Thursday, October 28, 2010

drum roll please.... the wholesale line!

i stared at this board for what seemed like years....

what would the spring line be? what was my inspiration? how would the story be told and what would translate to buyers in the south east?
soon, each piece begin to have a life of its own... where would i wear this? and with what? and with who? do i feel... palm beach... st. barts... soho... isle of palms? where did i want to travel next summer and what would i wear?
the story came together after several versions of the concept board below... the modern southern woman and all of her summer plans outfitted by laroque.

night before market in atlanta....
what a relief:
the collection complete.
feels like all my children the night before the first day of school, pressed and ready...
{you get attached}
i was so greatful to have sayde and sandra from charleston fashion week model the spring line, aren't they beautiful? these are a few from the shoot.
and for the look book pictures:
many thanks to travis ... love these photos.

the concept board comes full circle....
press kits for prospective boutiques
reviewing the line with the reps in the micheal perry showroom in atlanta.
so far, 17 boutiques in the south east have ordered for spring. from alexandra va to palm beach and over to mobile alabama.... we have come along way from the kitchen table. many thanks to the boutiques, my friends and my family for believing in me. cant wait for spring.....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

last weekend... and nothing to do with dresses

after spending saturday morning at the shop working on the wholesale line i headed to charleston. the last month has been extremely stressful, exciting, overwhelming and emotional. to say the least i was ready for a mini break. there is nothing like driving into charleston and feeling home.

have you ever seen anything sweeter? last week my older sister, brittan, gave birth to the most precious baby girl. her name is hartley elizabeth. our grandmothers name was annabelle hartley. little hartley and i both share her name.

holding hartley was just what i needed ... she took all the stress of the last month away. just looking at her, how small and perfect and peaceful. God is so cool. being with my family this weekend reminded me that there is more to life than dresses (although it is a huge part of my life) they love me regardless of patterns, prints, styles, fashion week, wholesale or not....they know the rest of me. the before laroque part. i like that. sometime i get so wrapped up in work.... i can't turn it off. when your life, career and hobbies over lap and bleed into each other this happens. sometimes it's nice to escape ... its nice to be home.

the cousins...
they said "take a picture of us" so i did.

and sweet chalsa.. im not sure she's into hartly yet...

back to the spring line...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

night before vegas....

my flight for vegas leaves in 30. i am headed to the international textile show.

what's on my mind:
laroque just had its 3rd birthday... time has flown by.
what will i show for charleston fashion week spring 2011?
spring 2011 line to wholesale?
{no worries the studio on devine st will still be open ...}
its time for a plan. {not my nature at all}

late last night, in hopes of some direction and inspiration marquis and i went to the shop. im sure you didn't miss the line about wholesaling for spring 2011. i have been talking with a rep in atlanta for a year about the possibilities of a wholesale line. i have felt this universal pull to do something more with laroque. don't get the wrong impression i am perfectly happy on devine st. i love the everyday interaction with customers but sometimes feel like what i love the most, fabric and design are lost in the everyday routine.

last night i tried on every garment in the shop. what do i truly love? what do my clients love? what fabric fits my vision? what says "laroque"? what feels right for spring? where have we been ... and were are we headed?
after hours in the studio, marquis painted my nails "waking up in vegas" by debrah lippmann. {seemed fitting } lady gaga is wearing the same shade on this months cover of vanity fair. if it inspires her, maybe it will inspire me. grey and coral for spring 2011? we will see....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

jen and jay tie the knot

what a treat to be apart of jennifer and jay's big day! below are a few picture from the wedding. {compliments of travis}

the garter made from a combination of family laces and fabric.

sweet ring bearer in his little laroque bow tie.
love this shot of the back of the dresses... what beautiful bridesmaids...

one shoulder dress in white silk with embroidered beads.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

fashion marketing ... {and we're in a text book}

ill have to admit when Marianne Bickle, department of retail chair at the University of South Carolina, called to say she wanted to stop by and talk about my marketing strategy for an upcoming project i was a little surprised. marketing strategy? the same feeling overcomes me when someone wants to talk about my business plan. i have never had either. the plan in 2005 was to quit my job and make skirts. that was it. there was no market research or even a conversation with another young "designer" {even calling me a "designer"would have been a huge stretch and still is very flattering}. i did have one professor who said that opening a retail store was an awful idea. he loved my idea and creative energy but said there wasn't any money in retail and very little happiness. {im sure glad i was too stubborn to listen.}
my friends and family were always supportive although, im not sure if they knew how skirts would support me beyond a creative outlet. i didn't know either that you really can make a living off of your life by doing what you love.
when Marianne sat down in the studio we began to talk about facebook marketing. it just seemed logical to post my designs. my shop has always been a different shopping experience. i like to say its intimacy without the intensity. it can be a very personal experience to have your measurements taken for custom tailoring. often times, my customers do become my "friend".
facebook was different than how i expected. almost over night, i had girls wanting to "be my friend" on face book {or be friends with the fun frock in the picture}. who they were, i didn't know. of course i anticipated being "friends" with my clients, but where did these other "friends" come from? the questions and comments came flooding in and still do from dress lovers from all over the country who just happen to see a picture they fancy.
three years later we are close to 5,000 friends. facebook has been a great way to communicate with my clients. its easy to post pictures, alert customers when new fabric is in and share what what is playing on the ipod. i have been overwhelmed by the support, kind words and gratitude from laroque fans via facebook. seeing someone in thier laroque at a function truly makes my day. to think.....this person choose to wear my piece of art for their special occasion.

so here we go! the cover of Fashion Marketing by Marianne Bickle. the book focusses on theory, principles and practices of fashion marketing. the text book will be distributed world wide by Fairchild books for fashion, marketing and retail classes. i am extremely honored to be apart of this book. most, if not all, of my fashion icons are among the pages. to be associated with them in this way is very humbling. many thanks to Marianne Bickle for hearing my disorganized synopsis of a marketing plan. what an honor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

here are a few of my favorite things {for fall}...

i love the's my favorite season. the shop switches over from pastels to jewel tones. seersucker takes a backseat to tweed and wool is on the way...
here are a few of my favorite things {for fall}

love these new backless dresses...

new bow skirt

who doesn't need a feather headband for fall?

new bags...
back to school shopping in mind, just feels like it's time for a new makeup/ purse catch all. how cute would these be packed with pencils, small note books and highlighters?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Read Brothers on King

located at 593 king street in charleston, part fabric store part stereo shop Read brothers is unlike any store you will ever visit. some, if not most, of what's for sale has been in the shop for decades. stopping the first time for oil cloth, i now find my self popping in every chance i can while in charleston. it is impossible to see everything during one trip. vintage toys and fabric line the middle tables while the outer tables are stocked with baskets, buttons, used books, sewing supplies, long pj's and handkerchiefs. ribbon in all colors, widths and textures are sold by the yard. i have never seen such a collection of buttons south of new york's garment district.
its a lot to take in after you swing open the double set of wooden doors. as you can tell, your eyes are not sure where to land first.

the outside window is decorated with hundreds of spools of thread and sheets from a coloring book from the 60's. i am sure that the sign stating "specials today" has been there for a few years....
love the colorful display of vintage zippers in the window. i picked up a few of these for the new batch of makeup bags.
can't wait to have a backyard party. this oil cloth will be the perfect table topper for a fall BBQ.
ive been looking everywhere for the perfect blinds for my office at home. i love the bleached white.
the shop is known for their stock of "victory" bobby pins from WWII. these pins are the oldest item for sale. had to have a pack of these.