Dopedoll Chronicles: La Mela Rosa

By Vanessa Haim  for PureHoney

La Mela Rosa's Erica DaCosta
Hair By Hair Apothecary

Nothing makes you feel more like a doll as sexy lingerie does. The allure of no one knowing about the seductive undergarment that hides secretly underneath your every day wear is certainly an empowering one. Erica’s La Mela Rosa wants to bring that sexy appeal into every girl’s boudoir.

“We are all different, and some of us are romantic and sweet, and some of us have a splash of naughty in us- I love to create it all.”

I sat down with the New York native and long time Miami resident to chat about her inspirations, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the design process for her debut line of Gatsby garters and handmade creations. Step into Le Mela Rosa’s vintage Hollywood-inspired world of romantic lace and elegantly feminine works…

La Mela Rosa, sounds flirty & sexy. Tell me about the name?

La Mela Rosa, that name came to me out of the blue, I though of the most sweetest delicate thing that made me think of us women and I thought The Pink Apple! But alas, that name was taken, so I thought of just putting it in another language and there is just something sexy about Italians. I do adore Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale, my favorite Italian stars from back in the days of true glamor and that is where I thought, La Mela Rosa.

How did you get started with sewing and fashion design?

Fashion and me, we go way back, we’ve had a thing going on forever. Living in Cartagena, Colombia S.A. during the summers was what sparked my love for sewing. My grandmother used to sew beauties for clients and friends: wedding dresses and dresses for special occasions. I would sit next to her and watch her create these beautiful pieces. Watching my aunts sewing up their own bikinis from the scraps left over from whatever garment my grandmother was done sewing was the highlight of my day. She would teach me as she went along and I absorbed like a little sponge.

In the early 2000’s you were making elaborate statement accessories. How did you evolved from creating jewelry pieces to lingerie?

Well, that was always there, I’ve always loved the sexiness of being a woman, how much we can do with it, and although powerful as that may seem, we are also very fragile, sensitive and shy. I love walking into a lingerie boutique and observing how different we all are- some women sashay in with confidence, pick the most risque piece, try it on and walk out of the fitting room for all to see; the shy ones, giggling the entire time; the disapproving one that is embarrassed for being dragged into the boutique to only later see her trying things on, giggling and eventually walking out with a gorgeous bra and panty set- all of these things made me want to design and make my pretty little creations.

Each garter and lingerie piece is made to order. What’s the starting point? 

Each creation comes from an inspiration, be it a memory of a sexy moment, a movie, an actress, or simply looking at a beautiful woman walking down the street. I always look back at old Hollywood.

What is your favorite fabric to work with?

I seek out Chantilly lace- I am a lace addict!  From the softest ribbons, to vintage pieces and not so vintage pieces. I also recycle sometimes to make romantic to naughty pieces.

Get to know a little more about this dope doll in The Doll Quiz…

Name? Erica DaCosta

Occupation? Makeup Artist

Hobbies & Interests? Creating my beauties, shopping for lace… I am obsessed with lace and ribbon; crafting, old movies, and of course, hanging with my boys.

Influences? I would have to say the glamorous ladies of old Hollywood, Garbo, Hayworth, Russell. I love my foreign ladies too, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Edwige Fenech, Danièle Gaubert, some naughty ones thrown in there like Constance Money. I love old movie, what can I say?

One item in my wardrobe that I can’t live without? Hmmm can it be two? I cannot live without my red lipstick, that, and my white peasant dress, it’s very sexy Hungarian peasant girl bumps into sexy Dracula in the dead of night.

Top 5 tunes of the moment? I was listening to Pandora, but it got a little boring, I am now on I Heart Radio, and my fave stations have to be as follows, Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf, Herb Alpert (I wanted him to be my boyfriend as a kid lol), Chet Baker, Glass Candy, Washed Out, Beastie Boys (I love my Beasties) that’s more than five and I have more old music than new music that I love.

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