NOLA Fashion Week- Day 1

Day one (for me anyway) consisted of two shows, held at The Saratoga- a 1950s office building that was converted into chic urban apartments in the heart of downtown New Orleans. The shows were located in a great open space on the lower level, while in between shows, guests could go to the third floor, where there was a lounge and then a couple apartments that were decorated by Maria Barcelona and Interior Motives. The theme for the interior design was “Little Red Riding Hood” and boasted deep reds on the accent walls, a gun chandelier, a basket table centerpiece, a red cape that hung in a corner and other ‘hints’ of this fairy tale. Back down on the ground level, the two designers showcasing that evening were New Orleans-based Libellule and Isavel.

Libellule is still a newbie to the fashion scene, having officially launched during March 2012′s NOLA fashion week with eleven looks. Libellule (libby-lool) or “Dragonfly” in French, was founded by friends Crickett Lapeyre and Leigh Reveley Kellogg, who share a passion for vintage clothing. They bonded over Crickett’s vintage six-generations-old wedding veil (as Leigh is a fabric restorer who has done work for the Vatican). The women were fed up with modern clothing being so unflattering and decided to sketch some ideas. They then submitted the ideas to NOLA fashion week and soon received a call, asking them to be apart of the March show. Fast-forward to October…they presented their Spring/Summer ’13 collection titled “Wind and Waves.” The collection consisted of vintage-inspired flowy dresses, blouses, rompers, palazzo pants and a maillot. The pieces reminded me of a seaside vacation, complete with sailor-esque separates and breezy sundresses. I’m a fan of the light, goddess-like gown and ethereal white halter dress with plunging back. Every garment is made locally at Nola Sewn and their fabric is sourced from locally-owned Promenade. (FYI, I stopped by that shop and it’s amazing! Talk about kid in a candy store!) Check out libelluleclothing.com for further deets!

The last designer of the evening was Dallas-based Izavel. LSU alumna and designer Isabel Varela just launched her independent line- Isavel, this year. Her Spring/Summer 2013 collection plays on the mix of masculinity and femininity (as well as her ‘everyday inspiration’ of architecture, music and everything in between). She used airy fabrics with lighter hues that were instilled with more heavier materials in darker hues. I loved the silk pleated shorts, sleek custom silk print pleated vest and skirt! It’s no wonder that this talented young designer has gained exceptional favor in the fashion industry, along with being a finalist on NBCs “Fashion Star” in 2011 (where she had collaborated with Ashlee Brooks Patton for their contemporary womenswear line- Varela+Brooks). Varela was also a finalist on Project Runway Season 8. As far as the future of Isavel is concerned; it looks like a bright one, so please check out isavel.net to see more of what the brand is all about.

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