28A few weeks ago I had the awesome opportunity to work with Lauren Cram, St. Louis’s local creator and designer of VICTROLA, on the photoshoot for her latest collection. Although her designs can stand alone, once we got deeper into the shoot and I got to know Lauren I loved the designs even more! Lauren is a fun, energetic and outgoing gal but at the same time she created a comfortable, laid-back, and creative environment for us to work in. If this shoot couldn’t get any more personal, Lauren hosted it at her home!

So, who is she? And what is VICTROLA? Lauren is a nationally recognized fashion designer who lives vicariously through the alter-ego-of-a-clothing line that she’s concocted: VICTROLA. Bold, sassy and daring – Her designs take on the character she wishes she could be. And who doesn’t want to be that woman? With her keen eye for lush fabrics, strong silhouettes and great sense of style, VICTROLA is the perfect combination of pure girlishness with an edge. Which is DEFINITELY right up my alley!

Where did you get your start with designing clothing?
As a kid, I practically grew up in a dance studio, I was working on being the next prima ballerina. But, what I was always the most excited about was getting to put makeup on and getting into character with my costume. I realized at a young age, that clothes could transform you. You could be anyone you wanted to be on any day. I still have that mentality when I get dressed in the morning, “Who do I want to be today?”

Who would you say VICTROLA is for?
VICTROLA is for the girl that’s fearless, confident, and doesn’t give a second thought to what anyone else thinks!

I absolutely LOVE these caftans! They’re so versatile and perfect for every body type. Where did you draw inspiration for your latest collection?
I wouldn’t call this so much a collection, as an experiment. I just wanted to try something different and find the next “kimono” trend. The 70s vibe has been really big this year, so everything kind of just developed on it’s own. I wanted to make something that was versatile for different occasions and complimentary on different body forms. For instance, you feel like crap, throw on a caftan and milkmaid braid your hair – instant chic. Pair it with jeans or leggings – look more glam while you’re grocery shopping or going to yoga. Wear it as a swimsuit coverup to the beach and you are instantly the babest of babes in all of the sand. Wear a turban with it and you’re the babiest of fortune tellers on Cherokee Street. Or you can just sleep in it at bedtime, then roll out of bed the next morning ready to go (or almost ready to go). I may or may not have done that a few times. For the most part though, this whole caftan deal has been a “what if.” I typically make clothes that are designated for one occasion, or so it seems, and it can be kind of limiting.

I’m obviously drawn to your black designs, but those bright colors are amazing! Just looking at them makes me feel energized!
I really love hand dyeing fabric. There’s something about not always knowing how fabric will react to the dyes. It kind of turns me on and excites me. Makes me want to get out of bed in the morning (Yes, sometimes already in my own caftan)!

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| Designs & Styling: Lauren Cram | Photography: Sandy Gutierrez | Hair: Morgan Dwiggins |
| Makeup: Megan Gad | Model: Rachel James |
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