Designer Byron Lars shares top looks from his Beauty Mark collection with lifestyle expert Lu Sierra

My friend Byron Lars, a designer who has been on the scene for over 20 years, is known for his fun, flirtatious juxtapositions of textures and patterns -- looks ripe for the picking this season.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

As a model, runway coach and someone who loves fashion, I know it can be challenging when the seasons change. Summer is peeking around the corner, teasing us with sunshine and energetic, warm weather. However, some of us are still caught up in sweater layers and the standard blacks, tans and blues from our winter closets.

I am here to say it’s time to shake up our wardrobes and let the sunshine in! Add some great pieces to your closet now, and be ready to match the coming spirit of the warmer months.

With this in mind I reached out to my friend Byron Lars, a designer who has been on the scene for over 20 years. He is known for his fun, flirtatious juxtapositions of textures and patterns — looks ripe for the picking this season.

I was like a kid in a candy store sampling his dresses, and had such a great time reconnecting with Byron over his Byron Lars Beauty Mark Spring 2013 collection.

His vivid Beauty Mark collection

For Spring 2013 (which can of course be worn all summer), Lars has designed ready-to-wear dresses and separates for what he calls a “self-actualized, interesting and interested” woman.

This collection reminded me that spring moving into summer is a time to shed the layers of past months and wear our feminine self-confidence boldly. Lars agrees.

“At the end of the day when a woman puts a dress on and steps in that mirror she need to be like — I am hot,” Byron says about his design philosophy. “It needs to bring out the inner bombshell.”

You can see this creative intent in the quality, details and styling of Lars’ dresses. This particular spring collection was created with a theme Lars calls “Prim and Primal.”

His fusion of florals, chiffons, knits, and embroidery among other textures is uniquely integrated in a distinctively edgy manner. The “prim” is seen in his perfectly-cut patterns, dainty lace details, and delicate crochet elements. The “primal” is evident in the unfinished edges and the organic feel of his shapes that perfectly accent a woman’s natural assets.

The result? A gorgeous proliferation of dresses and tops, ranging from the professional to the playful.

Lu’s favorites from Beauty Mark

His Serengeti Crochet dress is a perfect example of the prim and primal balance. The cream top contains a delicate mix of crocheted patterns and complements a taupe bottom that is wonderfully feminine. Its knit texture reminds one of the fluid flow of fish scales.

The whimsical Spectator Confection dress shows Lars’ playful side. There, the designer presents patterned cutouts in angles that accentuate the figure.

My absolute favorite is the white Lace Mix dress. It is demure, strong, and suggestive all at once.  This dress blends white lace and seemingly sheer sections that are perfectly supported by the built-in undergarment of the dress.

This is the added refinement in the quality of the Beauty Mark collection — details you generally do not find in ready-to-wear. In Lars’ line, there are treats such as solid dress linings, integrated nude support in sheer pieces, and flattering understructures — perfect elements for bringing out the best of a woman’s form.

And, I say, whether you are a size two or 16, having undergarment support always makes for the best self-presentation.

Byron’s collection also delivers color. Your remaining spring and summer months will sizzle in his mix of neon melon, aqua, celery green, powder white and mascara black. Designing for a confident lady with this palette, Lars says his Beauty Mark collection allows his customer to be “sexy in different ways.”