Lela Rose [for Payless]: Modern Anachronism [Updated!]

If I had to tell a story to go along with the looks that debuted on the Lela Rose runway yesterday, I would have to say that the clothes tell the story of a lonesome, mousy artist in the 1920s who eventually painted herself into a decidedly deco-luxe fantasy.

The first look of the show, and one of the formal, end looks.

Sometimes I wonder if my love for grey and black is simply a sign of color boredom. Nothing bright and colorful ever piques my interest enough for me to want to wear it… But this Lela Rose collection reminded me not only how color can be beautiful, but also – why I love fashion so very much.

Lela Rose was inspired by a painter (unsurprisingly) named Gerhard Richter, a German artist who grew up in Dresden in the 30s. For this collection, Lela Rose wanted to “embody the artist’s style of obscure imagery and hazy, filmy treatments.” This aspiration is reflected in the practice of layering gauzy chiffon over skin, fabric, or lamé. All of the girls had pinned finger-waves, and the darkest Clara-Bow-esque, shiny lipstick with light eyebrows and simple eyes. Transformative? Maybe not. Iconic? Definitely.

There is something about the styling of this collection that leaves me breathless. The details – bably blue lining in the camel coat, the tassels on the wedges, the opacity of the stockings… They all work so well together. Each girl looks creative, confident, and straight-up beautiful.

So many saturated colors! So, so many inky blues – I’m loving it. (Plus, look at those shoes!!)

These shoes… The higher vamp is such a turn on! So ladylike…

Now, about those shoes

As you may or may not know, Lela Rose has been partnered up with Payless ShoeSource for… years! Many of them – in fact, she’s done over a dozen collections for Payless – all of which were pretty successful! Like Christian Siriano, Lela Rose’s prototypes came down the runway with the rest of her collection… Unfortunately, Payless has a tendency to tone down and dilute the designer’s original creation and instead come up with interpretations like this:


Right, Siriano’s runway shoe from a few seasons ago; left, the Payless interpretation | Source: Bootsaholic

Hopefully, the shoes debuted on Lela Rose’s runway don’t change too much, because how they are is just perfect.

How adorable, yes? In the runway photos, you can’t see the little bit of red that runs through the heel. Here, I love it – I’m not sure if it would be as wearable as I’d like it to be… but I’d love to give them a try. I love the narrower-width platform, too!

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I am not a tassel girl. When Balenciaga came out with those devilishly high wedges with the loafer-style vamp and the… tassels… I decided that they just weren’t for me. These, though, would be perfect for a quirky, preppy girl somewhere.

That green! That piping! The beautiful wooden wedge! How lovely.

UPDATED! We now have more pics of the Lela Rose for Payless line!

Here’s the high-vamp shoe from above! I love the shot of green running through the heel. They actually… look pretty comfortable!

It looks like there are some cutouts on the back of this cute-but-basic shoe… I’m halfsies on it. Not hugely impressed, but I think they’re pretty, you know?

I will have these if I die trying.

Lela Rose for Payless tends to be the Easy Listening version of the Payless x Designer series, but this year, I’m excited to see her come out with a big chunky wedge. Liven it up, Lela! This year, she’ll be putting up a Mary Jane pump (yes!), a Mary Jane wedge (yesss!), a high-vamp pump (like the one I swooned over earlier!), a mid-calf bootie (what? where?), and a classic dress heel (meh.).

I’ll be stoked to see the Payless interpretations of these shoes, but will shed a tear if they get commercialized. As reader/homie Chelsea Rae of Dear Winnie pointed out in the Christian Siriano post:

Doesn’t Payless realize they’ll make so much money if they keep the [designer] heels outrageous and towering? The sartorially savvy crowd they’re trying to pull into the store isn’t going to come in when they know the 6″ platforms they say on the runway will be 3″ monstrosities.

We can only hope.

The rest of the Lela Rose collection can be seen on Style.com.

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  • Holycrapoli!
    I died looking at every one of these. But more specifically…THE SHOES. The green wedges! The vamp loafers!

    I need them all.
    Also? Your posts are awesome.