The Base Collection

We are entering full blown summer time here in Nashville, and things are busy, busy (and hot!). After Fashion Week was over, I really needed some time to think about what my next goal was. The excitement and adrenaline that came with preparing for a runway show had taken over my life, but now what? I was taking a bit of a break from making clothes for sanity's sake, when I got the urge to make a few pieces for myself.  The clothes that I wear in life aren't necessarily the same clothes that I design for Ona Rex. Ona Rex provides me a playground to experiment with texture, color, line, detail -- all things that I love to experiment with in my own wardrobe -- but when it comes down to it, I was in the mood for some basics in my life.  Perhaps it was the chaos of 2015 that has settled as a theme these days. Perhaps it was my desire for normalcy after time blurred together for a few months. Perhaps I just wanted something easy to wear! 

Everything finally came together one day when I was in line at Panera, wearing what I lovingly referred to as my summer muumuu, and a woman approached me and said that if I told her where I bought my dress, she would buy one in every color. And thus an idea was hatched.

My love for designing conceptual collections is right up there with my love for corn dogs (that's pretty high), but I felt like I was missing this middle ground of everyday, easy to wear, easy to care-for, no brainer additions to everyone's wardrobe.  

And thus The Base Collection was born. 

The Base, obviously named for what it is (basics), is designed to be the foundation of every woman's wardrobe -- those items you throw on without a single thought to run to the grocery store, or to get some coffee, or to eat a doughnut (not a personal anecdote, of course).  The Base is a line of simple shapes with a lot of thought behind them.  

All the fabric is durable -- raw silk for the maxi dresses (my go-to textile for something that feels like pajamas, but looks luxurious); and a beautiful medium weight linen (the classic choice for those hot and humid days).  All the garments, with the exception of the black, were dyed in house for those perfect shades. 

Speaking of shades, everyone loves the neutrals these days, especially here in Nashville, but I'm always going to be drawn to my crazy color palettes, and I ain't sorry 'bout it.  I've always had a deep love for primaries because it's the base of all colors (base!), but also because of the challenges it presents when designing. Primary colors are often associated with big brands (McDonalds, Shell, Burger King, Pepsi, etc.) but also with all things juvenile (elementary school classrooms, anyone?).  With such huge associations with these colors, it takes a lot for people to be comfortable with them.  I chose to desaturate the red I used in order to create a dusty watermelon color.  The yellow was my favorite -- a fabulous bright and clear hue.  And finally there was the blue.  I love blue.  It's probably safe to say it's my favorite color. So it was a struggle to decide on which shade.  The blue that was born is bold, bright, and brave -- all the things I want the Ona Rex woman to embody.  And of course, don't you worry all you neutral-loving ladies, there's black and a perfectly light mist gray to round out the crew. 

The Base Collection is starting with four basic garments:  a pair of forgiving, wide-leg, drawstring pants; a comfy top that features a streamlined, sweeping hemline to add interest to an otherwise minimal garment; a midi dress perfect to dress up or down, featuring the same sweeping hem detail as the top (and pockets!); and finally a shorter dress with a bit of a lower neckline down the back (and more pockets!). The dresses are one size fits all, but don't let that scare you. I, myself, am the MOST skeptical of one-size-fits-all garments, but that is precisely why I stand behind these babies.  They fit me.  They fit model size.  They fit everyone in between.  

I hope that you all will check out the Base Collection to see what I've been working so hard on for the last couple of months.  Don't hesitate to reach out and visit me here at The Studio.  I'm always happy to show off my clothing in person.  And in the mean time, I am hard at work preparing my fall line for pre-sales later this summer.  All of that beautiful waffle weave will be available for purchase very soon!