Fashion / Style

Texas Fashion Designer Puts On Her Own Dog Show at Fashion Week — and Everyone’s in Love With it

Inside the Crazy Cute Roseminster Dog Show

BY // 02.18.19

NEW YORK — What will Lela do now? That’s the question many New  York Fashion Week attendees ask every season because Lela Rose never fails to surprise.

The Dallas native always eschews a traditional runway show in favor of something wonderful. She rented a historic wooden schooner-turned-oyster-bar on the Hudson River for a party featuring a ’70s band to showcase her spring collection last September and organized a New Orleans-style street parade, which she dubbed the “TriBeCa Takeover,” to show off her resort collection in June.

This time, while unveiling her fall collection, she’s gone to the dogs.

Rose turned a Chelsea event space into the “Roseminster Dog Show,” a takeoff on the storied Westminster Dog Show taking place at Madison Square at the same time. She laid out a faux grass area surrounded by a white picket fence for the dogs and their handlers to parade around in, set up bleachers for observers to watch, and brought in style expert Robert Verdi and Today contributor Jenna Bush Hager to offer witty commentary, incorporating references to Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing in the canine vernacular.

Models outfitted in Rose’s latest designs appeared with such popular pooches as RileyBeann, a Brittany Spaniel with 33,000 Instagram followers, and JerseyShihTzu, with 55,ooo Instagram followers. Other models served as “judges” or walked around with signs proclaiming “Lassies Who Lunch,” “Cock’Tail’ Companion,” and “Paws for Intermission.”

Most of the canine companions were well-behaved, although one hyperactive Pointer was not quite ready for prime time and had to be removed from the competition, bringing to mind the W.C. Fields adage, “Never work with animals or children.”

Rose, whose Norwich terrier, Bobbin, is often at her side, said she came up with the idea for a canine-themed collection when she happened upon an antique dog cameo button, “but my four legged-friends have long been a lovable influence.”

The collection includes an oversized camel cashmere coat with velvet greyhound detail: dresses, trousers, and peplum tops in a King Charles wool plaid featuring autumn colors of brown and navy; and a black-and-white pantsuit in a “Man’s Best Friend” silk print featuring several dog breeds, including Dalmatians, Basset Hounds and Bulldogs.

Little details like dog cameo buttons on a navy dress and pants with metal dog tags highlight additional pieces of the collection.

Other looks, such a pleated gown with pearl detail and several floral patterned trousers, blouses and dresses, are not so overt in keeping with the theme but nevertheless offer chic alternatives to round out a wardrobe. And they offer a stylish way to walk the dog after a society affair or lunch outing.

Before the show began, stadium vendors served doggie bags of popcorn, “puppy chow” (aka Chex Party Mix), and frosted cookies in the shape of various dog breeds, along with “Hair of the Dog” liquid remedies and a “Greyhound” cocktail (vodka and grapefruit juice).

A portion of proceeds from sales of the fall collection online at lelarose.com and at the Lela Rose Dallas flagship boutique in Highland Park Village will be donated to the ASPCA.

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