Pamella DeVos, the guiding force behind the Pamella Roland label, is known for creating attention-getting evening gowns and chic daywear. "Every day I meet women who are leading very full, active lives," she says. "These women are mothers, entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities who always need to be prepared to transform themselves from day to evening and look great doing it.
"That's my customer, and she inspires me each season."
For spring 2014, DeVos imagines her customer making a grand red-carpet entrance at a major film festival in a chiffon gown with a flowing train or sparkly paillettes. The Pamella Roland collection, which she recently unveiled at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, was inspired by a trip to the Cannes Film Festival.
The collection, which is manufactured totally in New York, also features color-blocked sheaths, embellished tunics, vinyl raincoats trimmed in lace, and cocktail dresses and gowns with acrylic glass patterns.
In an email interview, DeVos talked about the Cannes experience; her upcoming, more moderately priced second label; and why Texas women love her clothes.
CultureMap: Your spring 2014 collection was inspired by a trip to the Cannes Film Festival. What was that experience like?
Pamella DeVos: When I think about Cannes, my mind immediately goes to the glitz and glamour that the festival is notoriously known for. That's exactly what it was like. It did unexpectedly rain, but being surrounded by beautiful people and scenery such as the mesmerizing colors and beauty of the French Riviera was nothing short of inspirational for me.
CM: What was your favorite movie at the festival?
PD: The Great Gatsby. I love that era, and the costumes were exquisite.
CM: The collection has a number of raincoats. Why did you include those?
PD: I was so excited to go to the Cannes Film Festival that I completely forgot to check the weather before I left. Needless to say, I was not prepared for the endless amounts of rain and unexpected puddles that wreaked havoc on both my hair and wardrobe.
After braving the torrential rain, nearly ruining my cocktail dresses and gowns, I realized there was a need for a glamorous yet functional raincoat. My favorite in the spring '14 collection is the transparent vinyl trench with black lace. It is so elegant and timeless; I can't wait to wear it again!
CM: What fabrics do you most enjoy working with?
PD: Chiffon has always been my fabric because of how easy it is for everyone to wear. Some of my favorite dresses and gowns are my chiffons; there is nothing more beautiful to me than seeing a the way a chiffon dress moves when a woman is wearing it.
CM: How would you describe the Texas customer? Is she different from your customers elsewhere?
PD: My Texas customer has a full social life, just like I do, and needs dresses that will make her feel and look great no matter the occasion. She loves color and patterns but is also very refined and sophisticated, which I love. The fact that you really don't have much of a winter makes dressing a Texas girl even more exciting.
CM: Which is your favorite: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or none of the above?
PD: I love Twitter! It is such an easy way for me to communicate with my customers, and it's a fun way for me to share the happenings of the Pamella Roland brand.
CM: What else can we look forward to seeing from you?
PD: We just relaunched our website, and in February we are launching a new collection called "Pamella, pamella roland." It is an edited collection of special occasion dresses that have proven to be our best-selling silhouettes. It's a greatest-hits collection of the dresses we know our women love. We reinterpreted those looks to create a collection of dresses that are designer quality but at a more accessible price point [mostly around $600 and under].