Mom Muse | Lela Rose
Lela Rose is as lovely as the elegant, feminine frocks she is renowned for designing. At MSL, we have long been fans of her work. Her love of embellishments and special details, plus her use of rich fabrics, is what first drew us to her clothing. Put on one of her dresses and you are instantly in the mood to go to or host a party. Which perhaps explains Lela’s love of entertaining. She even has a regular post on her blog – “Nothing says chic like matching your drink to your dress.” Love it! Food and entertaining are great sources of inspiration for the designer. Hence, her foray into writing and the publication of her first book, Prêt-à-Party. In her one-on-one sit down with Angela, Lela talks about her book and party tips, as well as her personal style.
Lela and Angela chat at Neiman Marcus in Scottsdale.
The garden party setting at Neiman Marcus for the preview of her fall collection and new book.
A New Yorker for over 20 years now, Lela was born and raised in Texas and still considers the Lone Star State home. She caught the fashion bug while at the University of Colorado as a painting and sculpture major, when she started making vests out of vintage scarves and selling them. After graduation, she headed to the Parsons School of Design in New York City, where she learned the art of her chosen craft. Lela then worked under fashion designer Christian Francis Roth, followed by Los Angeles-based designer Richard Tyler. In 1998, she debuted her signature Lela Rose collection. When fellow Texans, Jenna and Barbara Bush, wore Lela Rose creations to their dad’s inauguration, the designer received considerable attention and moved from working primarily with private clients to selling her clothes at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Today, Lela has a long list of A-list celebrity clients, including Jessica Alba, Princess Kate, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, to name a few. Lela, her husband Brandon and their two kids – Grey (14) and Rosey (8) – live in New York City.
Lela at her Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring 2016 runway show with daughter Rosey and their beloved Norwich Terrier. Photo Credit: lelarose.com
Backstage at the Lela Rose Spring 2016 runway show during Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. Photo Credit: lelarose.com
The finale of her Spring 2016 collection presentation at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. Photo Credit: lelarose.com
MSL: Describe your style in five words or less.
Colorful, quirky, comfortable and one-zip!
MSL: As an established designer, how do you find inspiration season after season?
I find inspiration everywhere! Living in New York is so inspiring. I bike everywhere and get ideas from the amazing architecture, beautiful landscape, and colors of the city. Of course, I also am inspired by places I travel… and food! Especially chefs and the way they see things and interpret food creatively and in different ways.
Biking in the city. Photo Credit: Google images
MSL: You are renowned for creative parties and entertaining, hence your beautiful new book, Prêt-à-Party. When hosting a party, what are the two most critical elements for success?
- Have fun yourself!
- Serve a specialty cocktail right when people arrive. It tells them immediately that the party is special and sets the tone for a fun evening ahead.
Also, the “devil is in the details”! Special unique touches like the cocktail and themed, thoughtful décor are what will set your party apart.
MSL: What is your favorite type of party to plan?
Any and all parties! I do prefer occasion-less entertaining though. I’d rather not have a reason to throw a party and just do it “because” I feel like it.
MSL: You love to cook. Do you have a favorite thing to make?
Anything and everything. I really don’t have a favorite recipe. Although I do make biscotti once a week and always have it on hand. The recipe is in Prêt-à-Party.
MSL: Are you a specific “measurer” when you cook or do you just throw in a “pinch of this and that”?
Definitely a “pinch of this and that”! When I was working on the book, it was somewhat challenging to get specific measurements for some of the ingredients in the recipes. When I’m cooking I like to taste things and go from there.
MSL: What is your family’s favorite thing to do together in your free time?
We love to bike around the city and find interesting places to eat lunch. We enjoy having a great meal together.
MSL: As a working mom, any tips on how you achieve good work – life balance?
I don’t really know – I don’t give it a lot of thought to be honest. Since I love to cook, we do spend a lot of time in the kitchen and eat a lot of family meals together. My kids are at all our dinner parties.
Lela and her daughter Rosey all dressed up in costumes they made for Halloween. Photo Credit: lelarose.com
MSL: Your best style advice for other moms out there?
Reach for a dress. Invest in great dresses that will take you from day to dinner. They are easy to wear and style – just one piece. You don’t need to worry if the top and the bottom work together or not.
MSL: What is your most favorite dress that you’ve ever designed?
It’s difficult to choose just one… but I would say anything I’ve created with feathers. Like the white dress with feathers I am wearing in Prêt-à-Party, I love it.