Lela Rose


Photos: InDigital

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.



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.

fringe dress

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.



New York Fashion Week: September 8

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.



Runway Rundown: Lela Rose

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.
Photos: GoRunway.com


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!”



I’m Thankful for…

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!”



Day dresses and evening wear take on a modern form at Lela Rose, where curvilinear shapes meet sculpted femininity.

“The collection is all based around mid-century modern furniture, specifically the work of Arne Jacobsen,” says Lela on the inspiration for spring 2014. “There’s a lot of a architectural lines, but it’s still very feminine. The designs really have an ethereal beauty to them.”

Backstage, we found Lela with her sidekick, Bobbin.

“I was just saying, ‘we’re so rich. We’re just throwing gold everywhere,'” gushes Lela with a laugh on the golden flakes dancing about in the air from the models’ hair.

Celebrity stylist Ted Gibson and the team from his 5th Avenue salon created a whimsical up-do with golden leaf that added texture and gave the style a Midsummer Night’s Dream effect.

Oh, yes! We think they like Lela’s gracious sensibility, which took cues from Danish furniture designer Arne Jacobsen’s famed Egg and Swan chair creations.

After the show, we stopped Jennifer Wheeler, our VP of women’s designer apparel, to get hear her thoughts on the collection. “Lela has such beautiful taste,” says Jennifer. “And her clothing is just refined, elegant, ladylike dressing.”

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon


When it comes to navigating through life, so much of what we know is passed down from mother to child. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we asked Donna Karan, Lubov Azria, Lela Rose, Rachel Roy, Pamella Roland, Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Zoe and Kelly Wearstler to tell us, “What’s the greatest advice mothers can share with their children?”

Check out the candid, poignant family photos that each of these designing women generously shared with us…


Donna Karan: Make time for love. “The best advice a mother can give to her child is that love is about time−the time you spend with others, and time you spend taking care of yourself. You need to find the balance and do both,” says Donna Karan, pictured with her daughter Gabby on her wedding day in 2002. (For her special day, Gabby wore a short dress with an added long tulle skirt, made by her mother, of course!)

Lubov Azria: Live your dreams. “Each of my daughters has a unique journey they are embarking on, and I support them wholeheartedly. I always advise them with what I tell myself every day: Work hard, stay focused on your vision, and follow your dreams. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,'” says Azria, Chief Creative Officer of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, which includes BCBG and Herve Leger.

This busy business woman is mother to 6 children with husband Max Azria. Above, Lubov (pictured second from left) enjoys some girl time on Malibu Beach with her daughters Anaïs, 16, Agnès, 14, Marine, 21, and Chloé, 18.

Lela Rose: Conquer with kindness. Designer Lela Rose keeps her motherly advice simple and sweet: “Be nice, be nice, be nice.”

The New York-based Texan transplant is pictured with her two children, Grey, 11, and Rosey, 6, and their two Yorkshire terriers, Stitch and Bobbin.

Rachel Roy: You can make a difference. “The best advice I give my girls, which my mother instilled in me, is the importance of giving back to those in need,” shares Rachel Roy, pictured with her two daughters, Tallulah Ruth, 5, and Ava, 13.

Pamella Roland: Easy does it. “As my children have grown, my best advice to mothers of young children would be to not sweat the small stuff−you let go and let your children learn by making their mistakes, and you have to pick your battles,” says Pamella Roland.

During New York Fashion Week, you can always spot her three children, Cole, Sydney and Cassandra, cheering from the front row.

We offer Pamella Roland in selected stores. For locations, please contact a Designer Specialist at 1.877.543.7463.

Rebecca Minkoff: Search for excellence. “Find your PASSION and give 100%. It may or may not be easy to find; maybe the search will be painful and long, but you will find it at some point. And the feeling of satisfaction knowing you have given 100% brings tremendous contentment,” says Rebecca Minkoff, photographed with son Luca Shai, who will turn 2 in September.

Rachel Zoe: Do the right thing. “Always be kind, always have manners and always be grateful. Never be greedy, never be jealous and never be cruel,” says Rachel Zoe on the words of wisdom she instills in her son Skyler, 2.

Kelly Wearstler: Be a go-getter. “The best advice I can give my boys is the same advice my mother instilled in me: the only person who can make something happen for you is YOU. Be compassionate, be self-reliant, and love what you do,” shares Kelly Wearstler with her boys Elliott, 9, and Oliver, 10.

On Mother’s Day, remember the women who gave—and lived out—the best life advice for you.

(Uh-oh: Still need last-minute Mother’s Day gifts? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered!)

Qianna Smith
Photos courtesy of each designer

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Lela Rose has an unmistakable penchant for producing handcrafted fabrics and embellishments that give her designs a one-of-a-kind, wearable decadence. It was hard not to fall for this Texan’s charm and passion for her craft after spending the day at her New York studio. Go behind the seams of Lela’s fall/winter 2013 collection and discover how a few bedtime fairy tales influenced her to take a mysterious yet dreamy approach to the coming season.

“We design so many fabrics, and we spend a lot of money on materials because it’s important to me,” says Lela, who worked with champagne silk-wool blends, floral organza, sheer lace and layers of tulle for this collection.

Here, Lela works on some final beading work. She says she designs for a woman with a unique, individual style who always wants to look put together.

Embroidered and beaded motifs are hallmarks of Lela’s design signature. The inspiration board for the collection is luxe, airy and captures timeless eveningwear elegance.

“When I worked for Richard Tyler, I was on the design team, but I was responsible for assembling all the fabrics for the collection,” says Lela.

During, her time working for the Australian fashion designer, Lela learned how to experiment with materials. “I would go to all the mills and see what was new for the season and put together an entire collection based on fabrics. I gained a lot of experience working with the mills and knowing what’s out there. This helped me when I started my own business. I like to get into the nitty-gritty.”

Lela has been reading the The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm to her two children, and when she told her son Grey that she needed to take the book into the studio, he could have never imagined that she would develop her fall inspiration from magical adventures inside the book. “This collection is all about magical beauty fused with a dark beauty theme,” she says.

The self-confessed Americana girlie-girl walked us through each look of the collection, so we could get an up-close and personal look at the hand-finished detailing of each garment. “Each one these embellishments were put on with a sequin and black bead, so it’s like a little polka dot. Talk about hard work,” she says with a laugh. “I also did a lot of digital prints. We photographed pieces of pink tulle, laid them on top of organza and then digitally printed it. For another look, we took a photo of a piece of lace and then blew it up a ton to create an airy illusion.”

The next time we saw Lela, she was backstage at Lincoln Center fitting a runway model with the same frothy magical dress we fell in love with at the studio. “The models who walk in my show are what I call les petits oiseaux, very bird-like. I love the bird-like girls who are tall, lanky and just float down the runway.”

This look captures and brings to life the raven-like detailing from The Complete Fairy Tales.

The finale look featured beading that Lela compared to sea urchins.

Watch Lela’s fairy tale come to life on the runway.

–Qianna Smith
Photos by Craig Arend @ Altamira NYC

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Snowflakes lightly covered the streets of New York as we headed to the Midtown West studio of designer Lela Rose. The sole purpose of our morning visit was to uncover the material beauty of Lela’s fall/winter 2013 collection. And what we discovered was one adorable Stitch–her pet pooch and faithful companion.

“Stitch the dog is the only thing that has to be at every show. My kids, they may come, they may go, but Stitch is truly always there. I don’t know what I am going to do because he’s getting old,” says Lela. You’ll find Stitch keeping an eye on things at the studio and even backstage at Lela’s show, which will take place February 10 at the Lincoln Center.

If there is one thing Lela’s known for it’s her one-of-kind fabrications. She spends countless hours creating and sourcing materials. “Designing fabrics is the one thing I love most about this job. Being able to work with fabrics and change them so radically is a lot of fun. It is like arts and crafts all day long,” says Lela, who recently had the honor of outfitting Jill Biden in a coat and dress of hers for the 57th presidential inauguration. “[Dr. Biden] was dressing for something special, an occasion to remember, and to be part of that is really wonderful.”

Check back for more photos and the full reveal of Lela’s FW13 creative process, from design room to the runway.

–Qianna Smith
Photos by Craig Arend @ Altamira NYC