Last week I visited the Pamella Roland showroom for a private viewing of the Spring 2006 collection. As I studied the exquisite tailoring of the new resort and evening wear lines, the September 13th runway video played on the showroom's flat screen. With Leonard Bernstein's 'I Feel Pretty' providing the soundtrack, designer Pamella DeVos ushered out nearly 60 elegant ensembles for day and evening. Paying homage to the timeless elegance and beauty of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the 60's influenced collection opened with a series of daytime suits and resort separates. A stunning selection of embellished cocktail dresses and red carpet ready gowns anchored the presentation. The award-winning designer, now in her fourth season presented her resplendent ensembles less than a month ago and shows no sign of slowing down. As a matter of fact, I arrived just in time as the collection was set to hit the road this past Monday for a fortnight of trunk shows dotting the west coast.
The designer cited her travels to Capri earlier this year as a source of inspiration. This panoramic tranquility undulated down the runway in the finest variations of brocade, charmeuse, silk chiffon, and organza. The fluidity of Ms. DeVos's collection radiated with sumptuous design details: ranging from her trademark beads, crystals, pearls, and sequins to a few delightful twists of feathers, floral appliques, ombre chiffon, and ruffles. As though it was lifted from a snapshot of the Marina Grande, the seascape palette reflected the rich colors of a villa overlooking the island's caves, reefs and dolomite cliffs. Never one to shy away from color, Ms. DeVos interpreted her classic collection in luxurious shades of azure, pink, coral, red, gold, and green along with the traditional black and white. The hair and makeup were a throwback to the era's glamour with sophisticated updos. The Pamella Roland face featured a strong brow with lined lashes, peach cheeks and a glossy mouth in a nude shade.
From crisscrossed empire waists and tailored shorts to decadent gowns, the resort and evening silhouettes personified simple elegance. The postcards from paradise presentation underscored a feeling of opulence while blending the functionality of wearable separates with a cache of accessible glamour. One of my favorites was a white cut out flower dress and matching bolero jacket with eyelet detail in cotton. There was a blue ombre silk chiffon dress with a shell beaded neckline, straps, and waistband reminiscent of The Blue Grotto. While a gray pinstripe suit harkened back to Hitchcock's Tippi Hendren. And a sequin beaded chiffon pantsuit shimmered like moonlight off the water. There were more than a handful of crowd pleasers, as the collection shifted seamlessly from sports to evening wear. One such piece was a black duchess satin cocktail dress with a bateau neckline and feather detailing along the hem. A beaded silver circle lace dress swished down the runway in a translucent shade of moonstone. Another key ensemble was the pairing of a satin face organza blouse with an asymmetrical cabbage ruff-style collar and a black feathered mermaid skirt.
With awards season already upon us, Ms. DeVos's gowns literally went straight from the Bryant Park runway to the red carpet. In fact five Pamella Roland gowns were worn to the 2005 Emmy Awards last month. Presenter Lauren Graham was stunning in a red silk chiffon slip gown with cascading ruffles down the back. Shannon Elizabeth, also a presenter channeled the old Hollywood glamour of Ava Gardner in an ivory one shoulder gown with a ruched bodice. Carrie Underwood was sophisticated in an exquisite black chiffon halter gown embroidered with pewter metal sequins. Kim Dickens shone in a malachite satin gown with center flounce detail. The always lovely Barbara Hershey sparkled in a midnight blue chiffon v-neck gown with godets.
Pamella DeVos is also active in many philanthropic causes. She recently lent her support to the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Founded in 1892, the hospital is home to the Children's Memorial Research Center, one of the nation's premier centers for pediatric research. On October 6th, the center hosted its 50th Annual Gold Coast Award Fashion Show and Luncheon. The signature fundraising event celebrated fifty years of fashion and philanthropy, with the theme of 'The Little Black Dress.' Ms. DeVos, a 2004 Gold Coast Award winner, was invited to submit a dress from one of her previous collections to be showcased in a retrospective at this year's show. A black paisley jacquard cocktail dress with lace trim from the Pamella Roland Fall 2005 Collection was featured as part of the exhibition.
Next week Ms. DeVos will host a duet of cocktail parties aboard her luxury yacht, the SEQUEST, in San Diego. On October 10th she will welcome Neiman Marcus, several dignitaries, and some of her most devoted customers from the area. On October 11th, she will hold an intimate gathering with 50 guests from the film industry that have demonstrated their loyalty to the Pamella Roland brand. Continuing this momentum, Pamella Roland will launch a series of trunk shows through the end of October.
Upcoming Truck Shows:
October 11th and 12th at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills
October 13th and 14th at Neiman Marcus, Las Vegas
October 18th and 19th at Andrison Morton, Denver (exclusive retailer)
October 20-22nd at Neiman Marcus, Palo Alto
October 25th and 26th Neiman Marcus, Scottsdale
The Pamella Roland woman is confident, cultured, and well-traveled. It's no wonder that Pamella DeVos has dressed small and silver screen actresses alike for numerous premieres, award shows, and industry events. Her list of clients includes everyone from Angelina Jolie, Kim Cattrall, and Laura Linney to Paris Hilton, Jamie Lynn DiScala, and Hilary Duff. Ms. DeVos designs her lifestyle brand for women like herself-mothers, businesswomen, and jetsetters- the modern urbanite who wants to look elegant and feel sophisticated without having to think about it. As the company website describes it, the Pamella Roland philosophy is 'to create beautiful clothes for women whose wardrobes have to fulfill many purposes.' Whether you're a celebrity shopping for a show stopping gown, a high-powered executive looking to make a lasting impression, or a contemporary woman simply searching for that unique piece to enhance and elevate your wardrobe, the Pamella Roland collection offers something special for you. Now all you need to complete the look is one of those fabulous pair of oversized Jackie O sunglasses!
The Pamela Rolland collection is available internationally and at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom. For more information visit www.pamellaroland.com.