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Lela Rose Perfects Day-Glam

Satisfying looks inspired by decades past bring Fashion Week El Paseo to a close.

Emily Black Current Digital, Fashion & Style, Fashion Week El Paseo, Watch & Listen - Fashion Week

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New York designer Lela Rose shared her 2019 Fall colection at Fashion Week El Paseo on March 23.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GARY BINDMAN

There’s minimalist Scandi-chic (neutral colors with an occasional pattern or deep red, nothing too tight); day-to-night New Yorker (a fitted jacket reveals a glittery top); athleisure (yoga pants in public); French flair (a perfectly placed line of pearl buttons on a jacket sleeve, a square neckline with a splash of peplum); Bohemian (flowing, easy to wear with a strategically placed ruffle or bow); and other monikers to denote particular styles.

At Saturday night’s Fashion Week El Paseo finale, New York–based designer Lela Rose served up looks (literally, as attendees were given a pink menu to accompany each design, like receiving a wine list at a restaurant), that blended all of these trends in a way that would look good on almost any body and would suit nearly every occasion, from the office to the fancy fundraiser.

For our complete coverage of Fashion Week El Paseo, click HERE.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY ARIANA BINDMAN

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PHOTOGRAPH BY YASIN CHAUDHRY

Rose’s collection is like shopping in your ideal closet, a high-end version of the fast fashion available on ASOS or even at Zara: a well-placed touch of drama; a good, rich color palate; a few bright but never garish patterns that can be worn together or with other separates; and nothing too dramatic that it turns heads just for the sake of turning them. (However, the Palm Desert crowd, as usual, displayed a penchant for super-tight skirts, skyscraper heels, spray-tanned cleavage, and a surprising amount of metallic everything). As each of Rose’s looks floated down the runway, the models wearing minimal makeup and low, loose ponytails, looked noticeably happy, even smiling, and comfortable in the clothes, perhaps because they wore mostly flats, kitten heels, and a few sensible-seeming heels that made turning not once, but often twice, a safe prospect.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY YASIN CHAUDHRY

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PHOTOGRAPH BY YASIN CHAUDHRY

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PHOTOGRAPH BY ARIANA BINDMAN

Rose’s designs, all of which were showcased in various color options, also bring the best of several decades of trends into one collection. The office looks, especially, spanned the decades. A slouchy, textured turtleneck matched with a perfectly pleated color-blocked, midi-skirt was Murphy Brown on top and Leave it to Beaver on the bottom, a surprisingly flattering mix. A white tunic worn over black fitted pants with pearl detail, or a wool crepe, seamed sheath in navy, might have been worn by every actress who played a district attorney on the original Law and Order. A smocked tunic dress with exquisite detailing also featured practical pockets for a cell phone, a few dollars for a latte, or a Metro card for a busy woman on the go. A beautiful rose-patterned dress with elbow sleeves and another with an illusion neckline evoked a modern day Audrey Hepburn, while one of the standouts — a V-neck dress with gold vines sparkling just so along the full skirt was reminiscent of the red carpet from Hollywood’s golden years; a bright floral dress with an open back and a flowing bow was pure Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

As befits this designer, who has her pulse on the best bits of every fashion decade, there were plenty of contemporary touches as well: a flowing floral patterned wide leg pant with a contrasting floral print shirt; a few plaid on plaid ensembles; and off-the-shoulder and smocked necklines made appearances, all worldwide favorites from French retailer Sezane, to Danish staple Ganni, to trailblazing, color saturated Gucci. There is an admirable art of restraint in these designs, a sense that understated is the true aspirational style standard, so although head to toe Lela Rose may not make you stand out from the proverbial pack in an obvious way, it will make certain that your Day-Glam look is memorable and of the highest order.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY GARY BINDMAN

Fashion Week El Paseo will be held March 21-28, 2020. For information and tickets, visit fashionweekelpaseo.com.

VIDEO: Watch “Finale Night Featuring New York designer Lela Rose” from start to finish here. For livestreams of every runway show, go to palmspringslife.com/livestream.