The other day I was working at an audition (I work for a casting company). And as I walked down the hallway of the building on East 5th street, something pretty caught my eye. Light bounced off white chiffon through a window, beckoning me to take a closer look. That's when I saw the sign "CIARLA atelier" on the door and realized this was the studio of clothing designer Jessica Ciarla.
Jessica is the Parsons trained designer and creator of the clothing line CIARLA. In December 2008, Ciarla launched a bridesmaid and little white dress collection called CIARLAbride, which features bridesmaid dresses, couture wedding gowns and fabulous reception party dresses.
Since I obviously wasn't able to hang around the Ciarla studio and gaze at the prettiness while I was working, I had to make it a point to come back and check it out when I had time. With Austin Fashion Week only a week away, now seemed like a better time than any to take a peek at the studio. Jessica says her main show stopping piece for Austin fashion Week is the red wedding gown which will be featured in the Fashion Week Kickoff Show. And, check this out...Jessica herself will be wearing a short mini version of the long gown at the Kickoff event. How cute!
Jessica and her team of UT fashion design interns are hustling right now to finish the next collection for CIARLA. Coming up next is a collection inspired by several things including one of my favorite female style icons, Marie Antoinette. I told Jessica that I went through a big Marie Antoinette phase not too long ago and she said "I think every girl goes through that phase at some point." I think she's right. Decadent gowns with lace and interesting silhouettes are bound to attract your attention sooner or later.
Jessica explained to me that her next collection focuses a lot on the sleeve of a dress. Interesting sleeves can really transform a dress. A simple dress with an asymmetrical sleeve is suddenly not as simple. One of my favorite pieces of her new little white dress collection is a simple white dress with ruffled sleeves. I think what I love most about Jessica's clothes is that they are simple and not overworked, but still interesting .
During Austin Fashion Week CIARLAbride will be hosted at Touch of Sass.