Below is the letter from the designer featured in the lookbook for the Fall Collection: In A 90s Kinda World

When I was growing up as a kid in the 90s, I was painfully shy. I used to lock myself in my room drawing pictures of clothes and creating my own version of paper dolls using models from magazines and catalogs. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was watching movies and TV. The women I saw on screen didn’t look like anyone I saw around my small town in Ohio and I didn’t look like anyone either – I was plus size by the time I entered 4th grade.

I watched these movies over and over studying the color combinations, the fabrics and the accessories. Since the movie Clueless came out, I wanted to wear a red vinyl mini skirt just like Dionne but I could never find anything close to that especially in plus size. And nearly 20 years later, a version of that skirt that I designed is hanging in my closet.

Designing has always been about recreating that feeling that those movies gave me. I saw these on-screen women confidently wearing short skirts, crop tops, bright colors, and excessive jewelry and they did it all with an I-don’t-give-a-fuck-what-you-think attitude.

It seemed only right to make this collection a tribute to the fictional women who first gave me the strength to start dressing in a way that felt most authentic to me. They taught me that if I wear what I want, people will stare but it won’t because of what I am wearing; they will stare because of how confident wearing it makes me feel.

This collection is for everyone who lives by the words of Living Single’s Regine Hunter -- “I do not wear outfits. I create looks.”


Alysse Dalessandro, Owner/Designer of Ready to Stare

Shop the collection here.

This post was originally published on August 22, 2014.