Join us in LUAG’s Main Gallery for Behind the Curtain with Lara Bly!
Get a behind-the-scenes peek at the world of fashion design with Lara Bly, owner of Lara Bly Design Studio & Boutique on Bethlehem’s South Side. Known for her elegant-yet-utterly-wearable designs, Lara brings years of international experience in the fashion industry to her Bethlehem studio.
Using live models, original sketches, and designs right from her shop, the ever-effervescent Lara will discuss and demonstrate topics such as how a piece goes from a simple sketch to reality, the importance of movement in a live fashion show, how different fabrics impact design, and more. (Attendees will receive LUAG sketchbooks and a pencil to do some sketching, too!)
Refreshments will be provided.
This event is open to LUAG Members only. To join, visit our website or sign up in person the night of the event. LUAG Memberships are FREE until July 1, 2022.
About Lara Bly Designs Studio & Boutique
Lara Bly Designs is a fashion brand for women that embodies elegance, color, comfort and interchangeable wearability. The Lara Bly brand has been in the making since my childhood when a fascination with creativity, fashion illustration, and glamour began to blossom. Since then, my designs have taken inspiration from the beauty I have found in my journey from the people who have inspired me, to the friends that have supported me, to all of the ups and downs of all my life experiences.
I opened my current Lara Bly Designs Studio & Boutique in 2019, more than doubling the space of my previous workshop on New Street. Since that opening, Lara Bly Designs has hosted several fashion shows in the Lehigh Valley, expanded the number of original designs, hosted numerous in-store events, and supported several local charities through “Shop and Support” fundraisers.
As the store grows, so does the community of Bly Girls that love to sparkle and shine in Lara Bly Custom pieces. Customers can always count on a warm and inviting experience when they enter the store and almost always leave with a new network of supportive women to call friends. We hope you will stop by next time you are visiting South Bethlehem!
About Lara Bly
Since childhood, Lara Bly was enamored with the creativity, illustration, color and glamour of fashion design. At the age of 18, Lara made the decision to go to the American College in London. This turned out to be a pivotal time in the young designer’s life where she met lifelong friends and learned the skills necessary to be in the fashion industry. After gaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design and Marketing in 1995, Lara landed her first job in fashion at a high-end tailoring company in the heart of London. Eventually, she made her move back to the United States to pursue a new opportunity in Los Angeles with a junior wear industry.
After two years in Los Angeles, Lara took the plunge and began freelancing in New York City, but it wasn’t long until she got the urge to travel and was offered a position to work for a couturier in Beirut, Lebanon. After five years of continuing to develop her designs in the Middle East, Lara ultimately decided it was time to return to her roots in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, Lara settled down in Bethlehem, PA where her focus shifted from the fashion industry to starting a new family and navigating several personal tragedies. But, the draw to fashion and designing was too great to ignore and Lara slowly began picking her sewing and pattern-making back up and growing her confidence. When a colleague’s friend came over and noticed Lara’s work, she asked to purchase three pieces, and that’s when everything clicked: Lara would begin her own solo career as a fashion designer.
Lara’s original studio was in the Banana Factory and this was where she committed to renewing her career and officially beginning her own fashion label. She worked diligently on creating small collections, hosting several fashion shows, and attracting new clients. Year by year, the momentum continued to grow.
“Sometimes, our paths waiver from where we think we are supposed to be. It is our mistakes that teach us. It is our pain that makes us strong. It is our true friends and family that give us strength. But it is ultimately we ourselves who are in charge of our dreams and what we do with them.”
In January, 2019, Lara officially kicked off a new chapter of her career when she left her studio and opened her first boutique. For Lara, building her brand and bringing original fashion to the Lehigh Valley community have been the most fulfilling aspects of her professional career, but she readily admits that this is only the beginning.