Rizzoli volume on entertaining, a book full of gorgeous and meaningful tablescapes, you can only imagine the dining tables and beautiful drinks that each season might inspire.
Today’s affair, however, is relatively low key. Relatively. Sunrise-colored, organically sculptural floral arrangements from the intimate runway show line the table and artful little snacks sit at the ready. A member of the party comes in with a stack of bright plates and a cake knife, and once the champagne is flowing, a delicate grapefruit tart is divided and passed, and the precise tone of a well-deserved celebration comes into full bloom.
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Call it the double life of Lela Rose: the Texas-bred, New York-based designer isn’t just beloved for the dresses and separates line that bears her name, she’s a top-notch hostess and inspired party thrower as well. Her recent book, Pret-A-Party, is all about elegant good times around the table with friends and family. Oh, and Lela’s a mom, too—so naturally, we had to ask….
All images from Pret-A-Party, courtesy Lela Rose
“The real magic of a meal are the stories and memories that come from it,” she said in reply to our request for some stylish Sunday plans. And then she pointed us toward some easy-to-follow directions and a couple of dress options too.
CLICK HERE TO DO MOM’S DAY THE LELA ROSE WAY
In the program notes for her Fall collection, the Texas-born designer of beautiful dresses and classic feminine style Lela Rose noted am emphasis on clean-lined, modern suiting and a “luxe approach to evening separates.”
We were backstage and on the runway to see how this point of view came together, and while color-blocked layering created some gorgeous moments, it feels like Lela’s favorite recipe for keeping it chic is two-piece all-one looks that marry pattern and silhouette.
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE TOP & SKIRT COMBOS AND MORE
Carolina Herrera envisioned spring fashion through rose-colored glasses, with a dreamy yet intricately constructed collection. The Frick Museum was the perfect Beaux-Arts backdrop for Herrera’s urbane mix of soft colors and structured, gridlike surfaces held together by sheer strips of fabric. The end result: minimal, elegant looks befitting modern uptown girls.
Carolina Herrera is available in selected stores at our Designer Eveningwear boutiques.
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We’re now far enough into New York Fashion Week to see critical mass on a few things, and fringe is one of them. Not just on the runway, but in the streets and at the shows.
All images by Jessa Carter
We were admiring a few variations on the theme in the audience before the Lela Rose show began on Monday morning, and then out came even more on the runway. From feathery texture to full fringe stripes as well as sheer organza pants and lots of floral 3-D embellishments and bright, neon pops—plus a hanging tulip garland mimicking, in a big way, the trim trend—here’s our lookbook.
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Highlights from yesterday’s shows, including Donna Karan New York, Lela Rose, rag & bone, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Milly, and Alice + Olivia.
NYC energy at Donna Karan New York: Looking to her eternal muse, the designer incorporated touches of the city’s signature vibrancy into her classic feminine silhouettes. Milliner of the moment, Stephen Jones added a touch of whimsy with his trademark chapeaus.
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Embroidered skirts, ruffles, sweeping trains, black lace, striped prints, feathers: These are just a few of our favorite things at the fall/winter 2014 runway show from Lela Rose.
For the coming season, Lela said she was “drawn into the world of chef and artist Ferran Adrià of elBulli restaurant,” who provided an aesthetic reference point “centered around the geometry of natural beauty and the magical adventure that a meal can be.”
Day to night chic.
See all of our Fashion Week coverage.
To kick off New York Fashion Week we tapped a few of our fave designers showing at Lincoln Center, along with a couple of the fashion influencers who will be attending, to share some of the meaningful moments that make the runway season so exciting!
Tracy Reese on her funniest Fashion Week backstage memory: “I remember one season I was wrapping up backstage interviews, and we were just about to start last looks. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted one of the models in a bright white frock with lime-green undies showing through! We had to do a very quick switch. Now I am thankful every season when we have a few extra nude pairs on hand—always a lifesaver!”
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Thanksgiving may be one of our favorite indulgent, no-calorie-counting days, but it is also the best time to give thanks to all the special people in our lives. In celebration of Turkey Day, The Thread asked seven designers—Lela Rose, Monique Lhuillier, Lubov Azria of BCBGMAXAZRIA and Herve Leger, Rebecca Taylor, Michelle Smith of Milly, Melinda Maria and Patricia Nash—to dish about what they’re thankful for and what they can’t wait to eat.
Whether she’s picking apples with daughter Rosey or dressing First Lady Michelle Obama for this month’s Ladies’ Home Journal, Lela takes on life with a nonchalant elegance.
Lela Rose says:
I’m thankful for… “The life I have lived thus far. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I have a family I love and adore, and I get to do something creative and fulfilling for work.”
This Thanksgiving, I’m craving… “We are in Mexico for Thanksgiving and will not be having our traditional meal. What I will miss most is the boule de neige cake that my aunt makes. It is DIVINE!”
This Filipino designer has been wowing brides with her couture creations since launching her label in 1996. We especially ♥ her Bliss collection.
Monique Lhuillier says:
I am thankful for… “My family, friends and loving what I do every day!! The gift of creating special and beautiful pieces that make women feel special is so rewarding.”
This Thanksgiving, I’m craving… “I am heading down to Mexico for a few days with my family, and I am looking forward to having the freshest fish tacos and guacamole. Olé!”
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