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Lauren Conrad Talks Dodging Thunderstorms and Taking Days Off at Lela Rose

Few designers do elegant, refined "lady clothes" quite as well as Lela Rose, and this season's lineup was spot-on. Inspired by the work of installation artist Jim Hodges, Lela showed a mix of plaid tweed separates, chain-trimmed cocktail wear and stunning brocade dresses that integrated floral motifs and metallic embellishment. Lauren Conrad, a star well known for her love of feminine, polished dressing, sat front row—and after the models' final walk, we headed backstage to hear her thoughts on the collection.

Lucky: These clothes seem right up your alley. Did you have a favorite look?

Lauren Conrad: I had several favorites! I just love her dresses—everything from the fabrication to the silhouette is always so classic and beautiful. I thought the embellishment this time was so beautiful—there was one white dress with deep black and blue appliquéd flowers throughout that was definitely one of my favorites. And the chain dresses! I love how she'll use something like chain, which is such a masculine trim, but do it in a romantic way like that.

You spoke at our FABB conference earlier this week, of course—but since then, we've spotted you around Lincoln Center a couple of times. Have you been hitting the show circuit pretty hard so far?

I saw two shows the day before yesterday, and then yesterday was the first day I've ever had off in New York City! I've been coming here for years and have never had a day off in the city.

That's great—how'd you spend your relaxation time?

I went to Central Park—I'd never been! We walked around for like five hours, all around the park. It was perfect.

Your day wasn't cut short by that freaky tornado warning, was it?

We actually just missed the rain—my friend's boyfriend was at the USC game [up at MetLife Stadium] and they evacuated the stadium! He called us and was like "Are you guys in the park? Take cover!"

We actually got off easy in the city, I think. Are you sticking around for more shows this week?

I'm going to Tracy Reese, Alice + Olivia and Jenny Packham…and maybe a few others.

We also caught up with Lela Rose herself to get the scoop on the artist who influenced her Spring 2013 offerings.

Tell us about Jim Hodges, whose work inspired your collection.

Lela Rose: I've loved his work for awhile—I have a piece of his, and have always wanted to use him in some way. I love his use of nature—it's all about the passage of time, how humans interact with nature, and I just through this was an apropos time to use him as inspiration. It's all about how beauty is fragile.

Is there a particular look you're especially proud of?

My favorite was definitely the second-to-last look. Hodges did all these etched drawings with ballpoint pens on napkins, so we wanted to recreate that with this dress. We had to send that piece back and forth a few times, though, because it kept looking too refined. I was like "No, it has to look like an ink drawing!"

Click through for our favorite looks from Lela Rose's Spring 2013 collection—including, of course, the "ink drawing" dress mentioned above. All photos: WWD//Thomas Iannaccone.



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