Every season buyers, editors, and style mavens alike attend New York Fashion Week. While many of the established labels show their runway presentations in Bryant Park, some independent designers prefer the more intimate setting of a gallery or showroom. Oregon-based Alice Dobson is one such designer who made her mark last Monday at Chelsea's Metropolitan Pavilion where she presented her line Sofada (Portuguese for naughty). The open space welcomed onlookers with a Lenny Kravitz soundtrack, perfect for the girl feeling slightly wicked. The line sheet with illustrations by artist Brenda Dunn painted the picture of a sexy, confident, creative woman. This vision was personified as Ms. Dobson sent more than 30 flirty ensembles that shift seamlessly from day to night to the eager crowd.
The Aveda hair and makeup team created a sexy siren look with cascading curls pulled off the face. The face was bright with a defined brow, outlined eyes, heavy rouge and a strong mouth. I would have to call it the porcelain doll effect. Hairstylist Jon Reyman and makeup artist Randy Miles literally brought the 50's pinup-inspired caricatures to life. Ms. Dobson describes her customer as, 'A woman with a moderately disposable income who likes to be sexy. She knows what the trends are, but is not overly trendy.'
The range was ripe with coquettish design details from bustiers, halters, and off the shoulder tops to scalloped edges, flounce hems, and pleated trims. Ms. Dobson accentuated three of the trends we've seen highlighted this season: the skinny pant, the defined waist [created here with a ribbon belt or lace overlay] as well as the use of floral brocade. One of the line's signature pieces was a flamenco style dress in taupe, the perfect example of a versatile piece that can take you from the office under a cardigan or jacket to drinks, dinner, and dancing with a quick change of accessories. Another whimsical piece was a coffee bean strapless dress piped in delicate periwinkle blue pleats. In addition to the playful skirts and culottes paired with tanks and strapless tops, there were also a few satin finished pantsuits. One of my favorite pieces was a mauve strapless dress with a black lace floral applique at the waist. Alice Dobson has a knack for updating staples with unexpected details such as a ruffle hem, sweetheart neckline, tulip and butterfly cuts, eyelets and woven ribbon' there is always a very feminine twist!
Ms. Dobson is known for using soft materials with a textured emphasis. She began designing and sewing as a young girl. Inspired by her mother and grandmother's handmade creations, she learned to sew on the family's vintage Singer. And just like the beloved heroine Andie Walsh from the delightful 1980's film Pretty in Pink, Ms. Dobson skillfully repurposed thrift store finds and wore her designs through high school. Soon after, the young entrepreneur began selling her wares to a small circle of friends. The FIDM alumna has worked for several designers including the Anna Hulling, Fawn Dritti, and designer denim manufacturer Adriano Goldschmied. She recently expanded her wholesale business; extending her retail network to 37 specialty boutiques. The young designer says her ultimate goal is to make long lasting pieces that her customers will covet and wear for many years to come. These looks are perfect for the young career girl or the flirt within us all looking to exploit her feminine wiles. We all have a little vixen hiding inside us, this flirty line will give you an extra oomph of confidence to let her out and be a just little sofada'
Images provided courtesy of Sofada. For more information, please visit www.sofada.com