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Korovilas in her design studio, donning the silk chiffon Maria dress from her spring 2013 collection.

A selection of dresses from the fall collection.

A Maria Korovilas custom-beaded top.

Fresh Perspective

Maria Korovilas’ eponymous label is inspired by the L.A. woman.

“I’ve noticed the pieces I am most attached to in my closet are those with character and novelty,” says L.A.-based designer Maria Korovilas. It’s exactly this belief that led the rising fashion star to start her eponymous line last year. Autumn/winter 2013 will bring a second collection, which she describes as “a nipped/tucked modern baroque update.”

The dress-heavy label is finding fashionable fans thanks to the attentiveness paid to craftsmanship and detail. “I am all about the fabric,” says the 32-year-old designer, who was born in Maryland and spent part of her childhood in both Greece and the small California farming town of Tulare before eventually settling in Silver Lake. “Most of my design ideas start flowing when I see a fabric that inspires an idea and is cohesive with my inspiration, as opposed to the other way around.”

To create the line, Korovilas works with an old French lace mill and sources the fabric for many of her knits from Italy, and yet all pieces are ultimately made in L.A. “I had this debate with myself so many times: Do I move to Paris? Do I move to New York City?” confesses Korovilas, a USC alum with an MFA in fashion and textile design from the Academy of Art University. “L.A. is an amazing landscape for fashion right now. I don’t think you need to leave a city that inspires you in order to be viable—I think you just need to find a way to get the message across.”

Given that Korovilas already sells her line at popular boutiques Planet Blue and Satine, Angelenos are getting the message loud and clear. “I responded to Korovilas because it offers cool yet effortless long dresses, which—believe it or not—are very hard to find,” says Satine owner Jeannie Lee. “Her collection has just enough edge, and it’s beautifully made.” All reasons that surely caught the attention of Neiman Marcus, which will carry the line come fall.

Perfectly on point for the many personalities of L.A.’s discerningly stylish femme set, “the line is reflective of the life we live,” says Korovilas of its “casual luxe” pieces. “We want dresses for the beach and picnics, and we want dresses for galas and red-carpet events. I want to give you all of those.”