story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Ned and Aya Rosen
fashion styling by Michael Tucker
hair styling by Hitomi Mura
makeup by Isabel Ruiz
models Andrea I. and Sofia Monaco from Ford
Sally LaPointe is one of the higher crests on the new wave of New York City fashion. This is not because her work has been worn by Lady Gaga. That is a nice moment, but it is an effect and not a cause. It is her intriguing creations that place her near the top of this new flood of talent that has been flowing down the catwalks of New York Fashion Week for the past few years. Her personal discipline and artistic self awareness are much greater than you would expect from a 27 year-old. It’s possible to ascribe that to her being a native of Marblehead Massachusetts and coming from sturdy, “New England stock,” but closer to the mark is that Ms. LaPointe has an impressive history of decisiveness and drive. This has been on display since she was accepted into the outstanding Rhode Island School of Design for painting in 2007 and realized she wanted to be a fashion designer instead. From that fateful day she’s been a committed creator and has had a laser-like focus on improving her artistic expression. It is an inner journey but it is in no way a leisurely wander.
This editorial was shot after hours during The Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn. The wardrobe is by Sally LaPointe, with shoes by Walter Steiger, collar necklaces by Laruicci, and a hat in the last shot by Ellen Christine Millinery.
“I think my biggest growth as an artist is control. You have to have a certain control to your work. I have so many ideas and inspirations it is challenging to limit yourself. But if you don’t, people can become confused, I feel it is very important to stay focused, and find that balance as an artist within yourself. This is still something I am working on.”
That is a very mature realization for a designer in only their third season.
Her ability to create designs that balance structure and flow has been one of her early signatures. To do that requires a keen instinct and an awareness of exactly what proportions will create that feel of harmony. “I think maybe this is something that I do innately, perhaps my own personal aesthetic. I am drawn to things with structure, as well as softer edges. I think too much of one thing, can in fact be too much. A balance is always needed.” The sense of correct restraint that emanates from her work is so unusual for an emerging designer that it raises the expectations of future heights of fame.
The challenge then becomes for the designer to stay grounded and focused, again though her maturity seems as if it will protect her from that common trap. Sally La Pointe has a soaring vision but it is built a strong foundation, “I want to create a world that has a reality. I want people to understand my point of view but also be able to live it. My clothing is wearable, and I want people to be able to have access to it. It would be extremely satisfying for me to accomplish this.” To bet against her is to likely drown in a cascade of increasingly impressive collections.