These days it’s a challenge to find clothing that’s fashionable, figure-flattering and actually made in the USA. Many trendy pieces found in department stores and even boutiques are woven miles away from the constructive eyes of their creator. But with some emerging designers, there’s a draw to keep creativity close and stitches in sight. This is the case for Boston-based fashion designer Lori (Kyler) Christensen whose lively line, Venni Caprice, is a labor of love.
“I hand make every single piece of clothing that comes out of my sewing room -- every order, every sample piece anyone has ever seen at one of my fashion shows or in my photo shoots,” explained Christensen of her desire to deliver garments made from her heart and hands. She’s a woman who takes great pride in fit, fabric and of course high fashion.
I was first introduced to Christensen at an event earlier this summer. Dressed in a fitted, mixed print Venni Caprice original and flaunting a flawless finish (with a killer cat eye I might add), she immediately made an impression. She reminded me of the bubbly "IT" girl in high school who was everyone’s friend. I’m always drawn to vivacious personalities like that. I remember complimenting her dewy glow as she graciously replied, “I’m a former makeup artist.” Clothing and cosmetics -- two of my favorite topics.
Christensen began sewing in 1998 -- that's before she even entered high school. Not long after, she was wearing her actual pieces to class. Christensen worked in the cosmetics industry for a few years, but always felt drawn to the world of fashion so she took a job as a tailor in a high end boutique.
Christensen’s pursuit of her dream has not been without personal challenges. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and forced to put a hold on the hemlines for a length of time. Once she recovered, Christensen returned to the runway…with a little help from home.
“My parents were very supportive. My mother is still actively supportive and wholly invested in my success,” Christensen said. Even after the passing of her father put a pause in her plans, she found her focus once again. Christensen draws inspiration from her late grandmother and added, “She was the seamstress in the family and where I inherited my talent. She was amazing and every day that I get to do this [designing] reminds me of her.”
On August 7, Venni Caprice kicked-off R&R: Resort on the Rooftop at the Revere Hotel. The resort-wear fashion series was hosted by Christina K. Pierce and showcases new designers weekly through the end of August. Christensen ripped up the runway with a combination of sliming silhouettes and flowing frocks that were perfect for poolside, yet sexy enough for six o’clock.
When designing, Christensen does not sacrifice style for comfort or fit. Her dresses, which range in price from $100 to $120, hug hips and cradle curves…but in good ways. It’s not surprising that the designer who embraces bold colors and unique patterns has two closets filled with handmade clothes and one room dedicated just to rolling racks strewn with samples. “Every sample I make is part of my closet because I use myself as a walking business card,” Christensen said.
As Venni Caprice continues to grow, Christensen said she will be working with Christina K. Pierce and her team to manufacture a spring collection for 2014. The line will be large enough in quantity for sale at boutiques and specialty shops. For those looking to add a little Venni Caprice to their attire, visit Karmaloop Kazbah or contact the designer directly.
Models courtesy of Maggie Inc.
Hair & Makeup courtesy of Salon Acote
Photos courtesy of Eric Gauster :: RGPhoto