TROPICAL BIRD OF PARADISE ON THE NORTH DAKOTA PRAIRIE

At a recent Costa Mesa Bead and Design Show where we show our own work, we came across Laura Concetta, an apparel designer whose vision was heart stopping in its originality, beauty and the coherency of the collection.  We wanted to get to know her and were invited into her booth, a fairy tale bower filled with jackets, dresses hats and accessories all in rainbow hues of her own hand-dyed textiles. It was a world of femininity in full flower!

Laura grew up in the warm climates of Hawaii and South Africa where she was born, and then attended the European School of Design in Johannesburg.  These tropical memories remain the inspiration for her clothing designs. It’s in the dye bath that Laura works the color magic and creates the ombre effects unique to her work. Pinks and greens and lavender and apricot all flow into one another in dreamy rainbows. Laura gives herself a free hand decorating her clothing with laces, pockets, ribbons and flowers. Not enough embellishment is unheard of for Laura Concetta. Ruffles and lace and hand painted swirls are everywhere! It is her signature style.

Laura and her mother, artist Eva Formanek, have lived in Moorhead, North Dakota for some years, exotic flowers unexpectedly blooming on the prairie. Their studios are mere doors apart, and each of these exquisite women is the artistic inspiration for the other. But Laura is planning to move her studio to Florida. “My work sells so well there” is her understatement. How could it not? It’s exactly what you want to wear when you are surrounded by lagoons and and palms and wearing a hibiscus bloom behind your ear. Of course I had to buy at least one frothy jacket…now I am looking for a hibiscus flower.
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