Story by Desiree Prieto
It’s almost autumn and major fashion magazines have already published their fall favorites. Yet Fashionation has still been searching for the Perfect Dress to weather the 100 plus temperatures; an outfit that is both comfortable and cool to wear, but is also versatile with the changing seasons, looks good with a light scarf, or even an 80s jean jacket and Risky Business sunglasses. The Perfect Dress in South Texas is like an employee in a bad economy—it needs to have transferable skills for the “changing” climate, be ready for work, the club, a birthday party, and specifically a drought.
I met with Valerie Perez, founder of Verseau, and someone who has designed just such a dress. Verseau, a high-end women’s line with an affordable price point, featured The Perfect Dress in their Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Un Amour Delicat.
While debuting at IADT’s annual runway show “Imagine” in May, I finally had the chance to catch up with Perez and couldn’t wait to ask some very titillating questions about her line, such as “Why did you choose chiffon?” Perez, whom has brought the highlights of her collection to our meeting, excitedly explains, “I like the way it feels and hangs on the body, and when you wear it you feel really pretty and feminine; at least I do. The ultimate goal is to make a woman feel like a woman.” While that’s easier said than done, it appears that Perez has managed to meet that goal. Many of her dresses flatter the figure of a real woman as they’re fitted around the waist, breast, torso, and flare out at the bottom to compliment a woman’s most valuable assets.
One of the Un Amour Delicat dresses (pictured in slideshow above) is a low-cut flirty number made of cream chiffon. Like the other dresses in the collection, it is textured, and includes braided straps around the shoulder. “Each piece was designed with the everyday woman in mind,” Perez says, “with careful attention to how the garment falls when she moves.” Other dresses in the collection have similar themes: a backless halter with translucent magenta chiffon and stenciled designs; a dark turquoise chiffon dress with two straps across the shoulders, featuring flowered embellishments on the right shoulder, “So you don’t crush it with the seat belt,” Perez claims; and a similar dark pink dress adorned with rows of gathered chiffon, and a wide ruffle around the hem.
“I only want to create garments that are wearable with real world applications. I didn’t make them fitted below the waist because they are for real women,” Perez explains, “I also tried to make them a wearable length so you’re not afraid to sit down or move in the wrong direction.”
The navy blue chiffon dress—one of my top picks—is simple, but features a large bow to compliment a plunging neckline, and is also finished with a wide ruffle around the hem. “It’s a really flirty dresses,” says Perez. Her dresses are certainly sexy, however, she also has more conservative numbers, like her longer black dress with white, blue, and gray splashes, ruffles around the neck and sleeves, with a modest neckline.
About the Designer: Valerie Perez’s runway shows include The Saint, Queens of Fashion-Model, Mia Robertz performed to Como La Flor by Selena; Threads for Hope Fashion Show, benefitting the San Antonio Aids Foundation; San Antonio Living Show—Celebrando Estilo, La Villita Assembly Hall (IADT); The Beauty of Giving Back Founder’s Day Event presented by Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated – Sonterra Country Club; Great Day SA – SA Youth Summit (IADT); Great Day SA – Imagine, benefiting Eva's Heroes and Career Education Scholarship Fund (IADT); Fiesta Fierce Fashion Parade (with Cassandra Lazenby).