Day five was pretty calm, with only a few shows and meetings on my roster. I stopped by Lela Rose and ran into the fabulous Nicolette Mason, who made for a welcome seat-mate. After the show, I had a fantastic meeting with the killer-chic model, Rain Dove, about a super-secret project that I am majorly excited about. I ubered from the meeting to Beth Ditto’s press preview, where I was greeted warmly by the Southern songstress. Scroll down to check out photos & details from my day!
Lela Rose is known for her tailored, ladylike designs, and her F/W 2016 collection didn’t deviate from her aesthetic. Her pieces were beautifully feminine, of course, but what stood out to me was her openness and strength. She shared in her show program that her father had passed only two weeks prior, and that the sadness of the loss had left her unable to devote the attention to detail she normally would.
In a sea of people putting on airs, Rose pushed forward with her dreams, while still reflecting on the pain of loss. To see Rose’s honesty reminded me that we should share our stories in hopes of connecting with others and to show that they are not alone in their pain. Although my parents are still alive, I am mournfully watching them decompose in front of me; my mom’s Parkinson’s have rendered her a shell of her former self, and the effect of this loss of her spirit and personality hurts me to my core. But I continue pushing forward; I share my story, I feel my heartache, and I allow it to encourage me to enjoy and experience every precious moment.
And in that moment at her show, I fell in love with her dainty details, shimmering fringed sheer dresses, glittering gowns, fabulous floral prints, and her innovative business sense, as three of the items would be immediately available for purchase on her site after the show. A sign of the fashion world’s evolution and over-due embrace of the digital world? Perhaps.
It was snowing as I got to the penthouse at the Soho Grand, but the warmth of Beth Ditto‘s greeting was enough to shake the chill from my bones. Although Ditto had partnered with Evans in the past on an edgy plus collaboration, this was her first stand-alone collection, and the silver-haired singer was eager to showcase her debut line.
While some people have stumbled over the price point and claimed that the elevated pricing is unfair, I felt it seemed to be an accurate portrayal of what high-end garments really cost – especially when they’re made ethically in NYC. So many of the items that we all wear are made in sweatshop-level factories in third-world countries (a major way brands cut costs), and are created from cheap materials (another way to cut costs). By Ditto insisting on having an ethically-designed collection, crafted from NOT POLYESTER, and made in the US, she is prioritizing what she feels is important for her eponymous line.
Ditto’s collection is fun and bright, with a few more classic pieces sprinkled in. I loved the embroidered denim jacket; its combo of crafty and cool was just right, and I know I could easily rock it with a Canadian tuxedo, leather, or even a gown. Ditto gushed over the quirky makeup-print dress and the adorable lip-print top and skirt she was wearing, and was quick to point out subtle design details (like center-back ruching on a skirt or the tiny prints of her iconic face hidden within the circular dress and top).
Although some nay-sayers feel that there’s no room for designer price-points for plus-size women, I strongly disagree, as I have trouble believing that out of the millions of plus-size women in our country that not a single one has enough coin to be able to purchase a $200+ design. There’s room for everyone at my fashionable table.
All photos shot and owned by Liz Black.