Waldorf & Chanel: What Could Be Better?

Orange is the New Black

By Naomi Ratner

Lauren Kessler’s Blair Waldorf-inspired designs are a must have for any Syracuse University fashion addict.

Kessler recently launched Lauren Nicole Accents, a unique accessories line focused on handmade headbands and headpieces, some of which can be worn as jewelry. And let’s be serious, a two-in-one accessory is quite the buy.

“I always wanted to have my own line,” said Kessler, a sophomore fashion design student. “I just decided to throw some jewelry and necklaces together and wrapped them around plain headbands…and it just turned into something!”

It can take Kessler between 45 minutes and two hours to craft each headband using high quality silk chiffon, silk charmeuse, lace, and ribbon. She sits quietly with the Dave Matthews Band playing in the background, eyes focused on the pieces between her fingers as she adds a vintage touch with beads, chains, crystals, and stones to create a headpiece with its own hint of personality.

“I like having things that other people don’t have, which inspired me to start this line,” she said. “I wanted to start something that was new and different.”

Kessler finds inspiration in vintage designs, couture fashion, and the really funky, out-there pieces seen on runways. Kessler’s designs are exceptional because she is able to transform haute couture runway designs into wearable accessories.

The designer’s inspiration has already turned into two full collections of headpieces — “Gothic” and “Shell.” The “Gothic” collection uses dark colors contrasting with bright neons, exhibiting a rocker-chic aesthetic. “Shell” was inspired by the same French picture book that Karl Lagerfeld used as his muse for a Chanel collection.

Using her personal connections in the fashion world, Kessler gained important experiences within the fashion industry that helped her start her brand. As a high school senior in 2007, Kessler interned in the design department of Vera Wang, which allowed her to see the inner-workings of a major fashion house. In 2009, Kessler interned with Oscar de la Renta in the retail-merchandising department, which gave her the confidence she needed to launch Lauren Nicole Accents.

“The Oscar de la Renta internship was really helpful for creating the company,” Kessler said. “I learned about pricing and sales, and they helped me a lot with the steps I needed to take to start the line.”

The edgy headpieces, priced between $35 and $70, can be purchased directly through the designer or at the VPA Student Fashion Show on October 24.

Though the line is new, Kessler is confident that Lauren Nicole Accents will expand beyond of the SU campus.

“I’m hoping to see [the line] get into stores and boutiques in New York City, and hopefully it will develop to other items — other accessories, and maybe even clothes,” said Kessler. “There’s something in the works!”

With her flair and desire to create anything and everything that is cutting-edge, Kessler’s designs look as though they are headed for Bergdorfs.

For more information on Lauren Nicole Accents, contact laurenlnaccents@gmail.com.

CultureThe EditorsComment