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Interview with dress designer: Nathalie Lambert from Alyce Paris

ALYCE Paris has had a long and distinguished history in the fashion industry and is making a comeback as the new “it” design house! Since 1967, ALYCE Paris has dressed celebrities, political figures, and the girl who wants to dress like a starlet, on any special occasion!  Many girls want to design dresses, but what does it take? We sat down with Nathalie Lambert, the Design and Merchandising Manager for ALYCE Paris.

We’re sitting with Nathalie Lambert, the Design and Merchandising Manager for ALYCE Paris.

Q. Nathalie, can you tell us a little bit about how you began your career at ALYCE Paris?
A.  I have been designing dresses for almost 25 years. I really can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! I used to work out of Alyce’s studio in her house while going to school for design. She was my mentor, and has taught me so much about dress design in the Parisian tradition, from pattern making, designing, and sewing fabric into a work of art.


Payton Rae's dress design sketch by Nathalie Lambert

Country music singer Payton Rae’s dress design. Sketch by Nathalie Lambert at ALYCE Paris.

Q.  How do you find inspiration for your dress designs?

A.  There are different approaches when it comes to dress designing. One is to gather inspiration from magazines, online, visiting stores, and watching what people are wearing. Afterwards, I process the information and do some quick sketches, then zero in on a quick sketch I like, and sketch it again, but this time with more detail. Another approach is to work with patterns or to drape fabric directly on my dress form to see what the fabric can do.


Q.  When designing a dress, what do you keep in mind? What fabrics or styles are you using for this collection?

A.  ALYCE Paris focuses on the woman who wears the

Payton Rae prom dress by ALYCE Paris

Exclusive prom dress design for Payton Rae by Nathalie Lambert at ALYCE Paris.

dress by choosing flattering fabrics and wonderful fit. For example, sequined fabrics are popular right now in all different shapes,  sizes, and patterns. Sequins are shown throughout our collections. Another staple are chiffons of many different textures and finishes. I especially like the iridescent silky chiffon, which drapes and hangs beautifully.


Q.  You recently designed music sensation Payton Rae’s prom dress at her direction.  Are there any plans to sell this dress?

A. Currently we are not selling the dress, however we have talked about the possibility of releasing a Payton Rae dress. I think it would be a great prom dress!

Here is Payton Rae describing here prom designing experience with ALYCE Paris’ Nathalie Lambert.

Payton Rae Twitter LinkFollow Payton Rae on Twitter @PaytonRaeMusic

Q.  If you had to characterize the different lines, how would you describe the main themes in each line?

A.  B’Dazzle dress collection has a lot of chiffon dresses, such as style numbers 35500 and 35442.

Sweet 16 dress collection uses organza and tulle in a variety of colors, such as style number 3545.

We hone in on the festivities of homecoming with lots of sequins, as seen in style number 4307.

Claudine for ALYCE Paris has fully beaded, lace, and sequins, which are showcased in style numbers 2245 and 2192, just to name a few!

ALYCE Paris dress collection has a large variety of fabrics to please all types of tastes.

The most popular styles throughout the history of ALYCE Paris are classic styles with an added flair.


Q.  Are there any memorable moments that stand out in your mind?

A.  I remember modeling during our markets in Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta, and enjoyed wearing all of the fabulous dresses. The best part was seeing the reactions from the customers firsthand. Over the years, I have enjoyed traveling with Alyce for work. She took me to Paris, China, Korea, and the Philippines, just to name a few! I loved working with Miss, Mrs. and Teen Illinois pageant winners, and helping Alyce come up with some show stopping pageant gowns.


Q. Many girls want to be a dress designer when growing up. What does it take to make it in the fashion world?

A. Here are a few tips to break into the fashion world: Not in any particular order.
Get a degree in fashion. Fashion design, fashion merchandising or both.
Try to get an internship in the fashion industry allowing you to make contacts while gaining experience and knowledge in the field.
Make more contacts by going to fashion shows or events.
Get a job in the fashion industry. Modeling, retail, wholesale, writing and public relations to name a few.


Q. Is there any lessons you’ve learned that you would like to add?

A. If you really want to achieve something, you can do it with hard work and perseverance. I have worked in many areas of fashion. Model, retail, wholesale, production, designing and teaching design. All these experiences increased my contacts and knowledge of the industry. I love what I do and would not trade it for the world.


Payton Rae’s dress (dress sketch above) was designed by Nathalie Lambert with the direction of Payton Rae.  The dress is a crystal encrusted taffeta corset top.  High-low textured organza skirt with ostrich feather accents.

Payton Rae prom dress by ALYCE Paris

Dress designed exclusively for Payton Rae by Nathalie Lambert at ALYCE Paris.

Payton Rae's prom dress designed by ALYCE Paris payton-rae-prom-dress-1 payton-rae-prom-dress-2


To locate an ALYCE Paris prom dress, access their store locator here: http://alyceparis.com/alyce/store-finder.html
ALYCE Paris Twitter LinkTo follow ALYCE Paris on Twitter: @alyceparisusa


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