Inside The Divine World Of Alexia María, The Go-To Designer For Society's Modern Swans
If only life were as magical as an MGM musical. Bursting with color, magnificent details, and never without a sense of occasion. For designer Alexia María, it is. Her Upper East Side boutique is a divine vision of a time seemingly long gone.
A rotary telephone fit for a royal sits among a still life of books, gold chiavari chairs, vintage suitcases, cameras and candelabras. In a courtyard just off the main room, a très Parisian scene unfolds as a bistro table set perfectly for two faces the film Funny Face projected onto a white brick wall. A gold framed "Press For Champagne" button beckons a push the fitting room. A discerning penchant for the finer things is present in absolutely every detail, no matter how small.
At the center of it all sits Alexia, a charming creative whose dreamy elegant style feels contagious. Based out of La Jolla, she's been sketching up the sort of playfully classic pieces every socially curious woman desires since launching her first collection back in the spring of 2014. From tailored column gowns and flirty jumpsuits to dramatic cape tops and crystal headbands, we dare you not to fall in love.
How did you come to start your line?
Design has always been a part of my life. I grew up in Mexicali, Mexico visiting my grandmother at her studio where she designed and made everything from costumes to evening gowns. That’s where I grew familiar with the design process and learned the inner workings of an atelier. Thanks to her, I was able to explore my creative side and realized designing was my passion from a very young age. The idea of Alexia María was born after I wore my very own design to a friend’s wedding. It all started because I was on an endless hunt to find the perfect dress. I was looking for something feminine, elegant and with a modern twist. I envisioned the dress I was looking for but after countless hours in dressing rooms I realized that what I was in search of only existed in my mind. So I decided to bring that idea to life and designed the dress myself. After wearing my design out, family and friends started asking me to design dresses for them and the more I did it, the more I loved it!
At first, designing for my friends and family was a hobby for me. I would meet them at my home and end appointments over tea and girls talk - it was comfortable and casual. As word started spreading about my designs, I started receiving calls from friends of friends and then eventually from complete strangers. That is when I realized that my passion and hobby could become something more. I decided to start my own brand and design my first ready-to-wear collection. It became my full time job, working around the clock designing my pieces.
What's the one thing every woman needs in her wardrobe?
LBD - a little BOW dress!
What's your favorite occasion to dress for?
Weddings and Black Tie events, they are the perfect excuse to wear a gown.
How would you describe your style?
Timeless and feminine with a modern twist.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration to be rooted in the style icons and movies of the 1950’s. Women such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jackie Kennedy all uniquely transmitted a feminine style and always looked effortlessly sophisticated. I love to design pieces that pay tribute to this timeless era but at the same time have a modern element.
What's your top, unexpected styling tip?
Grandmother’s closet or vintage shopping! I love styling modern pieces with vintage or timeless accessories. Earrings, handbags, scarves, belts, you name it! I believe the contrast of modern and vintage elevates the total look and makes it unique and more personal.
How do you make Black Tie more modern and fun?
With pants! In my Convertible Collection I have pants and jumpsuits you can pair with an overskirt. The skirt makes it appropriate for the occasion and the pants underneath make it fun and modern. From the back it looks like you are wearing a gown but in the front you are showing off the pants.
In life, do you believe in erring on the side of overdressing, or underdressing?
I believe that there is no such thing as being overdressed!
What's your favorite spot for a night out in New York?
Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. There’s nothing better than a good cocktail listening to live piano jazz music - feels like traveling back in time.
In New York, you can visit her at her boutique at:
27 E 67th St. New York, NY 10065
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
firstname.lastname@example.org +1(212) 249-4303
In Los Angeles, her boutique is located at:
1261 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
or online at alexiamaria.com