Friday, November 8, 2013

IN Fashion Friday: Finding Byron Lars

Dress (Byron Lars Beauty Mark); Shoes (Poetic License); Carnelian Necklace (Steinmart)
Multiple fabrics and layers of laser cut details can't be fully appreciated in photos.
Dress (Byron Lars Beauty Mark); Calf Hair Leopard Bag (Michael Kors, TJ Maxx); Shoes (Saks Fifth Avenue, Off Fifth); Earrings (Givenchy, Macy's); Mandarin Citrine Necklace (Aronstam). 
Do you know who Byron Lars is?  Have you even heard the name?  As much as I love fashion, and even though I now know that his moderately priced line is a favorite of First Lady (and much-admired fashionista) Michelle Obama, I had no idea who he was until about a year ago.  Now, I can't get enough Byron Lars, though Byron Lars is hard to come by!

I discovered the Byron Lars Beauty Mark line in my favorite local, family-owned and operated Indianapolis boutique, Enza's, about a year ago.  Enza's itself is a hidden gem - a tastefully curated walk-in closet of a boutique tucked away in the Chamber of Commerce building downtown. Its small size, striking window displays and off-beat location lend it an air of exclusivity that, at first, made me think I couldn't afford anything therein.  That impression was a fallacy.  Let me say that more plainly - I was wrong!  What I found inside this little treasure chest of a store was an incredibly warm and knowledgeable staff, one-on-one attention, impeccable (and included) custom tailoring, and garments all along the price spectrum that share one commonality - they've been carefully selected for their high quality and unique design. 

I also found Byron Lars Beauty Mark at Enza's.  As it turns out, Enza's is the only boutique in Indiana where you can find this line.  Lucky me!  I remember the first time Tony (the buyer for Enza's and son of the feisty and fashionable Enza herself) showed me the lace dress I wore to Stepping Out In Style this year.  "It's a Byron Lars," he said.  "Oh, really," I responded ambiguously, making a mental note to google Byron Lars later because I had no idea who or what Byron Lars was.  

What I did know was that the dress Tony showed me was so beautifully finished that it could practically be worn inside out and still look right.  It was also cut in a way that accentuates the best things about a woman's body and minimizes those things we wish were, well,...minimal.  Tony told me that all Byron Lars' designs have those things in common.  I can now testify to the truth of this statement. 

The dresses I'm wearing in this post are two of my favorites.  The dress in the top photo is from the Fall 2013 collection.  It is a dress for which a photograph is not really good enough.  The mixed patterns, multiple layers of laser-cut fabric, and attention to detail need to be seen (and touched) to be fully appreciated.  The same is true for the black and ivory lace dress (shown in this post), and the cut-out shoulder, draped wool crepe sheath in the bottom photo. The exquisite cut, fabrics, detail, fit and finish of Byron Lars' clothes can only be described as couture.  

Indeed, in a 2010 interview, Byron himself described the Beauty Mark line as "a contemporary priced collection with cuts and an aesthetic that are more indicative of the kinds of collections most could only dream of affording."  Though he initially had a namesake line that was much higher priced, Byron "was disappointed to meet so many women who professed their love for my clothes and who I would have loved equally to have been wearing them, who would also confess that they simply couldn’t afford them and therefore had to settle for merely trying them on at a store and dreaming in the mirror."  From the number of A-list celebrities who regularly don Byron Lars Beauty Mark (in addition to the First Lady), it's clear that making couture design accessible to real-world women has not dampened his credibility or popularity one iota with those who actually could afford to pay much more.  Bravo, Byron!  And bravo, Enza's for making Bryon Lars Beauty Mark (and many other great garments) accessible to THIS real-world woman!

If you live in the Indianapolis area, discover your own style at Enza's!
  • 320 N. Meridian, Suite 109
  • Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
  • (317) 972-6770
  • Mon-Fri, 9-5 and by appointment
  • Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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