Fashion / Style

The Ultimate Boat Party Rocks New York Fashion Week

This Dallas Designer Embraces Surprising Settings, the Hudson and Little Dogs

BY // 10.01.18
photography Taylor Jewell and Nina Westervelt

NEW YORK — Lela Rose sure knows how to throw a party.

Rather than organize a staid runway show, the Dallas native often presents her breezy collections at New York Fashion Week in a distinctive, fun way. Rose, the author of Pret-a-Party: Great Ideas for Good Times and Creative Entertaining, has previously taken over such nontraditional locations as a trendy New York restaurant and Washington Square Park to showcase her fashion designs with lots of chef-driven delicacies and inventive drinks in a garden party atmosphere.

For the debut of her spring/summer ’19 collection, Rose chose Grand Banks, a historic wooden schooner-turned-oyster-bar docked on the Hudson River, which she dubbed the “S.S. Lela,” for a laid-back party featuring a band playing ’70s tunes, a smiling staffer offering guests Hawaiian leis from the “Lelei Bar”  — even Rose’s Yorkshire terrier, Bobbin, sported a floral garland — and waitstaff serving raw oysters and lobster rolls, along with signature cocktails.

“It’s not just about the clothing; it’s about the fantasy of how and where you are wearing it. I like to show my collections in a way that invites you in and allows you to experience the world of Lela from the drink to the dress and everything in between,” Rose explained.

The looks from Rose’s new collection were just as cheerful as the surroundings. Models posed around the boat in various groupings that emphasized different themes. Maritime striped gowns in coral, yellow or white and tan fit in with the nautical attitude — an awning above the boat reflected a similar pattern — while a series of lace dresses, ranging from a patchwork bustier version to a baby-blue cape design, had a more delicate feeling.

A sky blue trench coat trimmed in plaid piping and a macro plaid trouser suit create a more urban perspective while citrus-hued dresses trimmed with lace flowers, a strapless coral gown with striped bodice and a poppy floral skirt, and a pleated cotton gown spliced with blue and brown gingham seem perfect options for a destination wedding.

Lela Rose already does a thriving business designing wedding and bridesmaids gowns and recently introduced a bridal jewelry collection. She has teamed with Brilliant Earth, a fine jewelry company that is committed to using only ethically and responsibly sourced diamonds as well as recycled metals, to create the collection, which features six engagement rings and two wedding bands inspired by elements of Rose’s bridal line, including intricate beading, floral embroideries and elegant silhouettes.

Wedding jewelry prices range from $2,190 to $4,390.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - On the Runway Spring 2019

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