My sister Genna, in her gorgeous and rare Lela Rose wedding gown, shares her first dance with her husband at their reception.
If it's possible to have a special place in your heart for someone you've never met, I have one for talented and innovative fashion designer Lela Rose. You see, my little sister got married last October. In preparation for the big day, she tried on ONE and only one wedding gown before she found the perfect one for her. The gorgeously constructed brocade Lela Rose wedding gown, pictured above, made everyone's jaw drop the moment she put it on. We (my mother, owner Ashley Harris, and two fellow shoppers turned life-long friends in fashion) stood in Raleigh's Vermillion in awe of the way the dress gave Genna the bridal glow. It was absolute perfection for Genna's fall, farmhouse wedding, and Genna had a fabulous night in the unique and fabulous dress.
This past week, Lela bravely opened her OWN Tribeca home to designers and editors for her Resort 2011 Presentation. From all reports the event not only showcased beautifully made and ladylike clothes but also Lela and her husband's modern and personalized home from which she drew inspiration for the collection.
Lela Rose's Resort 2011 Presentation in Her Swanky Tribeca Home
The house is definitely a space where fashion meets function, and every detail has been personalized: Models stood on her dining room tables that rose up from the floor- believe it or not!- to imitate a runway. Her living room sofa was covered in a poppy-printed fabric that she used for her Resort 2010 collection.
Ashley & CP Harris sit on Lela's poppy-printed couch.
Fabric from past collections also appears in a quilt folded on her son's bed. What an innovative way to recycle and customize bedding at the same time!
Lela's little boy's room includes a samples of her past collection's fabrics quilted together.
Lela and husband Brandon Jones's tranquil bedroom.
The presentation was much like visiting an old friend. Guests were welcome to tour the home as Lela's husband, daughter, and son hung around the house as a family. The Texas-born designer certainly infused plenty of Southern grace and charm into her New York event!
And now about the clothes...
2011's Lela Rose Resort Collection featured her signature bright colors, flawless tailoring and vivacious prints. Whether sprinkled with black and white delicate flowers, awash with watercolor hues or drawn with geometric precision, each piece was practical, tailored and cheerful. Pieces from Lela Rose remain stylish year after year, season after season. You can pair the above dresses with simple, flat sandals in the summer and then pull on tights, leather boots, and a classic coat in the winter. And I can easily imagine throwing on one of her dresses for a day at the office, a bridesmaids' luncheon or dinner with friends.
Resort 2011 Combo from Style.com
And I absolutely love Lela's trademark short-sleeved collared jackets over a simple top and bright skirt! I could wear her combinations from the grocery store to a Junior League meeting any time of year. There is something to be praised for that sort of versatility!
Her clothing may be a bit of an investment, but the SHOES are all Lela Rose for Payless.
Whether it's her custom home, her affordable shoes or her effortlessly chic clothing, Lela demonstrates excellent taste and thoughtful consideration. Everything she designs is special, and makes a girl like me feel special in return.