Photo: Bob Reyes
We like to think of summer as a time to kick off those heels and catch up on that imaginary reading list while wearing light, white billowy dresses with abandon. Between mostly outdoor weddings and parties to go to, finding the right breezy yet appropriate look can be a challenge. While on my last trip to Sydney, I stumbled upon the eponymous line of designer, Valerie Tolosa, which embodied the perfect juxtaposition between of-the-moment and vintage.
Tolosa’s vintage-influenced aesthetic includes chiffon-soft layering with lace, Art Deco-style subtle sequins with architectural precision almost reminiscent of the Chrysler building, and chambray dresses punctuated with textured lace detailing. Suffice it to say, I reached Barney’s NY-sale-level hyperventilation heights—a rare occasion, in my case. (One other time was when Betty and Wayne of Paablo Nevada designed pieces for one of my shows at the State Theatre, but I digress!)
My favorite Valerie Tolosa dress is a muted beige lace number with pale pink undertones that can go with bright-colored heels for the summer, or with black opaque tights with patent platform Mary Jane heels (like ones from Repetto Paris) in the winter.
Call me biased given my weak spot for vintage—early nineties Lacroix being a current favorite, but Tolosa’s designs can charm even the most fashion-jaded. It is no wonder that most of the pieces were either sold out or the last ones left in the collection. Equally no surprise that the likes of Miranda Kerr has worn the label, as the pieces appear effortless without seeming too precious, contrived, or ironic.
As it happened, they ended up sponsoring some outfits at my last concert in Sydney, which is always a challenge. Typically, I need room for breathing for singing, which involves expanding the midsection when hitting high notes (not pretty in practice, I tell you!). All things considered, Tolosa’s pieces felt custom-made and were nothing short of a hit!