Designer Lela Rose always finishes her New York Fashion Week runway show just before the noontime hour, so it's no wonder stomachs are usually growling. But hunger pangs were especially acute this time around, because the Dallas-born and -raised designer centered her fall collection around a particularly memorable meal at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli, the experimental haute cuisine restaurant on the north coast of Spain, three years ago.
"This collection is all about where food, fashion and entertaining intersect," Rose told reporters backstage after the show.
"This collection is all about where food, fashion and entertaining intersect," Rose said after the show.
Although the collection was not literally translated to the transcendental dining experience, traces of Rose's passion for food could be seen in the frothy blouses and skirts in a gold-dusted floral pattern; dresses in feathery, lighter-than-air ombre shades or swirly jacquard patterns; and waffle-like boucle check skirts and T-shirts.
Some of the patterns — including polka dots, stacked pearls and geometric shapes — resembled spherical orbs, a signature technique of Adrià, who is known as the father of molecular gastronomy. His restaurant was named the world's best five times by Restaurant magazine and received more than 2 million reservation requests for 8,000 seats in one year. Rose was among the special few to dine there before it closed in 2011.
The experience must have also been an aphrodisiac, as Rose's collection is sexier than usual, with tight lace pencil skirts, shoulders covered in tulle, and a black dress in a see-through grid pattern that will likely be lined for retail sale.
She recently met up with Adrià again, when he was the guest of honor at a dinner party she hosted at her Tribeca home. Other guests included superstar chefs Mario Batali, Thomas Keller, Dan Barber, Daniel Boulud and Dominique Ansel.
For the occasion, it seemed only appropriate that she wore a look from the fall collection — a gold-dusted floral peplum blouse and ivory trousers that resembled an Adrià specialty: salted peanuts and cone snow wafers.