Lela Rose Fall 2016: The Name of the Rose
Last season, Lela Rose wowed us with a ceiling of pink roses, setting the mood for a fairy tale escape. This year, Lela went with a colorful palette somewhere between 1986’s Pretty in Pink and the unmistakably French interior of Fauchon at Place de la Madeleine. A huge warped mirror behind the runway added a larger-than-life surrealist touch. I found my seat and waited for the collection to begin. In the last moments I decided to read the show program insert, which took me completely by surprise.
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“I think it is understood but not often emphasized,” read Lela’s program, “that every season and collection is a culmination of a large team effort. This season, it has been even more so. My father, Rusty Rose, passed away suddenly two weeks ago. The sadness of my family’s loss has has been profound and left me unable to devote the attention that I normally would give to every detail.”
The sadness of my family’s loss has has been profound,” read the program.
Having experienced the loss of my own father, I couldn’t even imagine how she had the strength to do anything, let alone a New York Fashion Week show. My heart ached for her. There is no pain that can describe the loss of a parent until one has experienced it.
After gathering myself, another tidbit caught my eye in small but bold font:
“For the first time, looks 4, 27 & 35 will be exclusively available for purchase beginning today at LelaRose.com.”
Looks 4, 27 & 35 will be exclusively available for purchase beginning today.”
Now I felt a sense of excitement. I found it refreshing that a designer of Lela’s stature would embrace technology — and satisfy her consumer base — by having runways looks available instantly.
This season a number of designers such as Burberry are exploring getting product to market for the season in which the runway actually occurs, rather than the season to come. Rose’s foray into the “instant purchase” model makes me wonder if this isn’t a test for something larger to come.
I wonder if this is a test for something larger to come.
The first piece set the tone immediately: an indigo vine-jacquard bell-sleeve top with matching pant and a leaf brooch, crisply presented, reassuring me Lela’s team had come through for her after her tragic loss.
For the next few minutes we were treated to texture and combinations that focused on separates, clean lines, and sleek feminine lines. Next came beautiful transitional pieces with a nod to Valentine’s Day (which has been the day before the show), in a versatile and eminently wearable collection that ran the gamut from sheer top dresses with heart appliqués to statement coats of mohair and cashmere, in color palettes from dusty pink, oxblood, black, charcoals, silver, to gold. The collection impressed me with its seamless transitions from fun flirty outfits to businesswoman chic.
Seeing Lela come out for the final bow made me want to run and give her a series of hugs, for her loss, her collection, and showing me resilience within a collection.
Lela, on behalf of FWO, our sincerest condolences for your loss: but always know your father is looking down, proud.
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