Five days earlier, we dropped by the Nanette Lepore showroom-slash-design studio. That's five days before the designer was set to show her fall/winter 2014 collection at the tents. And it was just as how you'd imagine it'd be: a high-pressure whirlwind of creative chaos and mad genius in play. "Every season is a different form of hectic, but this season I'm really stressed out," she confided to InStyle.com. "The year started off with so much snow, it was hard to feel motivated, and now it feels more behind than usual."
We arrived at Lepore's atelier in the heart of NYC's fashion district at 9 a.m., witnessing pattern-makers, seamstresses, print-designers, and of course, Lepore herself, already hard at work. "We're so lucky because we still have a design room," Lepore said proudly. "It's an old model, since most companies manufacture overseas now—which is a little sad." With an in-house studio, any tweak or alteration can be made on the spot (and with the added pressure of finalizing a collection for a show just days away, it's a necessity).
Her fall 2014 collection points to that idea as well, celebrating artisanal details and craftsmanship—but on a global scale, with inspired embroideries, prints and patterns from all over. Her line might have an international feel, but the starting point hits a lot closer to home. "The print we developed was actually from this funny little piece I bought from the flea market," said Lepore as she rummaged to find it. "I was looking for something that was evocative in terms of the embroidery or print." From that singular fabric, her collection came to life. Take a tour through her studio and find out her favorite pieces, her lessons learned, and more.