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Looking to start the school year off with a bang by flaunting the latest fashions in a way that’s all your own? We’re talkin’ combat boots with your favorite florals and more twists on the classics. We got the opportunity to speak with esteemed fashion designer Nanette Lepore about L’Amour, the line she has designed with her 14-year-old daughter Violet, and we’re feeling inspired already! Sold at JC Penney, L’Amour has everything from basics and bright colors to bold patterns and layers. Here’s what Mom Nanette has to say about how this dynamic duo does their thing and how you can bring their pro insight into your closet this fall!

The bond:
She (Violet)’s really sort of a sounding board. Like when she’s hanging around the kitchen with her girlfriends I’ll be like, “Ok, what do you guys wanna wear, what do you do?” We do a lot of like mother/daughter shopping and hanging out, and I love watching how she puts herself together, which is a big influence on how we piece together looks and outfits. 

Where it all began:
When she was little I never wanted to influence her choices — you know how kids will put together completely wacky outfits? We never wanted to stifle any creativity when it came to getting dressed because I feel like that’s just another form of self expression, too… but I had to bite my tongue over some of the outfits, but I just let her go and now I feel like she’s just got a great sense of style. 

She got this crazy coat. It was covered in neon or some crazy thing; she looked like a robot one day the way she was wearing it. She was probably about 10 years old and now when she sees the picture, she dies. 

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Back-to-school trend summed up:
New girl 90s femme grunge—a little bit of army, but coming out within like a moto shape and then a little bit of feminine florals… mix that to a 90s staple, which was the polka dots. And then the two-piece dresses—I love the just waist-length top with the kind of tight matching skirt. 

The Violet Effect:
I think it’s kind of how my daughter dresses. Like that sort of slouchy sweater or jacket over a more body-con tee shirt and then a track pant, or a fit and flare and dress and then some kind of fun combat boots. It’s a fun way to dress because it’s fun to do feminine and then you get a hard edge with some of the elements that are typically more masculine.

Must-have BTS accessories:
The combat boot— anything from a forward one to a more standard combat boot— totally is a must. Or hightop sneakers— those like with the new wedge, and then… so many girls are wearing the big rhinestone-y necklace right now. Violet loves wearing it with her tee shirts and things. I see that happening— like a big rhinestone-y necklace over like a funny or even a message tee!