NEW YORK — Lela Rose, Tory Burch and the designers of J.Crew have something in common: They each know how to create stylish yet wearable clothing that suits the more casual Texas lifestyle and climate. Here's a peek at each of their spring/summer 2013 collections as they were unveiled at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
The look: Burch labeled her show "American Prep Mix," with special pieces for a "stylish magpie" who intersperses them with classic sportswear. Her travels range from the American prairie (this below-the-knee wheat print dress opened the show) to the wilds of Guinea (tie-dye print dresses of fabric by women of the region). Also on display: Lots of separates to brighten up a current wardrobe, like tops with a hint of Navajo beading, beaded sundresses and fringe knit ponchos.
Front row favorites: Burch doesn't fill her front row with celebrities; instead the fashion press turns out in droves at the ungodly hour of 9 a.m. for her show. I walked in with Joanna Coles, the new editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. Coles says she plans to add more of a fashion focus to the best-selling magazine's sex-and-empowerment mix.
Burch closed her show with a beaded silk crepe polo dress that fits the mood of a woman who wants to be comfortable and look casually stylish.
The look: Dallas native Lela Rose consistently creates cool collections based on an artist's work. This season, she chose artist Jim Hodges, whose conceptual work incorporates mirrored silhouettes, curtains of flowers and woven webs of chains. The result is reflected in classic daywear-with-a-twist (this linear tweed vest and shorts with cotton poplin shirt opened the show) and ethereal evening wear.
Front row favorites: Mandy Moore, Lauren Conrad, Jenna Bush Hager (Rose designed the bridesmaid dresses for Hager's 2008 wedding and she remains a faithful fan).
Lela Rose sunflower sport jacket over etched landscape blouse and ink blue floral cotton trouser
This Lela Rose guipure lace mirrored jacket and pant offer a dual reflection.
The pattern also is reflected in this smart-looking dress.
Lela Rose ice blue jacquard cuffed bodice dress
Withering landscape organza full skirt dress from Lela Rose's artistic collection
The Lela Rose spring collection includes a silver dusted spider lace one shoulder dress
Lela Rose closed her show with this silver stamped organza cuffed gown.
The look: Tom Mora, the head of women's design at J.Crew under executive creative director Jenna Lyons, looked to photographs from vintage Time Life nature books to create a color palette that combinea bold shades with pastel prints. "They showed the prettiest shades of pastels and then styled it with neon colors," noted Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey. "This is an instant way to update your wardrobe."
Front row favorites: None at the J. Crew show. Instead models stood in a presentation — women on one side and men on the other — as the fashion press milled about.
Don't forget the boys: Menswear looks from J. Crew include a mix of patterns and colors.