Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just wrapped in New York on Thursday. I’m no fashionista, but ever since Project Runway debuted, I’ve paid closer attention to the world of haute couture. It’s not just the clothes, of course. There are the exotic monikers of the supermodels – Frederique and Doutzen, Kinga and Honorine, Sofi and Shalom. This week I noticed that the designers themselves sport some inventive appellations, and even classics like Michael sound better paired with Kors.
Callula Lillibelle – The designers behind Callula Lillibelle are MelanieFraserHart and William Calvert. Melanie borrowed her daughter’s name for the company. Callie/Tallulah hybrid Callula and the smoosh Lillibelle are as fashionable as her mother’s designs.
Elene – Elene Cassis is a newcomer to Fashion Week, but her name is an early medieval variant of Helen, found in an Old English religious poem.
Farah – Yes, everyone will assume you’ve named your daughter after Farrah Fawcett. But if Indonesian designer Farah Angsana makes it big, the name will take on a whole other vibe.
Joy – Single-syllable virtue names are big, and boys are answering to Felix. Why not the equally upbeat Joy? Designer Joy Cioci boosts the happy name’s style quotient.
Ralph – Ralph is all-but-gone from use, despite the success of designer RalphLauren. Still, Design Mom gave the name to her eldest son, and some parents are cautiously reconsidering him. Leading man Ralph Fiennes pronounces his name Rafe, upping the cool factor considerably.
Tess – Used for characters in literature and box office hits, the diminutive Tess has stepped out of Theresa’s shadow. Designer Tess Giberson adds another dimension to the name.
Vivienne – Years before we’d ever heard of Brangelina, designer VivienneTam added her stamp to the French version of early twentieth century favorite Vivian. Punk pioneer Vivienne Westwood takes the name in another direction.
Borrowing from high fashion doesn’t always work. Chanel and Armani are a little too obvious. But this past week brought plenty of inspiration from talented designers who are just slightly less well known.