Day to dinner

Looking at her, you get the sense that Lela Rose is the kind of woman who works hard and plays hard. The attractive blonde sports a blunt-cut bob and one of her own irresistible creations – a full-skirt, short-sleeve black dress with thin horizontal white stripes and a black bolero that evokes the ladylike ’50s and hints at a nautical spring. Fashionably, she’s paired her outfit with powder-blue pumps, blue in almost any shade being the color of the moment.

“I always wear color with black,” she says.

And she always embraces what she creates. Some fashion designers make clothes for others that they themselves could never wear. But Rose says, “I am truly the woman for this collection. I work all day, but I do attend many events in the evening. I find it fits my day-to-dinner lifestyle.”

Suffice it to say that the Neiman Marcus shopper is also the woman for her collection, which is why Rose is talking to WAG after a fashion show/luncheon at the store in The Westchester, White Plains. Neiman Marcus fits Rose in another way. Both hail from Dallas and you can still hear the Texas lilt in her voice and see the Texas hospitality in her gracious smile and manner. Though Rose has long been ensconced in Tribeca, she divides her time between New York and the Lone Star State, where she opened her flagship boutique in Dallas in 2011. The bistate lifestyle suits her son, who’d be happy to live in Texas full time, she says with another smile.

Rose actually grew up in Colorado, where she drew inspiration from the myriad colors of nature. Another big inspiration – art.

“I love color,” she says. “I love textures and patterns.”

After graduating from Parsons The New School for Design in 1993, she designed textiles for Richard Tyler and Christian Francis Roth before striking out in 1998 with her own brand, which features resort, wedding and shoe collections as well. She’s still designing fabrics, spun in mills in France, Italy and Switzerland.

Everything Rose is about can be seen in her feminine, fluid spring collection. The fabrics feel soft, forgiving and yet substantial against the skin. The artful patterns – in which boldly colored shapes or florals might explode at the waist or contrasting styles of lace might create an hourglass silhouette – are traditional yet modern. A favorite is a satiny, peachy-pink sheath framed in black lace with a black lace border. It’s a favorite of Rose, too, who loves the color contrast.

Look for more color in the fall collection, though jeweled tones, including “a gorgeous magenta” and lots of feathers, she says. But don’t be surprised to see some ivory-silver hues and even florals as well.

Adds Rose with another smile: “You’re going to see pieces you’ll want to be wearing.”

Day to night.

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