Fashion Week Fall 2011: Lela Rose

Lela Rose chose as her inspiration for this collection contemporary German artist Gerhard Richter. I thought this a very interesting choice. It was I’m sure his manipulation and obscuration of imagery that she was after for the fabrics she created, but I couldn’t help but wonder if she was also fascinated by the fact that Richter is so hard to pin down stylistically.
Abstract Painting, 2005, courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery

She seemed to be stretching her wings a tad with this collection. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but just as Richter always refused to be labeled, it made me consider whether Rose was trying to expand her range here as well. Shapes varied from very structured to more fluid while the colors ranged from the somber side to brighter hues. The collection started with scraped cotton canvas in a pattern straight from Richter’s canvases. The fabric was worked as a skirt, top and here as a strict seamed dress. The collection was shown with knee highs and Rose’s affordable Payless shoe collection.

It seems everyone was at this star studded show – I spied with my little eye magazine editors – Anna Wintour, Virginia Smith, Avril Graham and Joanna Hillman, retail representatives Simon Doonan and Linda Fargo, photographers Scott Schuman and Garance Doré, CFDA executive director Steven Kolb and actresses Brittany Snow and Rose McGowan to name a few. I was lucky enough, thanks to my friend Linda Levy, to be seated in the front row where I could really get a great look at what was coming down the runway. One of my favorite pieces was this spectacular caramel double face zipper coat. Both a practical and beautiful piece that I could see wearing all fall with everything from jeans to a dress as shown here.

The dresses were pretty but what I especially loved were the layering pieces like this heather combed wool jacket with cashmere cable knit sleeves – such a versatile piece for a great look either over a dress or with pants.

This hand-loomed organza cropped cardigan jacket was another great layering piece.

Printed feathers were an additional feature I loved, calling to mind the textural quality of Richter’s expressive paintings. Here is Rose’s version of the ubiquitous pea coat over a printed cashmere top and printed feather embroidered skirt.

and though this looks like feathers, this beautiful sapphire mohair coat creates the optical illusion with wool filaments.

But the stars of the show were undoubtably the dressier more fragile pieces with delicate layering and beautiful embroidery

This one for example is an exquisite combination of chiffon draping, dip dyed feather embroidered skirt and a graceful and feminine veiled shoulder – breathtaking!

And for formal affairs or red carpet this gorgeous almost plum (they call is amaranth) gown with metallic thread embroidery and a veiled tulle bodice floated like gossamer in front of me down the runway.

The final gown was this incredible Grecian number worthy of Ava Gardner’s attention. The dip dyed chiffon gave it a modern edge but it flowed like a dream.

all photos: Alessandro Viero/

The delicious home made biscotti from Rose’s kitchen, delivered in the goody bags, were a sweet finishing touch to this beautifully developed feminine show.

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38 Responses to Fashion Week Fall 2011: Lela Rose

  1. Kathleen says:

    I bet you found those clothes more yummy than the biscotti’s. I absolutely LOVE the camel color coat!!

  2. Fabulous fashion! I haven’t had time to check out all the shows, so I’m relying on blogger recaps – thank you! :)


  3. Oh I adore this collection! Happy Valentine’s Day to you :)


  4. Dreamy fabrics! Very inspiring collection! Xo

  5. I love the shoulders covered in chiffon. Very elegant to hide them a bit, no?
    Wasn’t into the socks though–a look we have already seen so much.
    But gorgeous colors–inspiring!

  6. Beautiful fashion and biscotti, too – what a treat! I especially love the plum (a.k.a. amaranth) gown… so feminine yet strong! Again, thank you for being our eyes and ears at the shows.

  7. Jane Schott says:

    I still have not gotten over yesterday’s post but I was stopped in my tracks when I saw this post. The colors are magnificent and I also love the camel
    coat. I can just tell you are enjoying yourself. I await your next post!

  8. Tabitha says:

    I love her clothes.That last gown is incredible, what a swishy little number.

  9. Caroline says:

    Love the last 4-5 pieces…those are absolutely beautiful! Take care, Caroline

  10. Amazing, all!
    It’s so wonderful having
    a new bloggy friend who
    is in the know!! I particularly
    love the day dresses and that
    divine blue coat!
    Happy Tuesday,
    xx Suzanne

  11. elle says:

    I too love that double faced cashmere coat. It’s wonderful to have an insider at the shows – I know it is fun but a lot of work too. Thank you!!

  12. pve says:

    I don’t really need to send my sons to college, do I? Why my wardrobe needs a Rose or two….what an utterly divine collection….and biscotti….a gal after my own sweet heart.
    Thanks for sharing. How do you manage to see all these shows? Are you a muse?

  13. The Zhush says:

    All that and home made cookies as well…its just not fair! What a star studded event…and like you, I think I love the coats the best.

  14. Lucky you, on the front row! I think this is a beautiful collection…..actually very wearable for a runway show. I love the gradation in the fabrics and the beautiful color palatte. This, I like!

  15. wonderful fabrics! I agree with the last comment…lcky you :-) hugs

  16. Wow. I love the last two images especially! Lucky to be going to the shows.
    Have a wonderful day, q.

  17. Danielle says:

    Great to get a first hand account, the pictures bring your “pre-breakfast” narrative to life- let’s do it again. Thanks for ALL your wonderful blogs – my must see list is growing.

  18. colors and patterns are have a hint of the classics….love this collection…
    and Richter is my inspiration for some of my abstracts….good choice..

  19. colors and patterns have a hint of the classics….love this collection…
    and Richter is my inspiration for some of my abstracts, too….good choice..

  20. I love her style and she seems like she would be such a fun friend to have – please Lela will you be my new BFF?

  21. Good morning, Q!

    This is a beautiful collection! I love the colors and I especially like the last dress.

    Have a great week!


    Luciane at

    Post of the Day: Multi-Million Dollar Malibu House.

  22. A great write-up of the collection. I thought it was different for her, too. Pretty, but I missed my favorite silhouette–a nipped in waist and slightly full skirt–that she does so well. That coat, though, is tops on my shopping list! What show are you attending next? Can’t wait to read your thoughts! XO

  23. Beautiful collection full of amazing colours, patterns and textures. The incredible Grecian long dress blew me away!!! In love:) Happy Tuesday, sweetie

  24. Really beautiful dresses. Not crazy about the black knee highs — a girls with calves could never get away with them! I know this first hand after years of wearing uniform skirts and knee high to school. :)

  25. I’ve been a long time admirer of Lela Rose’s work….and not just b/c we both hail from Dallas.

    Two of my favorite workhorse pieces are from former collections. A yellow skirt with a cabbage rose overlay and a silver brocade dress. I love that her pieces defy a certain period and wear beautifully for years.

    It would be a dream to someday attend one of her shows!! Lucky you!! :)
    xo Elizabeth

  26. The combed wool jacket WAS gorgeous, as are the dresses! Thanks so much for stopping by the Ooh La Frou Frou blog ~ left a little message for you in the comments section next time you’re by ;)

  27. I have to say I liked all the dresses but not with the knee socks. The evening dresses are stunning!

  28. Gorgeous collection – glad you featured it otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it. Love it all, so refreshing to see xx

  29. A stunning collection. I can’t think of one of these incredible outfits that I wouldn’t want to hang in my closet. To be there would of been a huge thrill. I’m glad you are able to share the excitement with us all.

    x Deb

  30. Tonia says:

    I love this collection. I like the knee highs it makes me think of the old photos of my mother when she was younger.

  31. Leigha says:

    Mohair coat? Yes, please.


  32. Stacey says:

    A very fresh collection! I love the colours, the adornments and shapes of the dresses! Beautiful post! XX

  33. How fun to “virtually” go to a fashion show! I’m feeling more fashionably aware more and more thanks to you! Yes. I loved that pea coat in that gorgeous rich color. Oddly, I only liked the knee socks on the designer (I’m assuming she was the very first photo). Every single one of the evening dresses were stunning, dreamy, and romantic. Usually I like one or two outfits but as I scrolled down, I was “aaahhhing” at each and every one. Thank you for our weekly fashion appraisal. Having too much fun! Miss my days living in NYC! Boo!

  34. You lucky lady! I love the leather coat with blue lining and the tulle bodices on the dresses. She really seems to be more adventurous with color and I like it!

  35. Beautiful collection , but please tell me that we are not going to be wearing those knee socks!

  36. Style Attic says:

    THRILLED FOR YOU! That’s so great :) The plum gown is just a vision! I love the way you write. I’m cracking up at Mona’s comment above me. I would wear those socks if I had super model legs! I don’t, so I guess I won’t :) XOXO

  37. Fifi Flowers says:

    oooh la la… FUN fashions!

  38. I too love the collection, but a big NO on the knee socks. I think very few people can get away with this look.

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