Lela Rose based her Fall collection on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales she's been reading to her children. Stripped of their Disney sanitizations, the stories Rose thought she knew revealed themselves to be dark, mythical, magical tales—ones that called for interpretation into clothes.
So the designer made pen-and-ink drawings of floral scenes, then ordered them woven into citrine and champagne silk-wool blend jacquards. She compiled a color wheel of hues suited to spun-sugar cabins in deep dark woods, like burnt oranges and emerald greens. "It has a mystical, glowing feeling about it," she said backstage, referring to the black and ginger crocheted lace that went into a skirt and cropped trousers. These were styled with a peplum top and short-sleeved jacket, both sprinkled with buttonlike embellishments that enriched the textural mix.
In all likelihood, Rose's clients will be most interested in her cocktail attire, of which there was an abundance. A V-neck prom dress in that citrine jacquard looked pretty FLOTUS-worthy (far from the only option for Mrs. Obama). Another dress in rose-tinged white organza practically sighed down the runway, it was so sweet and airy.
There were a couple of tinny notes—beading that bristled from the shoulders of one black silk dress seemed too heavy for the fabric, not to mention overdone. The rhinestone necklace appliquéd onto a black dress would seem to deprive the well-heeled wearer the fun of choosing her own cocktail jewels. But the off-the-shoulder floral organza dresses were wistfully lovely, and the combination of a pearl-embellished gray sweater with a lace-and-pearl-print ball skirt felt genuinely fresh. Opulent, yet light, it was almost a fairy tale come true.