Rachel Roy brings us sexy-meets-grunge ready-to-wear
With barrel-chested security guards manning a private green room and a crowd of revved up fans waiting outside, interviewing Rachel Roy feels a bit like sneaking backstage at a sold-out concert. But then again, the statuesque beauty really is the rock star of department-store designers. For starters, the hugely successful half-Dutch, half-Indian NYC designer is beyond gorgeous. So no need for a supermodel spokeswoman to showcase her clothing. She’s got more than enough glam to promote her premium clothing line, as well as enough urban edge to sell her off-the-rack label, RACHEL Rachel Roy. In other words, the one-woman show is a branding dream come true.
But it’s not just her exotic looks that have earned her so much adoration from everyday fashionistas. Roy’s ready-to-wear line is edgy, sexy, on-trend, and relatively affordable. This season is no exception. Her inspiration? Our very own Northwest.
“RACHEL Rachel Roy is the younger sister to my designer line and so I like to have fun with her in a way,” says Roy, during our well-secured sit-down Q & A sesh in the inner sanctum of the Bay downtown, where RRR is sold exclusively in Canada. “I feel like she can get a little bit of the trends in—as opposed to my designer line, which is pretty classic. And grunge was feeling really good to me at the time, so sweater coats as opposed to winter coats....I love the idea of wearing a thin, filmy dress at night and then instead of a jacket, you put this big huge sweater coat over it.
“What that does for me,” she continues, “is it kind of balances out the sensuality of the dress and doesn’t allow the wearer to be quickly judged. So if you’re going to a party or a dinner or wherever you’re going with friends, you have that masculine balance.”
A great example of these thick RRR coverups is the Wanderer ($219), an Aztec-y intarsia knitted sweater with a big oversized collar. As well, there’s the Montana Poncho, a black-and-cream-plaid blanket with a tassel fringe ($179). And check out her Fisherman Cardi ($169), a long, chunky, oatmeal cable-knit with a single toggle fastener in the front. The latter is perfect for layering over some of her key evening-wear pieces—like the Eva Dress ($139), an ethereal, sheer, floor-length piece of loveliness.
In addition to items like these, every couple of seasons Roy likes to collaborate with various artists, such as British pop singer Estelle and Brazilian singer-songwriter Seu Jorge for special one-off capsule collections.
This fall, it’s none other than spiritual guru Deepak Chopra—someone whose words of wisdom have special meaning for Roy. In fact, she keeps some of his books by her bed with highlighted passages. Together, they’ve designed three different tops that centre around Chopra’s stable of reccuring themes. There’s the Vintage Black Inspiration Tee and the Moonstone Stillness Tee ($45 each) as well as the Heather Grey “Don’t Need a Reason” Sweatshirt ($59).
Proceeds from these pieces, which hit the Bay next month, will go to charity. As well, Roy, is hoping the actual T-shirt messages will have an impact on all those who read them.
“I just thought if Deepak is helping me so much, then perhaps he would help some girls who have maybe never heard of him.”