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Saturday, April 20, 2024

The hot, summer sun and cloudless skies are the perfect combination for sundresses and baring some skin. Shorts, mini dresses and sheer fabrics can either make the summer a three-month fashion show under the sun or a nightmare.

Local Gainesville designers have created seasonal looks that are functional and unique to their specific styles.

Weightless summer

Nava Ottenberg, owner of Persona Vintage Clothing and designer of Sleepwalk, a line inspired by vintage lingerie and sleepwear, is keeping her line romantic this season with sheer, lacy details and materials.

"I'm always into silks, nylons, soft cottons and rayon. Right now, I'm into see-through," said Ottenberg. "I dye my fabric - I take different things and put them together."

Ottenberg's jewelry and hand-painted pieces feature a bird motif, representative of the idea of free flow and movement that she likes to give her dresses. Most pieces are 'try-on size,' meaning that they are designed to fit most body types.

"The dresses are shells, and it's fulfilling to see dresses take life and take mold on the body," she said.

This summer, the Sleepwalk dresses are shorter, cut lower and have open backs.

"My dresses are sexy, so a lot of younger girls wear them layered," said Ottenberg. "My stuff is always new, it's very cohesive and recognizable, but you can always expect the softness of the material."

For the fall, Ottenberg is looking forward to designing with soft flannels, a feeling which she described as having been washed the perfect amount of times. Inspiration for the next season will come when the weather changes.

"I make clothes so that people can come in, buy it, walk out and wear it," Ottenberg said. "I'm not influenced by occasional trends.

LoKally inspired

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Local women's wear designer Bobby K based his summer collection, full of bikinis, short skirts and mini dresses, on a Brazilian inspiration of safari and military proportions composed of brown, khaki, maroon and olive tones.

Bobby Kelley, recognized as 'Bobby K,' bases his design choices on women's opinions.

As a man designing for women, Kelley likes to make pieces that women will enjoy wearing.

"If a girl wears my dresses, I want her to be the center of attention," he said.

Inspiration comes to Bobby K through his surroundings - something from the news, music or people he meets. The energy from meeting a new person can inspire him to create.

Kelley also keeps up with fashion magazines and watches runway shows because as much as he likes to be creative, he also wants to be marketable to his audience.

His fall collection will be a mix of retro punk and safari motifs. His designs for the season, he said are 'going '80s, going grunge' and are all about embellishment and dying techniques.

"The entire collection will be based on the notion of a girl from the next millennium that is super sexy, super chic, modern, sophisticated."

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