“When I look at this dress, it brightens me,” says Rachel Roy, the statuesque namesake and designer of the candy-and-wine colored collection while pointing at a photograph of one of the pink dresses currently being fitted to a model in advance of her S/S 2013 presentation. Kneeling before a style board of the final looks in her New York studio, she explains their origins—a bourbon skull print kicked it all off, and she wears a blouse made of it now. “I tried to make it effortless for a woman to put things together and not look too put together.... to have that mix and match vibe without having to guess.”
In a season of snowy white and dull bone, it was a bit of a relief to see the different tones of Roy’s collection, especially her palette: a warm swirl of tangerine, hot pink, mauve and yellow cut through the pieces. Despite bucking the painfully neutral colors the majority of designers used this season (a backlash, perhaps, from the headache-inducing neon of the last few), Roy stuck to the sensibility that makes her so popular: salability.
It’s a fair assumption when looking at a Fashion Week presentation or runway show that you won’t like or be able to conceive of ever wearing at least one look out of the group. Roy tends not to do that to you—if you like one piece, it’s a safe bet that you’ll like them all. Yet what she also manages to do, from the sharp grey shifts with ruffled contrast trim to the lace tea party dress to the slick pink suit, is include most women in her vision, from office girls to red carpet vets.
“I want people to put these clothes on and feel better,” she says. “I still believe in the dress.”