A few weeks ago, a group of women gathered at Lindsey Carter's Longborough home for an outdoor lunch. Besides being a get-together for friends and Charleston tastemakers — Look Linger Love blogger Chassity Evans, Candy Shop Vintage owner Deirdre Zahl, and Proud Mary proprietor Harper Poe were all in attendance — the afternoon helped mark the release of the spring/summer collection of Troubadour, the clothing line that Carter has designed since 2010. Appropriately, many of the women in attendance wore some of Carter's newest pieces.
"I think it was a fun way to celebrate the collection," Carter says. "It was a really fun way to get friends involved and a fun day to celebrate. Spring's my favorite to design, so whenever spring is here or I'm designing spring, I always really, really love it."
The spring/summer line is a brighter, fresher version of Troubadour. "Basically, the whole collection was based around the feeling of being at the beach, the waves on your feet, the shapes that you see that are made in the sand and the dunes, and then the colors that you see," Carter explains. There are sandy neutrals and deep, cobalt blue inspired by the water you'll see if you get far enough from the shore, plus the faded neons of sun-bleached bathing suits. The textile patterns recall the heel prints and bird tracks leftover on the beach, or the way the sand wrinkles when the tide goes out. "A lot of times we'll go to Breach Inlet, and you'll see the little ripples and the way that the water shapes the sand," she adds.
Trendy details like stripes, chevron, and muted grays make an appearance too. "I would say for me, it's not something that I consciously try to nail," she says, "but I think that without a doubt, I'm definitely influenced by what I see and things around me ... My response may not be the same as other designers, but it's a response for sure."
This time around, now that Carter is working with a new showroom, she's focused on having a more complete collection. "They've been real big on making sure that all of your pieces go back to each other, that you have enough to put together cohesive packages and deliveries that can be appealing to the buyer and the customer and to merchandise that statement," she says. All sorts of women can find their next favorite item in the collection: A College of Charleston coed could throw on one of the versatile maxi dresses over a bathing suit and add a denim jacket once the sun goes down. With Spoleto season sneaking up on us, there are plenty of pastels for garden parties. And Carter even wore one of her new caftans at a photoshoot for Southern Living, which declared her a "Southern Tastemaker" in its latest issue.
Over the past few months, Carter has been busy getting the collection into stores, and she's already well on her way with her fall 2013 line. The water element will still play a big role in that release — Carter hasn't gotten over the cobalt blue quite yet. And you can expect all sorts of stripes: large ones, small ones, even smaller ones, stripe on stripe on stripe. Then it's on to spring 2014, and, hopefully, another luncheon.
To see the collection and shop online, visit troubadourclothing.com.