From Parris With Love: Meet Designer Louisa Parris

When it comes to the fast-paced and highly detailed world of fashion, one small mishap could potentially lead to a total collection meltdown. Such was not the case for rising womenswear fashion designer Louisa Parris, who admits the launch of her eponymous line was a bit of an accident.

“It wasn’t intentional, I never thought I’d quite be ready, but I just thought, ‘Well, you know, get those gowns that I’ve drawn off the page and make them into 3D pieces.’ Now I live and breathe it, ” said Parris in her charming English accent.

The designs would never have left the pages of Parris’s sketchbook had she not been selected as the eveningwear winner of the 2008 Gen Art’s Styles International Design Competition, something she decided to enter “on a whim.”

Originally from England, The Central St. Martin’s graduate started her design career with popular brands like Mulberry, DKNY and Ghost until settling in San Francisco soil in 2005, where she began teaching fashion design at the Academy of Art University. Parris has since left the corporate fashion scene and her teaching post to further develop her brand that has received some well-deserved recognition in publications such as The Collective, Elle, Latin American Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.

The rave reviews admire Parris’s previous collections of clean-lined, long, flowing gowns that were generated by an array of inspirations, from abstract shapes and colors to cultural muses such as Amish quilts and Elizabeth Taylor á la the 1960s.

What’s next on her agenda?

“I’m working on some really unique accessories, [where] I get to put a real flair into the designs. It will be quite distinctive,” said an excited Parris.

As for her next collection, that’s between Parris and her drawing boards, as the designer is keeping her creations under wraps until their debut expected sometime later this year.

And even though Parris is a fan of San Francisco stores like Vintage à la Mode and Torso Vintages, don’t expect to find any of her draping ensembles on any local racks just yet. For now, you can scour the collections on the Louisa Parris website and contact the designer to have a gown made especially for you.

Photography courtesy of Michael O’Neal for Louisa Parris. Hats by Laela Barnard