Loretta Jane‘s Fall 2012 collection made a splash at NOLA Fashion Week with playful dresses, sexy backs, and retro prints. I could easily imagine any of the clothes against a New Orleans backdrop of steamy jasmine nights and retro gypsy jazz.
I had the good fortune to connect with Loretta Jane’s own Kelli Cooper after the show and she gave insight into her creative process.
The charming Kelli with her creations:
Q: What was your inspiration for this collection?
Kelli: I’m always inspired by the silhouette of the 1950s. I love to define the waist and show off the legs. I was also very inspired by the prints I was able to find for this collection. I think they are so playful and vibrant which makes them so much fun to work with.
Q: Who/what are your inspirations?
Kelli: I’m inspired by so many things. I love watching film noir, the costumes and styling in some of those movies are so romantic and feminine. I’ve always been heavily influenced by textiles. I think that probably plays the biggest role in determining what a collection will look like.
This sweetheart little black dress packed a punch. I don’t think the photo captures how great it looked in person…the shiny side of silk charmeuse skirt moved with luscious ease. If you want to show off your legs, this is your best friend…
Q: Your success is an inspiration! How did you get started with your first line?
Kelli: I have a degree in Apparel Design and Fashion is something I’ve loved since I was very young. My mom loves to talk about how picky I was about the way my clothes fit when I was a kid. I worked for a designer for a few years after I graduated but I always knew I wanted to have my own line.
Striking headpieces in red, gold and black:
Q: It takes moxi to run your own business, let alone an artistic and competitive career in fashion. What personal motto(s) or advice do you live by?
Kelli: I don’t really have a “motto” and I know it sounds corny and cliché to say “just don’t give up,” but that’s kind of how I’ve trained myself to think. I’ve had so many highs and lows since I started doing this and I just have to make sure that I continue to work really hard to produce something I can be proud of. This business is a constant learning experience and I just try not to make the same mistakes over and over again. As long as this is fun and I’m happy with what I’m doing I’m going to keep doing it no matter what!
This gray wool dress struck me as a staple-with-personality. The single color and excellent structure would give a waist-defining fit that you can dress up or down. I’d pair it with tights and a waist-length leather jacket.
And last but not least…the backs!
….and reverse button-downs in contrasting color. Clothes with creative touches like these always make me feel about 150% more confident when I leave the house.
Shop Loretta Jane in New Orleans at Hemline locations on Magazine, Chartres, and in Metarie, or at Per Me’ or Haute’ on Magazine in the Central Business District.
Shoes by Armoire
Hair by Paul Eastin for Paris Parker AVEDA (Lead)
Makeup by Tiffany Nicole Brown for AVEDA