style.com: Lela Rose Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear reviewLela Rose
NEW YORK, February 12, 2012
By Alison Baenen
Architecture buff Lela Rose says that her latest collection was inspired by a recent trip to Dallas, where she became besotted with Santiago Calatrava’s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. As the designer explained over the phone a few days before her show, her aim was to translate Calatrava’s undulating, linear sensibility into a collection that married both romanticism and functionality. There were elements of both, in a pretty, wearable collection that benefitted from Rose’s flattering tailoring.
The palette called to mind the patina that construction metals acquire over time—deep rust, darker magenta, and saturated blacks and grays. From afar, the surface of a pomegranate-pink tiered fil coupé dress looked like flowers; at closer range, it resembled patches of peeling rust. Befitting a collection inspired by urban buildings, the silhouette was attenuated and lean. Pronounced seaming gave shape to the clothes, but in a nod to Calatrava’s swooping, soaring structures, woven fabrics created the effect of undulating lines. Coats were collarless and dresses’ subtle pleats allowed for plenty of movement. For cocktail hour—or a lucky girl’s prom—a classic silk cloque dress in ivory had chic linebacker’s shoulders: They were sparklingly embellished with cool metal embroidery and pearls. In the past, some of Rose’s pieces have suffered from too heavy a hand. Fall’s restraint made for a solid foundation.