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Local Love: First Look at Alyssa Nicole's Fall 2011 Collection + Q&A With the Designer

Yesterday, Alyssa Casares, a local 19-year-old designer, launched the Fall 2011 collection of her clothing line, Alyssa Nicole. Alyssa's latest work is her most sophisticated and cohesive collection to date. Vibrant reds and blacks, are mixed with a range of textures -- playful red Swiss dot day dresses, and tightly tiered black evening wear -- all of which is perfect for fall.

Each Alyssa Nicole piece is hand-sewn by Alyssa after it's orderd. For the perfect fit, email Alyssa your measurements after placing your order. The Fall 2011 collection is sold exclusively online, with prices ranging from $65-$475.

We sat down with Alyssa to get a quick rundown on her new collection, and on her life as a young designer in SF.

7x7: What's the inspiration behind your Fall 2011 collection?

AC: My new collection is a gypsy/bohemian inspired. I started out designing prom dresses and babydoll dresses when I was 16, but I am turning 20 in a few days so I wanted to design a collection which showed that I have grown not only in age, but in my designs as well. 

7x7: Where did you do your Fall photo/video shoot?

AC: I decided to shoot the lookbook and video on a grassy abandoned hill in the Central Valley near Tracy/Livermore. When I am shooting a collection, I like to find locations that have a sort of run-down feel to them because I like the contrast it gives to my dresses. My boyfriend did the photography and his brother filmed and edited the video. 

7x7: What's the biggest struggle for young designers in SF?

AC: Having a strong support system. I have been really fortunate to have so many people in San Francisco who believe in me, and who have encouraged me to keep designing and pursuing my dream. I work really hard and I am really passionate about what I do, so no matter what obstacles I hit trying to achieve my goals, I will keep designing. The most rewarding feeling about creating/designing something is seeing the end result to an idea or sketch you had. 

7x7: How would you describe your personal style?

AC: I would describe my personal style as romantic and feminine. I love to wear soft, girly dresses with vintage accessories, but I also have tattoos and piercings so that brings a little edge to my style.  

7x7: Where are your go-to spots in SF?

AC: My favorite places to hang in are tea houses like Crown & Crumpet and Samovar Tea Lounge. I am always stressed out so it is really hard for me to de-stress!  Lately, I have been drinking tea while sketching dresses and that is really relaxing for me. 

7x7: Where do you shop in SF?

AC: There are so many little hidden gems in the city that cary unique pieces from indie designers you can't just find in Union Square. I also I collect vintage cocktail hats and I always find something I love when vintage shopping in the Haight. 

 

Check out this video from Alyssa Nicole's Fall 2011 collection photo shoot, shot by Greg Peterson.

 

Lily Ko (lily.7x7 @ gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is an editor at SF Station, works as a freelance stylist and covers food, fashion and fun on her blog, Curated SF.