The Couturier of Fleet Street: Fashion Designer Luke Aaron
Intrigued by the glamour of decades past, a local designer makes an elegant statement.
Designer Luke Aaron in his North End showroom. (Photos by Ken Richardson)
For Luke Aaron, designing clothes is all about the romance. “Just the idea that there is a fantasy of fashion,” he says. “You look at the magazines or you watch old movies, and these people look so glamorous and beautiful.”
Aaron is also inspired by the theater. After learning sewing techniques at a work-study job in the Tufts University costume shop and earning a master’s degree in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama, he worked for the Broadway costume designers Jane Greenwood and Carrie Robbins in New York. “I wanted so much to make it about the clothes, even though it was about the play,” he says—a realization that spurred him to launch his eponymous line in 2011, away from the Big Apple’s hypersaturated fashion industry.
Drawing on the sleek silhouettes of the ’30s and full skirts of the ’50s, Aaron drapes fabrics to create dramatic shapes. And whether it’s an evening gown for the red carpet or a dress for an upcoming board meeting, many of his garments have a sense of occasion. (His dream customer? Grace Kelly.) In addition to his own designs, Aaron stocks his quaint Fleet Street showroom with all the accoutrements a modern lady might need: vintage jewelry, leather accessories, and gorgeous Panpuri candles and home fragrances.
Aaron’s plans for the future include expanding his bridal line and getting his pieces into boutiques, but no matter what happens, he’ll continue to draw inspiration from his theater past. “I’m already thinking about clothing as a visual, as a show, as a story, about the character of the person wearing it,” he says. “I really liked to—and continue to—think of it that way.”
Looks from Aaron’s Latest Collection
Silk-satin gown, $1,221
Silk and wool coat dress, $1,452
“Ballet” silk-dupioni wrap dress, $825
“Crossover” silk and wool sheath dress, $946
“Crossover” crêpe de Chine floor-length dress, $968
“Gabriella” silk-charmeuse and silk-chiffon gown, $1,320