Brielle Caro has spent the last few months of her life busily sketching, examining fabrics, and working closely with a veteran clothing designer who owns a fashion store in St. James.
Brielle's work has produced 25 dresses, all youthful-looking, colorful, and filled with that special New York and Paris pizzazz. They will be worn by 25 models at a major show Sept. 27 at Oheka Castle, the gothic building in Cold Spring.
The designs have won wide praise from Madeline Grudens, owner of Geraci Condello Boutique in St. James, who has mentored Brielle. They were also lauded by Geraci Condello's many fashion-forward customers.
On the face of it, none of this may sound out-of-the-ordinary. But it is.
On Aug. 30, Brielle tuned 11. She is quite possibly the youngest fashion designer on Long Island. The dresses Brielle and Grudens worked on so laboriously, and lovingly, will be shown for the first time at what is being called Brielle's Fairytale Fashions.
The fashion show will benefit Angela's House, an organization that provides care for medically fragile children. Brielle will be front and center. Not only will her designs be on display, but she will also wear one of her gowns and step out onto the runway along with such special guest models as Dina Parise, Jill Nicolini, Gail King, Donna Drake, Alysia Stern, and Donna Martini. Cathy Berger will serve as Fashion Show Coordinator. Suffolk County Treasurer Angie Carpenter will be a special guest.
Entertainment will also be plentiful. Singer, songwriter, producer, actor and model Aki Starr is flying in from California especially for the fashion show. Jenna Rose, who has gained national attention for her single, “My Jeans," will also be appearing. Long Island singers Alyssa Curcio and Katie Zimmer are also scheduled to perform.
So where did all this begin for Brielle, one of four children of A.J. and Karin Caro, owners of several Long Island companies that provide security services and marketing techniques. "I've always loved fashion," Brielle said in an interview recently. "I always loved drawing." And, she added: "I always watched what my mom wore. It was always unique and cool." At a very young age, Karin Caro bought her daughter a drawing kit. Brielle has never strayed far from drawing and designing. Her first design was a ball gown, which, she said "didn't take all that long. It was just a sketch."
Since, she has advanced to fashionable dresses, handbags and children’s wear. Brielle is a studious girl and never neglects her school work, she tells us. But the allure of the fashion world is a strong one for her. So, tired or not, Brielle can be found at the drawing board at home, trying this or that style matched with this or that color.
Grudens, who has designed clothes all of her life and opened her St. James shop about two years ago, sees significant potential in Brielle's work. Karin Caro introduced the two, and Brielle fell in love with the work immediately.
Brielle and Grudens collaborated on many of the designs to be exhibited at the show. "An 11-year-old doesn't know what's available" in fashions, Grudens said. "But she has her own ideas and definite opinions." Brielle's style, Grudens said, is a young look played with bright colors. "But her taste is also mature," Grudens said. Grudens said Brielle is still trying to decide whether she wants the designer’s life. We asked Brielle about her future plans. "I'm not sure," she said. "I like what my mom does."
The event kicks off at 7 PM. For tickets call 631 337 1603.