At Home with Rachel Pally
We arrived to Rachel Pally's Los Angeles home on an LA "winter" day. Tucked in the trees of the hills, the mid-century house is the kind you never want to leave. You may know Rachel as the designer of her namesake fashion brand, Rachel Pally. Like her clothing, Rachel's home feels thoughtful yet effortless. Vintage treasures from her travels and subtle pops of color are carefully placed around the home, making every space feel special. Rachel recently added a few Lulu and Georgia touches to her home and we caught up with her there to chat about motherhood, her fashion line, and her biggest sources of inspiration.
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You started your business right out of college! Tell us about what inspired you to start and what the road looked like to get to where you are today.
After falling in love with making costumes for my dance minor at UC Berkeley, I started to make pieces for myself and my friends. On a visit to LA, I happened to walk into a local boutique and the owner loved my dress. I started to send her pieces that I was hand-sewing at my kitchen table and when I graduated, she suggested I try to start a line! I moved home to LA and made a set of samples and started taking them store to store myself. Pretty soon I found a sales showroom and the rest is history!
Your line feels so put together and fresh but also practical and comfortable. Where do you start when designing clothing?
I start with what I want to wear! I start by thinking about pieces that can be timeless, that can be worn over and over, that can be dressed up or down, worn with sandals or boots or heels...I really feel like my goal is to purchase fewer better things at this stage in my life, and I design that way as well. My goal is to make clothing for all women - all ages, sizes, body types and I want to make the pieces that women pick up time and time again.
What inspires you?
Women I know. Nature. My children. My city. Travel. Art. Music. Pottery. The beautiful thing about creativity is the more you use the more you have. I use my inspiration in so many ways - I play the guitar, I make ceramics, I crochet, I bake, I make clothing... it's amazing how inspiration can be so universal!
On top of owning your own business and designing, you are a mother of two. How do you manage to do both?
I have help! I have a husband who shares the parenting load, both sets of our parents live locally and are very involved with our children, we have a nanny, and our children both go to schools that nurture them and where they are free to be themselves and feel loved. I couldn't imagine doing it all without my support system. But it sure is hard! No matter what, there are only 24 hours in the day and everything always needs your focus. Luckily I'm not a perfectionist by nature and I don't put a lot of pressure on myself for everything to be perfect. Because it's not!
What do you hope women feel when they wear your pieces?
I hope women feel confident, comfortable, and stylish. I hope women feel like they can be themselves and do what they need to do. I wear my clothes every day (except for the occasional pair of vintage Levis...but always paired with an RP top!) so I can attest to the fact that they can be worn anywhere!
You obviously have great taste when it comes to fashion! How you describe your style when it comes to your home decor?
Eclectic and comfortable. I love to gather pieces from my travels, art from friends and family, and make pieces for my home. Everything that we have in our home means something to us.
Seasons are a great way to refresh. What are a few of your best tips to refresh both your home and your wardrobe for the new year?
I love to swap out pillows, add candles on the table in the fall and winter, bring in cuttings from the yard, and swap out the books on my coffee table.
How has your style evolved throughout the years?
I am enjoying the current cycle of fashion which includes linen dresses, oversized sweaters, sneakers, chic flats. Its hard to imagine that I will ever want to suffer through high heels again! As a mother and as an almost 40-year-old, my priorities have changed and to me, stylish also means easy and comfortable. I love that fashion gives everyone the chance to express themselves, and I am glad that women are dressing in a way that suits our ever-changing lifestyles! Its hard to balance work and motherhood and friendships and marriage and all of the other things we deal with...we may as well do it comfortably!