Famed photographer, and host of The Face, Nigel Baker and designer Pamella Roland sit down at Lord & Taylor tonight to talk about her diffusion line. LT-Insider had a chance to talk to them leading up to the event to find out some of their fashion fundamentals.
LT-Insider: What was your first job in fashion? What did you love about it?
Pamella Roland: At 15 I got my first job in retail starting as a stock girl. I stayed there all through high school and University and worked my way up to management. My favorite part was receiving new merchandise and seeing what the new colors and trends would be for that season.
How is your diffusion line different for you? How is the woman different?
The biggest difference is the price, and I love the challenge of giving this new customer a great look with beautiful quality yet more affordable. I don’t see her as completely different, but I do see a younger woman becoming a Pamella customer.
What do you find to be your greatest inspirations when you’re designing?
Travel and art always inspire me and for this collection my 2 daughters inspired me in the way they dress. They are both youthful and elegant and love fashion.
What is the ultimate city for you? New York? Paris? Why?
It depends. I love New York for the energy and people watching and I love Paris for the beautiful architecture and art; especially the Louvre! Chicago is also one of my favorite cities.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
I would have to say that since I studied Art History I would be a curator or perhaps have a gallery, selling work by my favorite artists.
LT-Insider: How do you know Pamella?
Nigel Barker: I was co-hosting the Emmy’s in Los Angeles for Fox and noticed how quite a number of the gowns I liked on various celebrities on the red carpet were by designer Pamella Roland. She was a relatively new name at that point and I made it my business to attend her next show at New York fashion week. I had back stage access and after getting past security I bumped into Pamella with her daughters. Sydney and Cass luckily for me, recognized me from America’s Next Top Model as Pamella had no idea who I was and excused herself politely before being nudged to say hello by her daughters! We ended up having a charming down to earth chat about her collection and where she was from and I was quite taken by this hard working mom from Michigan who was designing frocks for A-listers and showing at New York Fashion Week! I invited her to my birthday party, which she attended with her husband Dan, and a great friendship was forged.
What does NYC represent for you when it comes to fashion and style?
I am a born and bred Londoner and have lived in Milan and Paris amongst other international fashion capitals and it was always New York that anybody who was anybody in the business was headed to almost like Mecca. All the other great cities have their certain flavor and point of view but they tend to be specific to the country and the people who are from those countries. What New York offers is very unique, unlike the salad bowl of style and fashion, The Big Apple is more like a melting pot creating a creative soup where anything is possible and variety abounds. New York is both rough and ready as well as glamorous and fragile. These juxtaposing positions have inspired countless artists throughout the past century from Avedon to Warhol and there’s not a day that goes by that I am not pushed to think outside the box.
For you, what would be the must have piece from Pamella’s new collection?
I am partial to the whole collection as there is something for every event from the red carpet, the prom, a cocktail party, to dinner with your boyfriends parents! But one of my favorite pieces is a black crepe halter jumpsuit with patent leather trim. It’s super chic and a classic.
Who do you believe to have inherent and impeccable style?
Obviously there have been style icons throughout history and I work with a plethora of woman and men who not only dress impeccably but help create the looks that not just speak to today but often times endure beyond the fads to become truly iconic. I am a big fan of our First Lady Michele Obama’s effortless chic and sophistication as well as actresses like Angelina Jolie who make a statement with their ease and attitude as well as their fashion, making them particularly fun and inspiring people to dress.
What are you looking forward to most this season of The Face?
Season 2 of The Face is back with a bang! With an extended season of 10 episodes coached by none other than the legendary Naomi Campbell and supermodels Lydia Hearst and Anne V, there is fun and hijinks as well as great fashion tips and insider knowledge in every episode. The grand prize this season is also to become the face of none other than Frederic Fekkai’s 2014 Fall campaign and our winners get a spread by our new magazine partner Elle Magazine. From runways on fully laid dining tables wearing the Pamella collection to shoots with Giles Bensimon for Elle magazine and campaigns for Alex and Ani, Liebeskind and Chopard, this is a season you can’t afford to miss!