New York Fashion Week: Designer Roland inspired by '70s Paris

February 23, 2015

A look from the Pamella Roland runway show presented at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Feb. 16, 2015 at the tents at Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York.

NEW YORK ó Pamella Roland knows what women want. This season at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, she gave them elegant dresses and separates inspired by Paris in the 1970s as depicted in Alicia Drakeís book "The Beautiful Fall."

The collection brought the inspiration to life through bold prints, deep hues and extraordinary details, including hand-cut velvet sequins, embroidered prints, velvet flocking and feathers.

Since the line launched in 2002, it has become a favorite of celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Taylor Swift and Eva Longoria, and is sold in more than 70 fine department and specialty stores domestically and abroad.

Before the runway show on Monday afternoon at Lincoln Center, the brandís president and designer, Pamella Roland, chatted with Stylebook backstage about the collection, the challenges of New York Fashion Week, pre-show rituals and more.

Whatís in store for fall 2015?

PR: My inspiration is the early í70s in Paris, which kind of started getting this world of fashion going. Itís kind of where the models and photographers and fashion designers all really gathered together in the early í70s, and I think weíve just come up from there. One thing Iíve always loved on a woman is a tuxedo, and thatís really when Yves (Saint Laurent) put a tuxedo on, le smoking jacket. So we open up with a tuxedo. The look of the hair and makeup is kind of a Brigitte Bardot look.

Writers can get writersí block. Is there an equivalent of this for fashion designers, and, if so, how do you work through that?

PR: This oneís a little more of a change for me than Iíve done in the past. Itís still glamorous, but it has a little bit more of a bohemian look to it, which is not really me but Iím doing this inspiration (so) I had to step out. I love it. Iím actually really happy how it turned out, but that was a little difficult. Itís always hard to come up with something new, but it always seems to all come together.

What do you think the Pamella Roland woman wants?

PR: We dress young girls, we have our younger-end line, too. We dress the whole family ó the daughters, the mothers, the sisters, grandmothers. What they want really more than anything is to feel confident in what theyíre wearing. And then you need to make sure that what youíre buying and choosing fits you well. ... A Pamella Roland woman is a busy, confident woman.

What are your thoughts when youíre producing a show? Who should it be for?

PR: (Fashion shows) do seem to change. And even this venue Iím like, where am I going? (Referencing the fact that this is the last time shows will be held at the tents at Lincoln Center.) Iíve been happy. The only complaint I would say thatís got to be difficult is itís very expensive to run a show. And it gets harder and harder. So I think especially for a young, new designer starting, thatís probably the most difficult thing. I donít mind where you put me but stop raising the prices all the time.

Any pre-show routines or rituals?

PR: I have a bracelet from my son, a charm bracelet, that heís been giving me charms for. He just gave me one for Valentineís Day. ... I wear it all week. (Although she didnít wear it this time because it didnít go with her look, she said.) You know when Iím coming because itís very loud.

I try to get sleep, but I just donít. Afterward we always have a good party.

And after the show?

PR: Afterward thereís always a couple of cocktails involved.



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