Photos by Amanda Coen for Ecouterre

Suzanne Rae FW2013 is all about self-confidence and feeling comfortable with your inner self. Drawing inspiration from a unique sector of the service industry, Suzanne Rae Pelaez turned to the complex yet modest clothing of missionary monks, priests and nuns- a sector that promotes love and goodness by offering aid to those in need. Pelaez told Ecouterre, “I wanted to make thought-provoking clothing that encouraged women to have the kind of confidence that offers goodness and love and really positive, loving vibes.” Pelaez has created a minimalist line of elegantly cut designs dominated by sleek silhouettes and linear geometry that create a clean look. Her garments were accompanied by zero-waste knit pieces designed in collaboration with local knitwear designer Lindsay Degen, adding a lush, tactile element to the collection.

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A range of subtle hues emphasized the purity of the collection. Whites, blacks, greys, blues and burnt oranges with a few minimalist prints popping in kept the collection calm. Debuting the collaboration Suzanne Rae x Degen, knit designs were translated from priests’ and nuns’ simple black and white attire. Pelaez explained her research process, “I looked at a lot of images of missionary monks and priests and nuns and found their clothing to actually be really beautiful. I found there to be a modesty and very humble but also amazing- the layers and the panels and the silhouettes. I tried to translate that into everyday wear.”

And the young designer succeeded. High neck lines and loosely fitted garments made from materials such as georgette, flannel, cupro and tweed, emphasized the designer’s knack for creating comfortable, sophisticated cuts. A long high-necked, black and white panel dress draped heavily over a model. Cinched at the waist with a long white strip running down the center, it immediately alluded to the long robes worn by monks and priests. Talking of the panel dress, Pelaez stated, “I think it’s super strong without being this Hollywood glam look.”

Building on the feminine and feminist philosophy that drives the brand, Pelaez expanded her vision to create a versatile, ageless collection. She explained, “I really think that anyone can wear it from like 20 years old to 60, 70 years old and I think that’s special about this collection… A lot of women who appreciate art tend to really love the Suzanne Rae collection. I think the inspiration [behind each collection] really speaks to them and definitely [to] a confident woman, but I think that confidence exists in everyone.”

Debuting 20 looks last night at New York Fashion Week, this young designers is one to definitely keep your eyes on as she continues to return season after season, with fresh, abstract ideas which she turns into tangible garments.

+ Suzanne Rae