New York Fashion Week: Suzanne Rae is NYC’s Next Designer to Watch

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Victorian meets grunge was the inspiration for Suzanne Rae’s Fall 2011 collection. Brooklyn designer Suzanne Pelaez juxtaposed highly structured pieces with more casual, flowy designs. This dynamic was best displayed when the designer paired a layered skirt reminiscent of a Victorian bustle with a midriff baring half top.

Models sauntered down the runway dressed in dark greys and browns with splashes of ivories and nudes brightening up the largely somber color palette. The collection also showcased contrasting materials; light silks softened tough wool gabardines and laces offset menswear inspired pieces adding a feminine touch.

The collection had a decidedly ’90s vibe bringing back some Gen-X staples like spaghetti straps and plaids. Although the collection was influenced by different design eras, certain pieces embodied a timeless beauty. The most intriguing gown of the collection was cream and backless toughened up with the ruggedness of a hemp fringe trim.

Pelaez wants to enhance a woman’s natural curve in her designs. “I had a feeling of being confined and wanted to let loose,” she says of her inspiration for this collection. Her aesthetic is less severe and in her words more “mother earth and free flowing.” Pelaez graduated from Parson School of Design. After stints in the design ateliers of Costume National in Milan and Morgane Le Fay in New York, Pelaez knew she wanted to design in her own right and shortly after Suzanne Rae came to fruition.

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