Byline: Daniela Gilbert

NEW YORK — Fine art as ready-to-wear is the concept behind Teena Leonardi’s new fall line. To think, it all started with a paintbrush.
Leonardi began painting fine art six years ago after a five-year stint designing clothes for, among other things, television shows such as “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” and “Step By Step.”
“I started off my career designing fashion,” said the Southern California-based artist/designer. “Then about six years ago, I wanted to feel more free in my work and started painting instead.”
Once her painted pieces gained recognition, she began to paint on silk panels that were used in home decoration. Last year, she finally returned to apparel.
Using her original artwork as a base, Leonardi paints the patterns onto silk or silk blended textiles and then designs the clothing using the fabrics.
For fall, she has created a new collection of dresses, tops, pants and coats using three new prints she created: Peacock, a green abstract stripe; Hibiscus, a purple large-scale abstract floral; and Sprit, an orange floral pattern.
“It’s really a great time right now for prints because consumers are really responding to them,” said Leonardi.
Wholesale prices for the collection range from $34 for a tank to $97 for a long duppioni coat. Her current spring collection is featured in such West Coast stores as Fred Segal, H. Lorenzo, Boca and Sarah’s.
“The majority of my business is in California,” she noted. “But we are looking to expand to other areas with this new collection.”