Local Designer Spotlight: Lauren Roark

On Saturday night I went to an event called HarvestFest in a well-known and very well-liked neighborhood, Hillcrest, here in Little Rock. HarvestFest is pretty much a massive block party, except for the fact that they have a yearly fashion show! It's put on by a great little boutique called Box Turtle which carries a lot of great independent designer pieces. I've always loved the shop because there's a room upstairs that's dedicated to nothing but local designers!

I think in all there were something like six or seven designers who showed, all very creative and unique with their own different styles and influences, but my favorite designer had to be Lauren Roark. I had a feeling that would happen since she loves vintage as much, if not more than me. She's got a pretty vintage shop in one of the local flea markets and I know she sells a few things online too!

Her background in vintage radiated through the silhouettes in her collection, though the vibrant prints and inventive headpieces rounded it out with a much more modern element. I could see myself wearing the first dress more than anything, but I know it's a one-of-a-kind design and there's no way that model is the same size as me!

If I had a fancy flash for my camera like the guy beside me, I'd definitely have more photos to show you. I wish I would've gotten more of Lauren's line and of the line that went right before her, but my camera doesn't do so well at night. I just ordered a Canon Speedlite 580ex on Ebay today, mostly because I have my first paying photo gigs coming up in a few weeks and I want to be prepared, but it'll be nice to have it for nighttime events like this too.

If you're interested in learning more about Lauren or want to get your hands on one of her pieces, just let me know and I'll try to get you in contact with her.


Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

Everything is so playful and exploding with color.

Blackbird Fly said...

OH wow I love all of the tribal-like prints. so gorgeous. Thanks once again for being my "Tea Time Tuesday" interview yesterday.

Yesterday was my highest page views of all time.

So many many thanks
and sending lots of love your way!

-Morgan (Blackbird Fly)
Blackbird Fly

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I like how the feeling is very modern with a taste, a strong taste of vintage. Gorgeous saturated colors and lovely wearable designs. Yeah, good pick, you.

Wish I could peep inside this shop you talk about. How about a future post on Box Turtle?

I've added you to my blogroll, well, because I should have a long time ago. And am just getting around to it.

Kimmy said...

the prints are really great and the styling is amazing. Would love it if you could follow me on my blog..thanks


Jenny said...
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Jenny said...


lets consider another angle to these pictures...the possibility that the face paint and the head dress reduce first nations culture and lived experience to a fashion trend, a stereotype and a product for mainly white and uncritical consumption.

I just wanted to let you know that one of your supporters is interpreting these images in a different way than originally intended.

xo jenny


for more information, here is an article about this.

Rachel said...

I love Box Turtle, too, what a cool idea, I wish we had something like it in NOLa. I actually did a fashion show in Little Rock several years ago with some other designers who had their stuff at Box Turtle, one name I remember is Peach Pavlova because it's so darn cute, anyway, this post reminded me of what fun that was and how cool LR really is :)

Rachel said...

P.S. I agree, Lauren's stuff is awesome, I have some printed shorts in my shop right now that are simlar to the ones in your picture, I'm so into that print right now, and the headress, droooooooling!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Starr! Thanks for the post! I am now addicted to your blog!

(Jenny, good article. I thank you for taking fashion seriously as a socio-political platform. I've always wished I could be more like that. I love that fashion is an expression of our past, our current political climate, and a melange of countless other references, mashed-up and "trickled down." It can be an exploitation and watering down or a wake up call - or even simply a visual cue. And of course references are often misinterpreted (ex. I intended the elements to be those one would find in nature - feathers, vegetable dyes, moss, bat wings etc - but I guess unfortunately Nature has been as oppressed as some minorities). My design philosophy has always been to find beauty in anything. Not that I'm much of an artist, but art is never "safe" and you can never erase history (we can't pretend that certain cultures and the mark they have left on the world and the subsequent exploitation of said cultures never happened). And every reference could be considered a political hot button issue (with no statute of limitations): Egyptian = Jewish oppression, 1950s = women's oppression, nerds = oppression by jocks, etc. The collection was intended to be more human vs. nature than human vs. human (in fact my working title was "How to Stay Alive in the Woods"). But I suppose socio-political issues can never really be avoided or ignored in art, no matter how well-intentioned the artist... I hope I avoided my comment reading like some half-cocked off-topic youtube message board comment. - And no, I am not being sarcastic. I have meant every word sincerely, I promise. Thank you.)


Indy said...

Wow, I loooove the headpiece in the last photo!

kimberly cyr said...
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kimberly cyr said...

Hello! My name is Kimberly Cyr and I was the one who made the headpieces for Lauren Roark's fashion show. I also was the hair and makeup stylist. If anyone is interested in the pieces shown- they will be at Box Turtle for sale. I also have a facebook page:


Here I upload my latest creations and photography, please take a look! If you would like to have a headpiece made, or need a stylist or photographer, please email me at: kimberlycyr@gmail.com or write me on facebook.

Thanks for all the lovely comments, lots of love and determination made all this possible! <3

HANNAH said...

Love your blog!


Jenny said...

Hi Lauren!

Thank you so much for responding to my comment. It really helps to hear the intent behind the image, from the designer herself! I did not intend to critique you or your art (and I too, see fashion design as art) but rather to shine light on a perspective some might not have thought of.

Thanks again and best of luck xooxox


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jenny!


Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

I have to say that fashion is generally a minefield when it comes to the misappropriation of different cultures argument. Headdresses in particular seem to have incited a row this year.
I have to say I find the as campaign for Tommy Hilfiger a bit offensive, featuring a preppy little boy wearing a headdress and making a war cry, but I don't have the same reaction to this collection for some reason.

Perhaps because the images are dreamier, it seems more like a girl taking a walk in the moonlight than a little boy playing cowboys and Indians.

And I certainly agree with kino obscura when she writes that any reference to another culture or time brings a history of oppression with it. I certainly find the obsession with 1950s style, literally interpreted, to be quite strange, since I'm sure most of the girls who wear it wouldn't really have been very happy in that time.

Mamushka Marie said...

wow. i absolutely adore these! really gorgeous, the styling is so inspiring!