In Hollywood and beyond, the Pamella Roland brand is revered for its dreamy, elegant take on classic dressing for both day and evening. Soon to be a mother of the bride herself, designer Pamella DeVos is expanding her empire with a bridal collection.
BY DENA SILVER
We hear you’re a Midwesterner?
I live in Michigan and New York, but my business is totally based in New York, where 100 percent of our line is produced. I go back and forth all the time. I recently had two of my top designers fly over to my summer home in Northern Michigan so I could enjoy
a little of the summertime while we work on our collections.
What inspired you to enter the bridal category?
It was a natural progression, because clients were asking about it. We already dress mothers of the bride and bridesmaids, so dressing the bride herself was something we felt we had to do.
What’s in store for your first bridal collection?
We’re opening with 12 looks, and I really wanted to do different sleeves for each dress. I can’t remember the last wedding I went to where the bride didn’t wear a strapless dress, so I want to help women branch out
a little bit.
Are you working on any particularly special dresses at the moment?
My oldest daughter, Cassandra, is getting married next year, and she’s already informed me that she will be needing two dresses! I can’t tell you how many magazines we’ve looked through. The ceremony will be held at a church, so the first dress will be more of a traditional look, with a sleeve and plenty of lace. For the party, she wants a shorter train and something with a cap sleeve.
What are the other branches of your line?
We have our designer line, Pamella Roland, we have Pamella Pamella Roland, our contemporary line. We offer custom designs for clients as well. We do all kinds of pieces, including separates, but we also do dresses in chiffons and silk faille.
Where can the custom designs be purchased?
Any store that sells our line. We have customers who keep coming back for more and more custom pieces, because they’re thrilled when they find something that fits them so well. We actually hold on to their pattern and continue to make pieces year after year.
We heard you’re close with Nigel Barker. How did that friendship develop?
He wanted to attend our show in September 2007, because many of the actresses he met at the Emmy Awards that year were wearing my dresses. He came backstage and right off the bat we felt a connection, partially because he thought I was so funny! We became good friends and remained so.
Is it purely a social relationship, or is it professional as well?
He shoots all my campaigns now, including my most recent one for fall. He even helps to cast the models. But our friendship isn’t just professional—we’re so close that he and his family came up to Northern Michigan to visit us this past summer.
Tell us about your passion for art!
I’m on the board at the Whitney, and I’m actually one of its vice presidents. We’re so excited about the new building downtown. All kinds of artwork interests me, especially modern art. But since I joined the board of the Whitney, I’ve gotten more into American art as well. I love being involved there, because I have some say in what we purchase for the museum.
What type of pieces are included in your personal collection?
We have a few homes, and people can definitely tell that I’m known for my art collections, because I have a lot of great pieces. I have an Ellsworth Kelly piece that is really special—he’s a great artist, and I’m now friends with him, so I bought a piece from his personal collection to add to my own. The last piece I bought was from Richard Serra, Titled July #10, 2011.
How many pieces of art do you own?
Oh, I couldn’t even tell you! There are too many.
What’s your favorite Whitney exhibit so far?
The current Jeff Koons exhibit is amazing. The most recent T.J. Wilcox exhibit, “In The Air,” was sponsored by Pamella Roland and it’s about to go on tour.
Will you continue sponsoring it while it travels around?
I might sponsor it to come to my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His video piece was the inspiration for my last fall show, actually. A lot of the time, my inspiration comes from my travels or the art world.