Feathers, fringe, and beadwork undoubtedly remind all of us of the “Great American West.” I have always had a fascination with the West, not just because of its history or its tie to American culture but because of its essence: it raptures in simplicity. Yes, of course, we cannot forget the intricate beading and detail work that is seen on leather jackets, heavy knits, and on worn-in leather boots, but it is the simple garments, jeans and t-shirts, that tie together a cowboy’s true character. How do I judge character? I see how someone pairs the new with vintage, see how they live with pieces worn in by love, and not just by convenience or comfiness, but by the story a garment tells. A cowboy’s look like his wardrobe wears better with age. The scuffs it endures make for the graceful notes of what we city dwellers envy as “effortless”.
For Lela Rose, her extravagant New York fashion week show, although it did not in any way lack femininity, drew from the classic cowboy aesthetic. Before the show began, on my seat sat an note from Lela Rose, she wrote about how the West has always inspired her and how she incorporated it into her new collection. Her looks switched from tones of lavender and pink to shades of grey, black, and white. All was done with taste and beautiful craftsmanship. A white pantsuit murmured delicately as hundreds of fringes lined and flapped across the piece. It epitomized the look that I have come to love from the West to now being updated for the contemporary Lela Rose wearer. Evening gowns and dresses alike were trimmed in carefully placed black and white dipped feathers and fringed with lavender and cranberry beads. The collection was beautiful. What I loved most was that the classic inspiration of her mood-board appeared on the runway as a gorgeously complex and carefully crafted collection: the beautiful and tailored aesthetic of Lela Rose.