On trips to Coney Island with her kids this summer, Lela Rose was reminded of another, earlier trip to the Neon Museum, or neon graveyard, in Las Vegas. The retro signage in Brooklyn reminded Rose of the fragments of old signs out west; she drew her inspiration from their shapes and colors, as well as how they had aged. A neon graveyard sounds a little eerie—depressing, even—but there's not much that keeps the Lela Rose girl down.

Though faded, accents of lime, lemon, and tangerine still popped against grainier surfaces treated to resemble rust. A painterly print in purple and yellow looked great on jacquard cocktail gowns, especially the one worn by Eva Amurri in the front row, whose wedding gown Rose is designing. (Mother-of-the-bride Susan Sarandon was there, too.) Using the negative space left by letters in signs, Rose color-blocked on silk dresses and tees; these had a sporty, curvilinear feel that was echoed throughout in curved seams and strong shoulders. A few dresses suffered from an overdose of embellishment. One organza tank dress in electric navy had a midsection of fringe that looked like a Sesame Street character who'd gotten involved with a boudoir lamp. But most pieces had ease and elegance—Lela Rose specialities. You'd never have guessed it began in Vegas.