In addition to all of the Rue festivities in New York, I had the privilege of attending a fashion show for New York Fashion Week. When the invitation for Rolando Santana's spring/summer 2011 runway show arrived in my mailbox, I quickly rescheduled my flight to make sure I could attend. After all, it was his cheery yellow dress that got me through two major weddings this summer.
The show was held at Griffin in the Meatpacking District, and I arrived just as the tornado - yes, there was actually a funnel cloud in Brooklyn - was dissipating. I took my seat and waited for the show to start. To my delight, the trendy people in attendance, the herringbone wood floors, and the oversized chandelier (actually made up of many tiny chandeliers) had me snapping pictures long before the show even started.
But what really made the night an over-the-top dream was that I got to wear a dress on loan from Rolando himself! It was waiting for me at my hotel when I arrived in Manhattan that afternoon. It's the Patricia dress from his fall collection. (You probably remember it because I wore it to Kelley Moore's dinner party two nights later. Hey, I couldn't not have the fashion-savvy women in my life see it!) I was so proud to be wearing one of his dresses at his show - I felt like the die-hard Rolando fan that I am! And I am happy to say, I am now the proud owner of that sexy, artistic, and comfortable sleeved mini-dress.
A few days later, in between Rue photo shoots, launch parties, and design conventions, I made time to stop by Rolando's showroom in the Garment District. I was able to chat with him and his assistant about his inspiration and see the spring line up close and personal.
Rolando explained that the spring/summer dresses are inspired by modern architecture, with an emphasis on textural contrast. For this collection, he used a variety of neutral-colored, textured fabrics, playing with light silk burnouts, structured yet soft jacquards, fine delicate cotton fabrics, and soft leathers. Beauty aside, I love his dresses because 1. they are comfortable and 2. they are so practical in that they're the perfect mix of feminine and sophisticated. You can wear them to an afternoon or evening event, with heels or with flats, to work or to a wedding.
Also new for spring/summer 2011 - Rolando Santana necklaces! Chunky and feminine, they make the perfect accent to some of the solid, neutral dresses.
In addition to all the light neutrals, orange is the color of choice for Rolando's resort collection. Oh weird - on the left is another dress of his that I want hanging in my closet. And the khaki safari-inspired jumper on the right is one of his best-sellers. Not sure I could pull of the short shorts, but I see why women would love this - it's simple, comfortable, and chic.
Want to hear the best news? You will soon be able to buy Rolando Santana's dresses online! I will make a grand announcement as soon as that site is up. Until then, you can find a selection of his fall collection and last year's spring collection at Bluefly.