NEW YORK — It pays to have connections.
As vice president of the board of trustees at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Pamella Roland was able to secure the coveted venue for the first-ever fashion show held at the new Renzo Piano-designed building that is the talk of the town.
It merged Roland's love for fashion and art with a spring collection inspired by the legendary Frank Stella (a retrospective of the artist's work opens at the Whitney next month) with high-tech panache.
Noting that Stella used unorthodox materials in his paintings, Roland incorporates such unusual fabrics as PVC Nebula lace, reflective taffeta, LED fibers and plexiglass beading into her dressed-up designs. The opening look, a strapless silk ivory gown, gets a futuristic sheen with an organza LED shrug. Satin coats and shift dresses look almost 3-dimensional with intricate pearl beading and plexi designs.
Roland also utilized the origami pattern she is known for in gowns and dresses, creating striking color combinations of red and pink, citron and mint, or orange and pink. And a silver strapless sequined jumpsuit is a real sparkler.
At the end of the show, which attracted celebrity guests Mary J. Blige and Fashion Police panelist Brad Goreski, a wall lifted to showcase the models in a tableau lit with colors from the collection. It, indeed, looked like a piece of fine art.
In Houston, Roland is carried exclusively at Elizabeth Anthony.