My first thought upon seeing the initial dress coming down the runway for Lela Rose this morning was, “Oh my! What big polka dots you have!” Black on white. Huge. Definitely a change from all the stripes and solids we’ve been seeing. A rather bold choice for a first entrance, but not a bad thing at all.

My second thought, about a third of the way through the collection, was, “These are the clothes that keep consignment shops in business the next 3-5 years.” A large portion of Lela Rose’s market is bride’s maids and special event dresses. They’re all beautiful, very well tailored, and very contemporary. However, they also are the type of dress one wears once, maybe twice, three times if you travel a lot, and then send to the consignment shops. These are looks for next spring/summer and their contemporary cuts don’t hold style more than a couple of seasons. After three or four years of hanging in your closet one is ready to let them go.

My third thought (I wasn’t tweeting so I had a lot of time to think) was, “This may be the most loose fitting ready-to-wear collection yet.” That thought applies primarily to tops and dresses that came early in the presentation. Slacks, where they occur, are typically more fitted and definitely have a high waist line (as does everything this spring). Tops, though, are quite voluminous. Not only can one easily hide that water-retention-after-lunch tummy bulge but also the first six months of a normal pregnancy; no one would ever have a clue.

As one expects, the collection is very, very trendy. We see a lot of the midriff cutouts that seem to be on the required list this spring, several off-the-shoulder looks, and some absolutely beautiful floral prints in blue, pink, and yellow on sateen. A little surprising, though not in a bad way, are a handful of pieces with large sheer panels. When done on a long skirt, one needs to be careful of their choice of undergarment, but the look is quite attractive. When done on two different tops, one might want to check and see exactly what is or is not going to be covered on their body; each person is going to wear it very differently.

The highlight of the collection are the jackets, most of which are cropped, all with different contemporary styling, and a few with beautifully composed sheer sleeves and backs. These are going to requisite for many early spring weddings. Too many good looks are killed when the only way a girl has to keep warm is to pull a parka from the trunk of her car. While some are ensemble specific, many are going to be flexible for a variety of looks.

Lela Rose probably isn’t a brand one typically comes across when shopping for spring daywear, but for those special occasions these are every one exactly what will get one noticed in all the right ways. Wear with pride and enjoy the celebration.

Photo credit: Fernanda Calfat

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