Sooo….I know its been awhile and the world is a whirlwind but the time has come to introduce you all to my muses for the BETA COLLECTION. And what better time then March as Women’s History Month comes to a close. Like the Alpha collection, when it came to BETA, I was intentional about creating for women who meant something to me and this jaunting journey has been more than worth it.
It is incredible to say that I have completed my second collection in under two years as a designer. Each piece has brought me so much joy and affored me the opportunity to really hone into my own aesthetic and establish a lane all my own.
While I would coin myself as an ALPHA- I would describe the BETA “beauty” or muse as every woman and I believe we all possess an ALPHA and BETA side to our personality dependent upon situation and circumstance. The question stands which side is more dominant in your personality and how does it show up in your life. By Devereaux definition- Alpha women are seen as strong, independent, self-aware and driven but their dichotomous lifestyle as a “Beta” is also represented throughout their daily lives, creating a sense of duality. The Beta appears softer or reserved and she may appear to be more demure than her ALPHA counterpart. But in the land of Devereaux- all of these women, whether ALPHA or BETA are bosses.
The muses of my collections are not only powerful in their careers on the silver screen and throughout pop culture but are also women who I know personally like my sisters, mother, grandmother as well as friends and they serve as “my why“. Famous or not- they are the everyday woman making decisions and taking chances in order to create a better life for themselves and those they love.
So without further adieu- I present my Beta Beauties.
First up is Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, fondly and famously known as Jackie Kennedy to some and Jackie O to others. A fashion icon to say the least, what I loved and respected about Miss Jacqueline is that she carved out a career for herself. Whether she knew it or not, she was more than just a First Lady and mother, she was a woman of iconic style and grace with a presence close to perfection.
But her life didn’t come without troubles. To handle such a devastating blow as to lose your husband and love of your life as he laid dying in your arms and to continue on with a life in the public eye is no easy feat, especially in the shadows of such a powerful man. To disspell rumors and tabloid attacks so graciously and yet to always appear so well put together even when I’m sure every bit of your being is breaking inside is the stuff only women like Jacqueline are made of.
She carried on and forged her own legacy built on class and sophistication and leveraged a life that afforded her the opportunity to be seen as more than just Mrs. John F. Kennedy. As for her style- whether casual or couture, she carried herself with a sense of owning who she was no matter what.
When it comes to the impact of Jacqueline- it wasn’t enough to create just one look so you can expect to see the “Jacqueline” blazer AND the “Kennedy” suit.
Next, there is Grace Kelly also known as the Princess of Monaco. A siren on silver screen in her own right, Princess Grace was a breathtaking beauty whose charm oozed on and off the film.
Close friends with ALPHA muse- Josephine Baker, she was advocate for the rights of not only women but women of color and when Josephine Baker struggled to be seen and heard in America, Grace relocated her to the town of Monaco and supported her throughout her career until Miss Baker’s death. She even sponsored her final celebration and performance honoring her decades in show business just days before Josephine’s death and led to her being memorialized in Monaco Cemetary.
As an icon and verging on the side of vanity- this woman did not, could not take one bad picture. With her flawless porcelain like face and feminine frame, Grace Kelly- took the both the film and fashion worlds by storm. She like Jackie O were quintessential ladies. Always poised. Always elegant. Always so well put together.
So of course in homage to her, I had to create a suit in a gorgeous signature green that I can’t wait for you to see.
Then we have BETA beauty-“Madeleine”. Named for one of my absolute favorite characters from my childhood- from the book series by Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline was a playful little girl from Paris (the place of my dreams) that was always on some cool and fun adventure and I often times found myself as a little girl dreaming that I was her.
When creating the look, I wanted to make something very special that allowed the world to follow Madeleine as her adventures led her into adulthood. I wanted to create something that the girl now turned grown woman would wear.
So you can expect a beautiful double breasted blazer dress especially made for “Madeleine” to make its way on the scene.
Next, there is the bombshell of the BETAS- French actress and star, Brigitte Bardot. A buxom blonde beauty who came on the scene as a sex symbol of sorts and stole the show. In fashion- she has even coined her own neckline- the Bardot which is a “wide open neck that exposes the shoulders” style.
Starring in more than 47 films and musicals- the BAFTA nominated beauty is one of style and fun so you can expect the “Brigitte” to be one of details and a blazer that makes a statement.
Then, there is the “Adrienne”. This style is particularly near and dear to my heart because it was designed with an incredible woman in mind- my eldest sister- Adrienne. She is representative of a BETA to me- because her personality is often opposite to mines. Very calm. Very settled. Very reassured.
A woman of no fuss or frills with a simplistic style aesthetic that she is true to and this month being not only Women’s History Month but the month of her birth ( March 13th), I felt like it was more than appropriate to dedicate and design a style based on a real life beauty and influence in my life.
To know Adrienne is to know her love of family and strive for continuous growth. Her love of all things natural and organic- not just health wise but in life. She doesn’t believe in forcing anything. It either works or it doesn’t. Its either meant to be or it isn’t and one thing she has constantly reminded me- is that what is meant for me will never miss me, meaning my destiny is my destiny.
You can expect the “Adrienne” to be clean and crisp with the attention to subtle detail.
Finally- there is the Queen of Fashion, none other than Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Many don’t know but she first began her career as a cabaret singer named “Coco” which is where the nickname came from. After some time- this led her to become a seamstress and then in 1910 she opened Chanel Modes- a millinery as a hat maker. Many began to respect her quality of work in the area of hat making and in that time when fashion seemed so one note, she set out to change it.
At the time of her fame as an early designer, corsets and cinched waists were in and Coco wanted to “release” women from the confinements of fashion and felt like her clothing style of loose wares would be revolutionary but also refined and she was right.
People have always looked to France and in particular Paris to lead the way in the forms of fashion and style and Chanel knew it. So she took her talents to Metro-Goldwyn Film House- (yes that Goldwyn) and secured a contract for $1 million in 1931 which would equate to $75 million dollars today. For a female designer was unheard of. While under Metro Goldwyn, she was exclusively creating for the starlet likes of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. And even though she had a dislike for Hollywood and their stylings of women (she found it limiting), it didn’t stop her from cashing major checks.
She took the funds from her shops in France and the film industry and really began to establish herself as a true luxury fashion house, expanding into suiting, handbags, jewelry with the famed “camellia” and of course perfume with Chanel No. 5. Anything a woman could possibly need to look and feel fabulous and making herself quite possibly the most famous designer and female in the world even today.
The reach and longevity of Miss Chanel’s career has been more than awe-inspiring as she was able to capitalize on the hard times like World War II and continue to grow a business well after. Her fashions and styling weren’t considered loud or garish- but much more demure and dainty, the way she wanted ladies to be looked at. That was the BETA in Gabrielle Chanel.
But she was certainly an ALPHA when it came to business. She wasn’t afraid to speak up when necessary and definitely was never willing to play to the background when it came to decisions regarding her brand. So the look I created in homage to her was a classic black and white houndstooth. However, where Devereaux’s details come in are in the oversized styling of the pattern and the fabrication as the blazer is made of velvet.
Each of these women have played an integral part in my life and design process and I am incredibly proud of this second collection and even more proud to present it to you all as I approach my 2nd year in business for the DeVeReaux brand.
If you follow me on social media – then you have caught a sneak peek of my most recent photo shoot and even the collection. If not check me out on IG- @houseofdevereaux or Facebook- Devereaux LLC.
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