Next Level: Laid-Back Lace

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NEWSFLASH: Lace doesn’t have to be all prissy. Srsly! Here, four takes that are fly with ratty jeans and bedhead. —erica

LEVEL I: Yarnz delivers a lace-print scarf—and, adding in a few other motifs, doesn’t even make you fully commit.

LEVEL II: This Ella Moss sweatshirt belongs at a sunny cafe table, not at the gym.

LEVEL III: 3.1 Phillip Lim goes pseudo-stripy in a really killer way. And see what’s happening with the white pants? A good pairing call.

LEVEL IV: It doesn’t get more slouchy-cool than this Raquel Allegra jacket. Take the plunge.

Stroll through the “Next Level” archives…

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How Rachel Rose Designed Her So-Stunning Wedding Dress

The grandmother of all gowns.

Secret recipes, killer stories, excellent hand-me-downs—all reasons to give it up for grandma. And badass designer Rachel Rose really hammers home that last point: “Before I was even engaged, my grandmother gave me a piece of lace. I kept it out and saw it every day—I always knew I wanted to use it for something,” recalls Rachel. That something turned into her wedding dress, which she designed all by herself. Here, Rachel takes us behind the design, from her first drawings to the day she said “I do.” —alisha prakash

“My grandmother found a few pieces of lace when she was going through some old things and instantly thought of me. She wasn’t even sure where the specific piece I used came from—she bought a lot of patterns for all her daughters growing up. The strips of lace she gave me were quite small—I knew I couldn’t use it for the entire dress—and I even had to bleach them because they were old—so the first step was finding all the materials. I went to a fabric stores for satins, chiffons, laces, and crepes de chine.”

“I knew I wanted to use the lace she gave me, so I started sketching ideas of ways I could incorporate it. The sketch evolved slightly after I started looking at the fabrics. For example, I wasn’t going to have the chiffon underneath the lace, but I thought it added more fullness to the skirt. I knew I wanted something strapless because I love the sweetheart shape—it’s very flattering. I also loved a sheer overlay because of how romantic it looked on the skin. Lastly, I knew I wanted buttons on the back.”

“The top row of lace on the dress is my grandmother’s lace. The bodice has satin boning. The chiffon top is very delicate, and the buttons are self-covered with the same chiffon. There are five different pieces of lace that alternate down the dress, as well as pieces of chiffon lining each piece of lace. And underneath, the skirt has a silk lining.”

“My husband and I got married last spring at the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, Queens. The final design was very easy to move in, sit in, dance in. I wanted to surprise my husband with the design. I was nervous about it—I wanted him to love it. And he did, so that was great.”

Come back tomorrow to score another of Rachel’s creations (that, er, does not require a trip down the aisle). Get on our email list to make sure you get it!

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Of a Kind

Is this a lace bomber jacket, Zimmermann? We hope so. —erica

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How Sarah Gets her Goods

Sometimes it’s a walk in the park.

Some of Sarah Fox’s sourcing for her bright and complex jewelry line Cursive Design is hyper-local, and some takes place on a more grand scale—but she always does it in person. “I find that I just really need to feel the material,” she explains. “And I’m kind of bad at measuring things.” This is where she tracks down her most interesting supplies.


BRANCHES: Her ‘hood
“Beautiful branches are just kind of everywhere, once you start noticing them. I’ll see one on a walk and think, ‘Oh, this is the right size,’ and drag this big branch back to my place. That’s sort of ridiculous, and my husband is just sick of it. I have a lot of branches here, and he doesn’t let me keep as many as I’d like to.”


LACE: L.Z. Products
“I have a place that I go to specifically for the crochet—a fabric store in Chicago on the South Side. It’s a family business, and I like the feeling of being there. It’s not very organized and clean—it has this old-warehouse feel. Most of the lace is white when I buy it. Some of it will be slightly grey, and then I have to bring it to white with a bleach mixture—to get the color right you definitely need to start with white. When I’m shopping, I’m always looking at the shape, and then I know that I can get it to where I need to, color-wise.”


BEADS: Bead shows
“They’re really fun and just invigorating because you’re surrounded by booths of beautiful things, and you really have to design on the spot. Because the prices are pretty good, someone could snatch up this loot of crystals or whatever, and then they’re gone. I love those days a lot, thinking about what you can do with these things and stocking up. I go to the International Gem and Jewelry Show—be warned that their website sparkles—and one year I want to go to the Tucson Bead Show, which is supposed to be huge with lots of interesting stones.”


Some of Sarah’s final products

To get your hands on one of the 50 exclusive Cursive Design necklaces, click here.

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Leather and lace, in a very un-Cyndi Lauper way. Ok, the Australians really just have to stop—this spring look is from the Melbourne duo Amber & Thomas. —erica

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Of a Kind

Who’s going to Japan next? I’d like to request a piece—anything, really—from the Toga Archives A/W collection. That lace skirt is smashing. —claire

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Of a Kind

A+R Store - Lace Bib Necklace - Neon Product Detail

Lace in unexpected shades, from LA designer Malin Nyman-Smallcombe’s line of eco-friendly jewelry

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Of a Kind

IIII)IIII-))III-()IIII)IIIIIII-IIII)IIIIIII(III(): Slow and Steady Wins the Race Collaboration, Red Lace and Black Lace, 2009

Slow and Steady Wins the Race is doing collaborations?! STOP IT. Here, purse (in black, too) by Sarah Frances Kuhn.

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Of a Kind

Lace straps! From Howl, the line by 25-year-old Echo Park designer Keyla Marguez. (via highsnobette)

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