Many years ago, more than I would like to admit to, I was fortunate enough to nab an internship with designer Byron Lars. Presenting collections that were creative, fun, feminine and technically challenging, he had been at the top of my list of designers I wanted to intern with.
While interning with Mr. Lars, I totally immersed myself in the patterns and drapes, trying to learn as much as I could from them. His influence is probably one of the reasons that I have always been a very technically minded designer, wanting to know personally how to make those paper sketches into reality and to push the boundaries of drape and construction.
Not always a glamorous job, I spent a week and a half during July in a sweatshop with no air conditioning, sizing zippers for a jacket shipment, when it was discovered that the zipper manufacturer had shipped them unsized. For years afterward, I would find zipper teeth in my apartment, as they had become trapped in my clothing and transported home! Even with zippergate,I wouldn't have traded that internship experience for the world.
Life and jobs carried me off in different directions and after a few years, Byron Lars stopped presenting full collections and I kind of lost track of him other than to admire his yearly Byron Lars Barbie creation. So when I got an invite to a presentation of Byron Lars Beauty Mark for Fall 2011, I was intrigued.
Upon walking into the presentation, I saw immediately that he still had it! Byron Lars Beauty Mark Fall 2011 Collection is focused, feminine, flirty, playful and just plain pretty. The theme for this collection was Native Americana and in keeping with the theme, outfits were accessorized with feathers, faux shearling, mohawk styled hairdos and makeup that was inspired by war paint. Mr. Lars was always a master at presenting a themed collection (I still think of the Heidi Collection and the Get Christie Love Collection) and this one did not disappoint.
A true collection that spans day through evening wear, fabrications run the gamut from bouclés and textured tweeds to metallic brocades, chiffons and laces. Outfits combined knits and wovens in perfect harmony along with a melange of textures and patterns.
But behind all of the drama are the elements that have always left me in awe of Mr. Lars: intricate construction and tailoring coupled with design for real women with curves. Granted, his designs look hot on the super thin models, but they also look hot on a more voluptuous figure. The intricacy of the drapes and construction make me want to examine each garment closely to discover how each was made and I went back to each outfit again and again, each time discovering something new.
All the while, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of joy and kept repeating to myself, “This is why I went into fashion design in the first place”. Thank you Mr. Lars for reminding me!