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Alice Ritter  NY Fashion Week Fall 2007

Fashion Ledge - Alice Ritter

This is a very romantic, Edwardian inspired collection of fitted, cropped jackets with gathered sleeves and flounce back, alongside crisp, button front shirts and dresses that Alice Ritter has become known for.? This season, she works in dark shades from black and grey to rich olive greens and royal purples to caramel and white using a mixture of woven fabrics, heavy cotton twills, wools, canvas cottons, silks, and wool gabardine. From a perfectly elegant silk blouson top with accordion butterfly arms to a simple silk chemise with a tiered ruffle bottom to loosely fitted jumper style patterned dresses with cinched bottoms, this collection's focus is on the charmingly ethereal and romantically inclined woman.

With its soft lines and finely tailored craftsmanship, the clothes are equally imbued with a particular sense of masculinity embedded amid the feminine mystique. The pants are either wide legged or more streamlined with side fasteners and the aforementioned cropped jackets are affixed with ruffle lapel and a tiered flounce back to depict the Edwardian influence that Ritter is so taken with this season. Pleated faille skirts and ruffled front trenches, along with custom-fit zippered coats, round out this chic collection. About Alice Ritter:
It was as a young girl playing dress up in heirloom corsets and dresses from the 19th century that were found in her grandparents' attic and her fascination with all the French designers that were featured in Vogue from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent to Balmain, that initially captivated her to the craft – even before she knew how to craft! At the tender age of nine, she was already trying to sketch the Saharienne dress from YSL and discovered that it was not “un exercice facile”! Fortunately, none of this daunted her passion for fashion and after moving to NY, she plunked down and bought a sewing machine, ripped apart some vintage pieces just to see how pants were made or how a sleeve looked lying flat on tracing paper. It was through this process that she taught herself the art of pattern making. With patience and determination, soon some of her pieces landed in a local Brooklyn boutique called Isa and sold out within a week! This got her design juices flowing and and she is now living out her dream as a fashion designer.

Ritter's signature style in her own words would be "French Girl in New York" or "French Romantic meets Annie Hall." She's attracted to femininity with a certain masculine edge and finds nothing sexier than a "woman who assumes being a little masculine as well." She incorporates this sensibility in all the tailored pieces, jackets, and crisp white shirts that are staples in her collection that combine the romantic soft lines with a bit of the tough Parisian girl finesse. Ritter understands that designing starts with what her personal needs as a woman dictates. All her pieces reveal a little bit of herself in them. She's always trying to design what she terms as "the perfect uniform"- or the ideal outfit that will take her from day into night seamlessly and one that she would feel comfortable wearing endlessly. "I honestly ask myself if I would be wearing what I design – and I do! It's the best way to find out what works or not."

She's now churning out her fourth season with her clothes being sold at exclusive stores across the country and abroad from Barneys New York and Fred Segal in the States to Colette in Paris, Beams in Japan and Browns in London among a host of other fine apparel boutiques. After only two years of designing under her belt, Onward Kashiyama has already tapped her this season to co-design a few items for their NAVE AW07 collection. She will contribute four to six pieces.

Ritter currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and their dog, Iggy.

For more info:
Jenny Rodriguez
41 Great Jones Street, 2nd Fl
new york ny 10012
Phone: 212.353.9141

Photos: Raymond Taylor
complete collection

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