Perel’s eclectic sense of style was crafted, in part, through people-watching across the world. She’s been through Spain, Paris, Belguim, the Netherlands and a bevy of other countries, nourishing an existing interest in folkwear and traditional clothing.
“Seeing what clothes are in the shops and seeing what different people look like across the world has really helped me,” she says. “And definitely not just in a fashion design sense. I’d say the biggest benefit from traveling was the impact on my personality and making me more outgoing and open to different cultures.”
Perel’s worldly attitude was a perfect fit for Norwegian Cruiselines, where she worked for a short time. One day, when the cruise liner was docked in New York City, she decided to take a risk and stick around the Big Apple.
“I still have the unused plane ticket back to Memphis they gave me,” she says. “I had a sewing machine, a suitcase and a wad of cash, and was ready to make things happen.”
She soon took a job with a LaDuca, a designer dance shoe company in New York City. Before that, she designed one-of-a-kind pieces for the Bohemian Society, a clothing designer in Los Angeles.
“Through the shoe company, I made connections with some actual costume shops,” she says.
“Eventually, I landed a job doing design for some of the big costumed characters you see in Nickelodeon productions like Dora the Explorer.”
After a seasonal stint with New York City Ballet and a crash-course in hair and makeup, Perel returned to Memphis. “I came home to Memphis on a little bit of a hiatus, where I met my boyfriend before heading back to New York,” she says. “When I left, he came to New York and proposed. We’ve been married for three years this December.”
Perel’s commissions range from the classical to the fantastical, with most of the work commissioned for private buyers ranging from ballet dancers to cosplay enthusiasts. Her work can be seen courtside at most Memphis Grizzlies games in the Grizz Robe, a furry, floor-length blue overcoat featuring the team’s iconic mascot.
In a word: Worldly
With a name like Alexandria Perel, a future in fashion and clothing design is pretty much a given for this featured artist.