I was offered the opportunity to intern with ultra-femme designer Lela Rose after studying Fashion Design at Savannah College of Art & Design.  Many times studying does not and will not give you the complete exposure to any industry - this was not an exception to the rule.  I really enjoyed getting to know and work with Lela and her design team Felicia, Leonora, & Demi.  I found the experience exhaustingly inspirational.  It was amazing to see how the team communicates, how Lela processes designs, how the mood boards were developed and thoroughly picked at until perfectly capturing the essence of that season, or how a design gets scrutinized until about 2 seconds before it walks down the runway.  I loved and am so thankful that I had this opportunity to work with this team and contribute to the FW 2015, Spring Bridal 2016, Resort 2016, and Spring 2016 seasons.  These are some designs I personally contributed to.

The leftmost picture (#1) is the first design I worked on.  As soon as I came in, Leonora asked me to draft an embroidery flat of this feathered, sequined skirt.  As a team we played with the angle of the embroidery until we settled on this effect.  It took about three hours to draft and draw each sequin & feather, but this skirt ended up being ephemeral perfection and would later inspire a similar bridal look for Spring 2016 (#2).

The next major design project I was tasked with was determining placement of these two charcoal dress.  For both, our team wanted to find the best most flattering style.  With the left dress (#3), I played with the angles resulting from black triangular waist insets and the layers of tulle for the cut-out.  After careful consideration, both myself and the head designer, Felicia, decided on that the black waist insets should be directly under the bust to create the most flattering silouhette and that two layers of tulle were necessary to create a more demure sheer style for the cut-out.  

For the right dress (#4), I played with the placement of the guipire lace on both the body and the sleeves.  Although the placement of the lace on the body was easy to agree on, the placement on the sleeve was indeterminable.  We ended up changing the sleeve to the length and placement in this picture about the week of the show!

I think the biggest surprise to me during this internship was how honestly true the phrase "fashion never sleeps" is.  Immediately after our NYFW FW 15 runway show, we started working on NY Bridal Week Spring 2016 and Resort 2016 designs.  There was no break, except for a intimate in house celebratory lunch/dinner after the show.  This next dress (#5) was something the team designed for the Lela Rose Resort 2016 collection.  I was responsible for drafting the pattern and determining the placement of the opposing inlay which in turn helped draft the pattern for a Resort 2016 gown (#6).  

For NY Bridal Week Spring 2016, I had the opportunity to design several watteaus and veils (#7,8,9).  I really enjoyed being responsible for the embroidery placement of these designs and was able to create some lovely cascades that mimicked & complimented the corresponding gowns.  Lastly, my internship included many quirky tasks for Lela specifically.  While I was there, Lela was putting the finishing touches on her book Pret-A-Party including a photoshoot for the front cover.  My task was to create a centerpiece for her dining table (#12).  My organic branch sculpture was chosen for her book cover (#11) then suddenly I became the branch queen.  Lela had me design cocktail twigs and even delicate pearl studded bridal branches (#10), each one handmade by me, for our NY Bridal Week presentation at Claudette.

the 2015 Lela Rose design team:  Leonora, Lela, me, Demi, Reni, Felicia (from left to right).

the 2015 Lela Rose design team:  Leonora, Lela, me, Demi, Reni, Felicia (from left to right).