Calla’s Debut Offers Sought-After Prints and Couture Techniques

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Photo: Courtesy of Calla

Up-and-coming designer Calla Haynes was granted an auspicious start to her fashion career. While studying abroad during her third year at Parsons, she was offered a position creating jacquards, prints, and embroideries for Olivier Theyskens, then at work on his second collection for Rochas. The young designer put off her senior year at Parsons to accept. In 2006, she accompanied Theyskens to Nina Ricci, and after two years, she went freelance, creating standout prints for Alexander Wang, Jeremy Laing, Erin Fetherston, and others.

She launched her own eponymous collection for spring 2010, which was well-received during a presentation at Paris Fashion Week. The collection blends exquisite fabrics with a casual-chic sensibility. "I wanted to mix couture techniques with a tomboy sense of style," she says, "Personally, I wear a lot of jeans and T-shirts, but when I was designing with Olivier I'd be working on these $25,000 ball gowns." The resulting collection — though undeniably upscale – has a bit of both: a slouchy, patchwork weekend jacket made of rare fish leather and luxurious hand-printed silks alongside viscose-jersey T-shirt dresses. The signature piece is the Gaine dress, a stripped-down, bustier-style frock that can be layered with her hand-printed fabrics and embellished chiffon skirts. The debut collection garnered orders from Parisian luxury boutique Maria Luisa, the St. Regis Room in Toronto, and Debut in New York. Haynes is now at work on the winter collection, which will incorporate five original prints, along with jacquard, and embroidery. Click ahead to view more looks from the spring line.