Celebrated for high shine, opulence, and red carpet-worthy gowns, Pamella Roland delivered her revered romanticism in her latest fall collection at New York Fashion Week. Inspired by the melding of old and new in the City of Prague, we saw historical architecture materialized in rich rubies and golds as well as jewel-encrusted pieces harking back to the Czech Renaissance. Returning us back to latter-day aesthetics were contemporary silhouettes including pencil skirts, off-shoulder decolletages, and a violet pantsuit that impressed as a cleansing anti-statement piece.

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Starting out demure with straight silhouettes and understated embellishments, the collection lifted off with grandiose garments adorned with finishes such as an ombre-jeweled cape, feathered hemlines, and metal fringes that swayed across a mesh bodice.

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I met with Pamella post-show to discuss her travel-infused inspiration and what makes a Pamella Roland piece truly special.

Your collection was influenced by a trip to Prague. What about the city made it so inspiring?

It’s really interesting actually, people wondered if I went there to find inspiration, but I went to Prague to see my son play hockey. It was the middle of August and it was 100 degrees. While he was busy I had the time to tool around so I took a water tour, and from the water I saw what a beautiful city it was. I always knew that, but to see it from the water was a little different. I noticed a lot of modern and a lot of traditional, and I thought, this is going to be great inspiration since I have customers of all ages. Also, the buildings with the golds and jewel tones… I thought this here is going to be my inspiration.

There were romantic elements like elaborate beadwork and jewel tones, and then contemporary shapes that added modernity, so I think you really captured that. Along with Prague, were you inspired by any trends this season? Is there anything new you wanted to try?

You know what… we have more customers out of Paris and the Middle East and they love their feathers and all that. When I first saw it I was like what? But they love it. Before, I used to worry about making the press happy. Now, I’m trying to make my customer happy. That’s what keeps your doors open, really. So, this is what our customer wants. If you notice, some dresses have a really clean line, that’s more of an American woman. The feathers are more European, even though we’ve sold a lot here too. We try to make all our customers happy which is why there were a lot of different things in the show.

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When it comes to designing gowns is there one aspect of the design process that’s most important to you? What makes a gown special?

First of all, I think we’re really known for keeping our sizes true. If you want a 6, your gown will be a 6. We work really hard at that. We’ve been in the business for 15 years now and we’ve really achieved that. Before I started making gowns, I actually started out at a sportswear company. When I would try gowns on you would have to zip here, do this, it takes a gymnast to put some of these dresses on. Our dresses are easier, we have bustiers so that when you get older, and you want to be sucked in, wearing them helps. I’ve been in the business for 15 years and I’ve worn a lot of gowns so I think that’s helped also. It has to fit right. I don’t care how gorgeous it is, if it doesn’t fit right it’s not going to feel good on you.

If you could describe the woman that wears your designs in three words what would they be?

She pauses and calls over a Brandon, and laughs as she relays the question to him

Brandon: “Confident, opulent, (we like opulence), glamorous…”

Pamella lights up with an answer

She wants her clothes to bring her confidence. Let me put it this way, today I looked at all these brave women coming forward and coming together. I raised my children, I have two daughters, to have the type of confidence to stand up. I think we need confident, powerful women. That’s who I design for.

Article by: Samantha Lockhart from NASENSE