The always lovely designer—and repeat Project Runway guest judge—Rachel Roy visited our Seattle Flagship Store last week to meet and mingle with lucky shoppers. There was a lot to celebrate, including the launch of her Rachel Roy Dress Salon (check out the gorgeous lookbook) and her new shoe line. What better time to do a little Q&A and get the dish on her inspirations and must-have item for fall!
Tell us about your new dress collection and the inspiration behind it.
Beauty, strength and effortless elegance inspired the new collection. The dress, to me, is about the ease of putting on one singular piece and making that your statement. It’s a collection of dresses that flatter, fit and move with each need in a woman’s busy life. I love that feeling of strength balanced with feminine silhouettes, and wearing a great dress can make you remember what is beautiful about life.
What do you look for in a great dress?
The feeling of elegant, sexy confidence. When you put it on, you know.
Is there an overall theme that ties your collections together?
My goal is always to design things that make women feel smart and confident, and there’s always a theme of the effortless and exotic in my collections. I think beauty and style should be effortless and at the same time look amazing, so I try to achieve that through interesting silhouettes and shapes. Exotic touches like print mixing and fabric manipulation add interest and depth to the story we are telling with the collections.
Where do you look for inspiration when designing?
Old Hollywood movies have always been an inspiration. I love the strength and glamour of Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn. I surround myself with art that inspires in my home and office. It’s important to me to fill my spaces with canvases, photography and sculpture that tell a story or elicit an emotion.
Describe the woman you envision wearing your clothes.
I design for women like me—working, raising a family, and navigating everything that comes with that. It means a great deal to me when women trust me enough to wear the collection or try something new. Designing, to me, is about helping women express themselves, and when she chooses to wear something from my collection and feels good in it, then I’ve done my job.
Do you have a favorite new trend or must-have item for fall?
A dress! It’s that one piece that’s always flattering and that works perfectly with anything from a leather jacket to a sweater coat. It’s the most versatile piece a woman can own.