The Designer Files: Rachel Roy Yesterday and Today

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Influenced by women who are strong, creative and lead their own path, Rachel Roy is known for creating collections that make a woman feel confident. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to find out even more about the designer’s lines and what’s to come!

Is there a particular designer that was your inspiration to starting your own line? I have always been a student of fashion, constantly being influenced by ‘the greats,’ but it was real women that inspired me to start my own line. I saw, and knew, a lot of women who were living like me–work and family–and trying to balance it all. I started my own line to give them a voice in what they wore– clothes that were strong and feminine with an edge.

How have your collections grown since the launch of Rachel Roy New York in Spring 2005? The collection started simply in 2005. It was a small team with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Rachel Roy Collection has grown to include not only amazing wear-to-work dresses but evening-out dresses as well. We have also expanded our separates and knits this season. We have forged strong relationships with our retail partners, learning what the customer wants next and how she reacts to what we are currently doing–it’s like my little research lab! And we are never done growing; I already have a million ideas for our next project!

Which collection stands out as one of your favorites to have worked on? They have all been inspiring experiences. Some have taught me different lessons. For instance, when I first started designing, it was about finding my voice. As my line progressed, it was about refining and developing those signature details. More recently the collections have been about experimentation, but all of them are favorites because in each one I took risks. That’s a foundation of fashion that teaches and helps us grow.

When did you decide it was time to launch another line, RACHEL Rachel Roy? I love telling the story of the Rachel Roy woman and was excited to tell a new story when we launched RACHEL Rachel Roy in 2009. This was an opportunity to create something very special in department stores–affordable fashion that is smart and cool. We launched sportswear, footwear, handbags, and jewelry with the RRR Line, and that gave me a huge canvas to create and innovate for this customer. I really wanted to take her on a journey to expose her to things she may have not seen before in fashion.

Do you have a favorite piece in your Fall 2011 collection? Mixing prints, textures, and silhouettes is something that I love to do. It is the foundation of my collection and signature. I think Look #3 from fall really embodies that principle and creates a gorgeous but interesting look. I love it when my work is gorgeous, but it really need to have that twist of interesting. That’s where the mixing of prints and the balancing of elements plays well.

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What should we expect to see in your Spring 2012 collection? The inspiration for this season’s collection is vintage Vietnam with a hint of European elegance and romantic minimalism. I wanted to capture the essence of women based on the era of Colonial Vietnam in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The era where women explored and broke tradition. I wanted to capture that type of woman and the clothes I see her wearing. Soft suiting was an important theme as it embodies strength and confidence as well as femininity. I love the contradiction of hard and soft, masculine and feminine. This season is about modernizing the suit. A soft deconstructed silhouette for a summery look. An elongated and relaxed shape featured in a refined color palette of cool pastels accented with fresh hints of cinnamon and blue glass greens. The looks are counter balanced by graphic black and whites and floral prints, all of which modernizes the Rachel Roy woman.

If you could give an upcoming designer some advice about starting a line, what would it be? You have to follow what you think is right and never compromise. Authenticity is key and people want brands that they can identify with and trust. They want something that creates something special for them. As a designer, you want to help expose them to something they may not encounter in their everyday life. Staying true to your vision is key. I’ve built my brand around this concept. Building a strong team has helped me immensely. Know your strengths and weaknesses. The most important piece of advice–have a little faith. Don’t get discouraged: it’s a journey, not a race!

Do you have plans to expand your line even more? My team and I are constantly working on new ideas and ways to expand. We are working on two new categories for the Rachel Roy line that will show in 2012, and I just finished work on an eye shadow palette that will debut in November. Beauty is something that I have always been interested in, and I had a great time developing this day-to-night palette of colors. I think I tried it on every girl in the office to make sure it was right!

Shop her collection here!

Question: Can you show me all the different ways to wear a maxi skirt?

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I am a mom that can’t get away with the punk/band t-shirt and maxi skirt. Can you show me how to pull off a stylish look with out looking like I am trying too hard?

LOLO response:

As we head into fall, I suggest wearing your maxi skirt with a clean tank, structured blazer, and casual, yet classy looking sandals. Top off the look with turquoise jewelry and a big statement ring (options here).

Or, take Rachel Bilson’s outfit as a guide:


A Glimpse Inside Gameday Cloth: Home of the Stylish Sports Fan

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The best time of year is here: football season! With college football and the NFL season rearing into gear, we are here to guide you to the cutest sports clothes and game time essentials on the market.

With that said, enter into the world of Gameday Cloth, a retro-inspired sports gear shop started by two SMU grads. This sports-bar inspired store in the heart of Plano’s Shops at Legacy is anything but mainstream and commercial. It is that local spot that satisfies your desire to be different as you cheer in the stands.

Store owner, Jana Mathena, tells us the story behind this treasure-of-a-find and fills us in on some of her “favorites” in the Big D! Read on sports fans.

What led you to starting your own store? Was it a long time dream or a sudden aspiration? 

I’ve always wanted my own boutique. While in NYC, I studied Image Consulting and Styling at FIT and ended up with a small list of clients, and even worked backstage during Fashion Week as a dresser. It just seemed like the natural next step. However, there are a lot of women’s boutiques out there.

I was out shopping with Scott, my business partner, for something to wear to the first SMU game at The Boulevard 3 years ago and couldn’t find anything! Everything seemed too young or generic and mass-produced. Where was the cute stuff for my age? And why didn’t more people in Dallas carry SMU? Scott, being a total entrepreneur, started thinking about how to put a store together that would be somewhere we would want to shop – a fun, relaxed store with unique, stylish and modern clothes not just for the game, but to wear any weekend. That’s when Gameday Cloth was born. We created a sports bar style store with hard wood floors, a flat screen in the back, and a beer fridge. We always have the music turned up, and we receive new shipments every week. We’re a true sports boutique. Love your team. Love your clothes.

Why the focus on retro-sportswear? 

Retro sports logos are the most unique. When you watch games on tv or walk around, everyone looks the same. Yet there’s such an opportunity to show personal style even in fan wear. For girls it’s about the newest body styles and trends and translating those into team logos, and for men it’s making the softest, coolest shirt with a hard-to-find vintage logo. We work really hard to separate ourselves from every other store out there.

What is the mission of Gameday Cloth? Do you wish to expand? 

Our mission is to be a sports lifestyle boutique, offering an environment that makes you want to come back, even just to hang out. We don’t just carry team logos, but we stock our store with things you’d wear as the stylish fan – accessories, hats, sunglasses, etc. We currently have a store in the Shops at Legacy as well as the website, but we have definitely talked about where we would want to open next.

Anything new for the season that you are super excited about?

SMU Football! Wait – clothes – yes. I love the oversized, almost “boyfriend” look celebrities are running around in. We’ve been able to recreate that in your logo’d clothes. Everything is so comfortable; I wear it almost every day.


We know you split your time in 2 spectrums of Dallas: the city and the suburban realm of Plano. We want to hear your “favorites”!

Favorite restaurant in your work world? Coal Vines in the Shops at Legacy. Although, Whole Foods at Park Lane is my new favorite lunch spot. They have so many choices!

Favorite eatery in Dallas? Lumi Kitchen in Uptown

Favorite trend for fall? Like I said, the oversized look. But doing it up in different ways: A fitted simple white tank with skinny jeans and boots and a loose cocoon-style cardigan. Or leggings, ballet flats and a super oversized top. Comfort is stylish again.

If you could purchase one item to update your closet for the fall, what would it be? I’m on a shoe hunt. I really want a pair of Sperry’s, as my loafers have been in my closet for the better part of a decade – and Cowboys boots for The Boulevard (SMU’s tailgate).

Favorite Dallas shopping? For affordable? I run to Ella Bleu. For saving up? I go to L Bartlet. For total Lustworthy? Intermix or Barney’s. I’m also a big Bloomies.com girl.

Favorite free time activity? What’s free time? I try and work out or at least walk the Katy Trial when I can. But I really need down time, so a glass of wine with a friend is crucial.

Favorite sports team? Of course, the Mustangs. I also love the Georgia Bulldogs – grew up in Atlanta – and think the SEC is the best conference out there. Professionally I cheer for everyone in Dallas, but I also love my other “home” local teams from everywhere I’ve lived. I loved watching the Braves games at Turner Field and Yankees games at old Yankees stadium. I never got to go to a Jets game, but I cheered loudly in the bars. Since I’ve been back in Dallas, our friends get together and make chili for every Cowboys game. I really just love sports!

Be sure to check out this unbeatable store to stock up on your team’s paraphernalia for a great season ahead! Store hours: Mon.-Wed., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.

Styling Advice: The Olsens+Sara Moonves

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Stylemint’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (we know you love them!) are launching a t-shirt of the month extravaganza, and stylist-extraordinaire and long time friend, Sara Moonves, was brought on the scene to show us some fresh ways to wear this simple style. Watch their debut video for some trustworthy styling tips and behind-the-scenes action!


Inside Punkie’s Place: A Round Top Wonderland

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We had finally made it to the Spring show at Round Top highly anticipating our arrival at Punkie’s Place. Walking into the tent, we realized that reality had left us. Suddenly, Lauren and I entered a world of creativity, flashbacks to different eras, fun themes and vintage-painted boots. Bold colors, disco balls, fiesta fun, glitter, clothing, jewels and antiques galore. The feeling must have been similar to when Alice entered her Wonderland. Diane Conlee, owner of Punkie’s Place, had transformed the space into a junky, funky store in only one week. You may be wondering where the name Punkie came from? Well, Diane’s party poodle, Punkie, was the inspiration and the rest is history.

We could not believe our eyes. Each season, she has figured out a way to make Punkie’s Place better than the previous show. Punkie’s has become a hot spot at the Round Top shows twice a year, bringing in people from all over the country to see what Diane and the Punkie’s dealers have put together. Not to mention they are extremely fun to be around! If you haven’t been to this show, we strongly suggest trekking to Round Top, Texas to see the magic for yourself.

We may not be able to venture down the rabbit hole like Alice, but we have captured the Punkie’s Place experience in our exclusive video interview with the mastermind behind it all, Diane Conlee. Visit Punkie’s Place at the next Round Top show, September 23-October 1, 2011.

Dallas, Meet the New Denim in Town!

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Calling all jean lovers! Deep in the heart of Texas, design gurus Aimee Miller and Megan Carreker have created the next must-have closet additions with their new denim line, Hip Chixs. Yes, it’s hard to contemplate jeans in this nation-wide ferocious heat, but maybe this will bring a glimmer of hope that fall is just around the corner.

Take heed: this look book video discloses how to make jeans the focal point of your outfit. These organically tossled girls prove that nothing is more classic than great fitting denim paired with plain black and white tanks and rouge lips.

These sassy and super-flattering designs will be available exclusively at the Blue Jeans Bar in Snider Plaza in Dallas!


Hip Chixs Does a Launch Party

The Blue Jeans Bar in Snider Plaza was hopping with the most fashionable Dallas-ites in early August as Baylor roomies, Aimee and Megan, finally released a dream turned reality–their fabulous denim line, Hip Chixs! After four years of building designs, searching for the perfect fabric and business building, these California-made jeans have graced the market with their unbelievably flattering fit (yes, I tried these on myself!). So, for you Big D residents, be sure to consider these for your next denim purchase. Choose from a perfect light stain or a super dark wash. Either choice is brilliant.

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