Nightcap Designer Carisa Brambles’s Take:
Any stylish female who has sat at the lower bar inside the Hôtel Costes in Paris can tell you about its dark, seductive vibe. There’s an ancient charm to this boutique hotel that’s unlike any place I have ever been. I was there during Paris Fashion Week Fall 2009, sipping my favorite cocktail, a French kiss, with Kate Ciepluch as we waited for an adventurous night to begin, when I saw a woman in an ivory lace gown, fitted just for her. She lit up the room in a dress that could easily have been from the 1800s. It’s only in Paris that you catch fashion at its best. I was instantly inspired to transform the beauty of her antique gown into a Nightcap cocktail dress.
The Victorian Lace Dress (pictured above) embraces both the elegance and the seduction of the boudoir. It can be worn in any city from L.A. to New York to Paris. I added my own refined details as a designer and chose a lace with an old-fashioned look. The lace itself is from Paris and made especially for this dress. It has just the right amount of stretch and hugs every curve of a woman’s body. The dress is by far my favorite piece I have ever designed.
Carisa and Kate at the Hôtel Costes bar, drinking French kiss cocktails.
Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch’s Take:
When Carisa gets excited about something, she visibly enters into a trance of concentration and deep thought. Her imagination, passion, and ability to make her vision a reality is so inspiring. At Paris Fashion Week Spring 2010, Carisa stepped out of her apartment rental wearing the Victorian Lace sample with black suede over-the-knee boots and looked so incredibly sexy and sophisticated. I knew this piece was going to be the starting point of a story for our spring trend report.
Carisa is my partner in crime when it comes to Paris—she has an intense love for the city that is intoxicating. We spend our days there finding the very best vintage stores, meeting the chicest Parisian women, going to runway shows, and sitting at cafés people watching. It’s always a highlight of my year.