“Do you like our ‘yellow brick rose?!'” Lela Rose excitedly giggled just before her spring show. The designer was referring to the runway of yellow rose petals, surrounded by white tablecloth-clad little round tables topped with various baked goods. “Café Lela,” as she called it, was set against the backdrop of New York’s cityscape and waterfront on Pier 64. 

The New York City skyline — or rather vintage postcards of the island — served as Rose’s jumping-off point for the collection. The show opened with literal takes — the cityscape printed on a pleated cotton cape-back dress or Central Park splashed across a belted cotton pale-pink number — and ended more abstract, with a layered pale pink over gold tulle gown that emulated the golden hour of sunset. 

Roses came big and small, embroidered or printed onto signature flirty cotton voile — the designer’s favorite fabric of the season — on dresses and sets with overcoats. A lightweight tiered dress with tricolored blooms and curled ruffles made for a strong look. Outside of florals, a navy and white crochet-knit dress with carwash hem felt fresh, while a blue point d’espirit blouson gown conveyed effortless romance and the “celebration of the city in motion” that marked the collection.

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