Sally LaPointe is wearing big, glamorous false eyelashes. This stands out because a) it’s 10 a.m. and b) it’s not a look we’d expect from the designer known for her tough, architectural silhouettes.
“It’s become like my signature,” LaPointe says of the lashes. “I started wearing them in college, and I just love them. People ask if I take them off — I do, everyday — but it takes only two seconds to put them back on.”
We’re at LaPointe’s studio/home in Tribeca — which the 27-year-old shares with her business partner and best friend, Sarah Adelson — to preview her spring 2012 collection. The line, with a palette of soft pinks, lemons, mints and metallics, was inspired by the Renwick Ruin, an abandoned smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island that LaPointe discovered by accident.
“I was in a cab, driving up the FDR a year ago, and I looked over to my right, and I saw it and I just fell in love,” she says of the eerie Gothic structure. “So it’s about a haunting romanticism and the idea of walking into a space and feeling the presence that inhabited it previously.”
In addition to the light colors, the Massachusetts native played with airy fabrics this season. Organza, chiffon and metallic linen give the line a dreamy feel; but Ultrasuede, leather and sharp tailoring maintain the modern edge that put the rising star on the map.
The fairy tale goes like this: Nicola Formichetti saw the designer’s fall line — which includes molded peplums and sci-fi neoprene leggings — and requested a dress for Lady Gaga, who then became a loyal customer.
But everyday women can’t exactly pull off Lady G’s looks, and LaPointe is well aware of the fact.
“It’s about finding that balance between the hard and soft,” she admits. “Everyone has obviously noticed the architecture, modern and hard edges. And I just wanted to see if I could do the same kind of feeling, but with these fabrics. I wanted to challenge myself.”
We can’t help but bat our lashes at the results.
Follow Tina Chadha on Twitter @TinaatMetro.