Noël Martin + Ella Rose Return to NOLA Fashion Week

Noël Martin and Ella Rose debuted their first collections as emerging designers last season at NOLA Fashion Week. They are back this season and ready to show us some more!  Even though I’m sure they are crazy hectic finalizing their collections for their shows, they were kind enough to answer a few questions about how they have grown from last season and what we can expect to see from their upcoming collections!

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Noël Martin

How did your first season as an emerging designer influence your current work?

A: I think my first season influenced my work a lot. I got a super positive response from my first show so this season I am stepping it up as far as complicated methods and handling. I also decided to use denim this season. Last season I received two negative critiques about the only 2 twill pieces in the collection. denim is a twill so I am taking a risk and also showcasing what I can do with classic wovens.

Is there anything you would have done differently, now looking back?

A: I get asked that a lot. I would have done a million things differently haha. I strive for perfection so; of course there are things I would have changed. I learned from those experiences though and, I am taking different routes this time around. I would never send anything down the runway I regret. As far as design goes, every detail and application in the construction and technical makeup of my garments are thought out and purposeful. If something is not ready for the runway it will not show.

How have you grown as a designer since showing your first collection?

A: I have improved a lot just in construction alone. My confidence is much greater, that is probably the biggest growth. It’s kind of silly to not believe in your own abilities when hundreds of people you don’t even know are supporting you. That support alone has pushed me to go farther already than I ever thought I would get as a designer.

What did you do differently in the planning/production of this collection from your first?

A: I did not hire any help. I hired help last season and some of it was helpful and some of it turned out to be more work for me. This time I made every garment and every decision myself from start to finish. It’s a much more organic way of working for me however, I appreciate growth and I have a very big vision so this is probably the only time I will do it this way. This is a real brand and needs to be treated as such. One crazy 21-year-old girl cannot do it alone. I am ready to build a team. 

What is the inspiration behind your Pre-Spring/Resort 2014 collection?

A: The inspiration for the technical construction is, a contemporary take on American Classics.

The inspiration for the mood of this collection is basically a humans inner darkest emotions and thoughts. It is loosely inspired by inward battles of love and lust and independence and self-hate, finding yourself through that journey. It is something you can only do alone and everyone does it alone. The emotion in my work and my shows is very obvious and intentional. I am always looking to make the audience feel something they didn’t expect to feel coming in. My theme is rather dark this season despite the incredibly light color palette. I hope the viewers don’t think I am insane.

If you could describe your upcoming collection in one word, what would it be?

A: Uhmmm fashion? Haha That’s a tough one.

I have been describing it as Romantically Depressing but that’s 2 words.

Can you describe your one favorite piece from your collection that will be showing this season?

A: My favorite piece is probably the white leather jacket. I have already released photos of this piece. It was a 2 week process making that single garment and construction wise I surprised myself with the technical ability that went into it. I based the entire collection off of that jacket it was the first piece I made. I love everything in the collection. I strive for absolute cohesion.

Do your designs represent your own personal style?

A: Yes and no. My style is ever changing. I wake up in the morning and decide how I feel and then dress accordingly. My collections are extensions of all those personalities. I like to think my customer is a more polished version of me. I polish her for the runway. I think this collection will surprise a lot of people. While it is very me, and it stays true to the brand, it’s pretty different from the last collection.

Any advice you can give to up and coming designers?

A: This process cannot be forced, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and learn from your failures.

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Photo by Natalie Mancuso

Ella Rose

How did your first season as an emerging designer influence your current work?
A: Coming after a season of being “emerging”, I am definitely more strategic with my branding and the looks I am creating. Last season, I did a lot of hand painting onto my fabric. I loved the look, but now that I’m trying to build a business, that isn’t something that is easy to reproduce or sell. So this season I took more time to create prints that I could do a lot with, and that I really loved. I hope that everyone else will love them as much as I do! 
Is there anything you would have done differently, now looking back? 
A: Looking back, I would have taken more time to add variety. I know that I have the ability to do many more things, but being a student, working, and creating the collection, I limited myself a lot! So that and to just breathe. I was really worn out and running on Redbull only when it came to the day of my show. I kept pretty calm backstage, but my goal this season is to actually get some sleep the night before the show!  
How have you grown as a designer since showing your first collection?
A: I have definitely been able to gain a bit of confidence in my design ability. I am learning who I am as a designer and getting more and more comfortable with my style and my view of what should be worn. I also really think I’ve figured out who my audience is, and am able to focus in on how to keep their attention.
What did you do differently in the planning/production of this collection from your first?
A: his season I spent way more time on my printed fabric than I did my hand painted looks. I wanted to ensure that it could be reproduced, but is still unique and super wearable. 
What is the inspiration behind your Pre-Spring/Resort 2014 collection?
A: The original idea is based on Alice in Wonderland’s “Painting the roses red”, but you won’t see any rabbits, watches, or tea cups! You really won’t see any red at all! It’s more about the meaning behind taking something white and so beautifully pure, and turning it into something different and more confident, like the color red. There are some little things that I still pulled from Alice, but I don’t think you will immediently think ” Alice” when you see it. I really am in love with it!
If you could describe your upcoming collection in one word, what would it be?
A: Quaintrelle
Can you describe your one favorite piece from your collection that will be showing this season?
A: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have a cool little dress that has a sweetheart neckline bustier top with a little bit of a pleated bottom. It’s all made with my new print, then covered in a few different ways with an organza overlay. It’s very girly and dainty, but has some extra interest with the layering. Plus I take a lot of time to perfect a dress like that, making my own padding and boning to insert inside and give it the best possible fit!
Do your designs represent your own personal style?
A: Absolutely! I wouldn’t make anything I wouldn’t want to wear myself! An easy to wear dress, or a fun flare skirt and top are totally things that I throw on regularly, so they definitely fit into my style! 
Any advice you can give to up and coming designers?
A: Take your time. Do not rush yourself. Creating a collection and figuring out your identity in the industry is a process, so enjoy it! Put yourself out there in every way possible, but take the time to understand yourself before you present yourself to others. It seriously makes a world of a difference, and is much easier to deal with critique from outsiders.
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View images from Noël Martin’s debut collection and RSVP to her pre-Spring/Resort 2014 show! View images from Ella Rose’s debut collection and RSVP to her Spring/Summer 2014 show! 

Check out this years emerging designers: American Prep, Hi Lo, Christopher Rogers, and Ashleek.

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