Rachel Pally is LA’s Jersey Girl. Youthful,
friendly, and energetic to the core, the gifted designer puts a unique ‘twist’ on
her signature fabric. Rachel’s instantly recognizable creations,
worn by women of all ages and walks of life, amplify sexappeal by gliding
around the body’s contours. Truly flattering and positively inspired
these chic jersey clothes redefine Los Angeles style.
True to her roots, Rachel’s main ambition
is to give California a fresh voice in the international realm of moda.
Readily admitting Tinsel Town has a bad rep; Ms. Pally contends that
LA is misunderstood. To her, great, edgy, cutting edge flair is ubiquitous
in this town, often accused of being completely superficial, mediocre,
and unoriginal. A die hard Marni devotee, sporting a Boho chic look,
accessorized with bold jewelry, Rachel is living proof that the post-modern
valley girls are much more sophisticated than assumed.
Fashionlines caught up with Rachel to interview
the Young Turk with the high voltage smile about her label, inspiration,
and ambitions. Here are the true confessions of the remarkable
S: How have you been since we last spoke?
R: I have been good. I have been busy. The business is getting crazy.
S: Why didn’t you show last season?
R: I don’t feel that I need that boost right now. Also, it is
incredibly expensive and time consuming to put on a catwalk production.
I am not going to be showing for a while—definitely not for a few
S: How are the sales coming along?
R: The Company is growing real fast. We are at
We have also been doing great business with small boutiques. We are doing
a very large volume of business compared to what we were doing before.
S: Who is wearing your clothes these days?
R: The Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons of the world. Jessica Simpson
of course, but other than that, just about anyone. You see, I try to
make clothes that look good on everybody.
S: Do you have plans of opening up a Rachel Pally Boutique?
R: No. One step at a time. I will go there at some point, but now I
am preoccupied with nurturing my label.
S: You are still working with jersey. Do you think you will ever expand
S: Since you are working with the same fabric, season after season,
how are you innovating?
R: I always do prints and various bodies. Every season I try to take
it to the next level. Obviously, there are some pieces that are tried
and true that people buy, like crop pants, tube tops, and little skirts.
I will keep them until their run is over, but their run is no where near
over. You have got to offer the safe basics and then you have got to
innovate new, different pieces; something a little punchier for those
who have been familiar with the line or a while.
S: What do you predict the next big wave to be?
R: Trends come and go. But great fitting, sexy
basics will always be It. Sometimes there is something ‘trendy’ or ‘in the
now’ that I incorporate into the collection, but the basics remain
the same. But I also experiment with new prints, treatments…ect.
That way, I can refresh without having to stray from what I want to do,
which is make clothes that look good on all women.
S: Who do you have in mind when you are designing?
R: My mother, my grandmother, my girlfriends, celebrities; basically
everyone across the board. Every season I make sure that I have something
that looks good on everybody.
S: How do you achieve that?
R: I look at my line sheet and say, “What am I going to put on
a woman, who is a size 12?” Then, I wonder what I need to fashion
for a conservative or a preppy woman. I go through the check list and
make sure that there is something for every one.
S: How is being an LA based designer treating you?
R: I love it. I grew up here. This is my local
economy. This is where all my production is. I don’t do any outsourcing. I don’t
see myself ever having my line manufactured in sweatshops in China.
S: Is this an ethical stance?
R: Totally ethical. I am bale to source and produce it here. In LA I
can regulate the working conditions. I play my own little political part
by not sending it out.
S: Are your creations more LA or are they more international?
R: I think they are more international. I admit there is a real LA feel
to jersey, but the bodies I use are not exactly CA style. They are classic,
but I think they translate well everywhere.
S: Where do you get your inspiration?
R: I even get inspiration at the supermarket. I am constantly checking
out what other people are wearing. I also do a lot of vintage shopping.
I also experiment, since I am working with a specific fabric. I constantly
have to think things over. I constantly have to reinvent things.
S: I know that you don’t have a background
in fashion. How did the cards play you this hand?
R: I fell into it. I was dancing in college. I moved to NY to pursue
that and took up a part-time job with a designer. Soon, I started sewing
stuff and my friends started wearing it. I mean, I was at the right place
at the right time. I really had no intention of going into fashion, but
I love it!
S: Where is your label going stylistically? Any hints for the upcoming
R: I am doing some bold geometric patterns for
spring and fall in the form of 60s inspired halters and balloon skirts.
I love it, but eventually I predict I will go in a preppier direction.
It kind of happens as I go. I don’t feel that my collections
have to tell a story as other designers do. My clothes just need to
come together as a wardrobe.
S: How do you feel about LA fashion and LA Fashion week?
R: Everyone assumes that in LA everyone is blond and has fake boobs.
Here, there are tons of edgy boutiques, as well as interesting and marginal
designers. I feel hat there is an enormous element of LA style that is
streamlined, but counter pointing that, there are tons of people with
distinctive flair. I see some pretty amazing fashion out here. As for
LA Fashion Week: It is really coming along and starting to get taken
seriously. Some great designers show out here. People often compare LA
to New York. I think it is an unfair comparison. LA needs to be seen
as a smaller NY as opposed to a lesser NY.
S: Who are your favorite designers?
R: My favorite label is Marni. I always save up and buy one thing by
Marni and I am in heaven. I love the prints. A clean piece from my collection,
paired with a wild Marni creation; that is what I adore.
S: Do you have any style tips for Fashionlines readers?
R: I think a good rule in general is: When you get dressed and look
in the mirror, take one thing off.
S: How about for people who don’t accessorize?
R: Then accessorize! Accessories make your outfit
different form the next girl’s. It is a bold statement.