View Slideshow

Emelle designer and store owner Mi Jong Lee launched her first signature line on Thursday, among a group of friends and clients at her revamped Madison Avenue boutique. “It’s a true facelift — the store, the fashion,” she said at the intimate opening.

The store, for starters, is much more minimal and modern than its predecessor. It was designed by interior decorator Rodrigo Gormaz, with artwork commissioned from New York-based painter SoHyun Bae. “It all just blends so well,” Bae commented, referring to the imposing cherry blossom trees right by the entrance, which pick up the pinks in the two paintings on display, and the marble walls, which reflect the works’ abstract shapes.

Fashion-wise, the same sleek, modern mood prevailed. “When I first started designing, back in the day, successful career women used to dress much more masculine. Today I feel like women can be more feminine and still be powerful, so I designed this collection with this woman in mind,” Lee explained. The result: a “no-fuss-with-attention-to-detail” fall collection that can carry any professional from desk to dinner. It includes midlength dresses in geometric prints, wide-leg pants paired with tweed bomber jackets or sheer blouses and fringed trimmed coats in luxurious camel’s hair. There are also a few evening-specific cocktail dresses; one standout was a lovely one-shoulder purple optic-patterned number.

Along with Emelle, the Mi Jong Lee fall collection is on offer at 10 retailers nationwide.