The MNY Spotlight

Meet Elaina Fagan Darden, Interior Designer, Textile Designer, and Watercolor Artist

Elaina Fagan Darden, a renowned Texas-born Interior Designer, captured the world's attention with her iconic Lake Como wedding last year. She's a multi-talented artist whose work not only spans interior design, but textile design and illustration as well, where her mother and grandmother serve as inspiration to her. Read more to discover captivating details about her unforgettable Lake Como wedding, the sources of her inspiration, and why the Torero Gown, (which one of her bridesmaids wore to her wedding), is one of her favorite Mestiza styles!

Introduce yourself! 

Hi, I’m Elaina Fagan Darden. I’m a Texas-based interior designer, textile designer, and watercolor artist. You can find me on instagram sharing interiors, outfits, and inspiration filled with pattern and color on @elainafagandesign

Elaina Fagan Darden

Elaina wears the Torero Gown by Mestiza 

Congratulations on your marriage, you looked simply stunning! What or who were the inspirations behind your wedding looks for the weekend?

Thank you! I found so much inspiration in wedding planning that spilled into other creative outlets, which made it really fun. I wanted the weekend to feel like we were in a real-life Slim Aarons photo, so I channeled “Italy in the 1960s" through my outfits and the punchy, citrus shades of the decor. I was also inspired by lace in many forms: vintage Italian lace, Royal wedding lace of Kate Middleton and Grace Kelly, and most recently, Lily Collins’s layers and layers of Ralph Lauren lace and iconic hooded cape-veil.

Your family has been visiting Lake Como for many years. What are a few of your favorite things to do there when you return over the summer?

We always do a boat day on our first full day in Lake Como! Being on the water gives such a magical perspective of the lake, and it’s extra special when we’re traveling with someone who’s never been before. We stop for lunch at one of our favorite spots and then head to tour one of the historic villas or stop in Bellagio to walk around and shop.

Knowing that Lake Como has become a popular location for destination weddings, what is something worth knowing that you would tell a bride from your personal wedding experience?

Having an amazing wedding planning team local to Lake Como made the process fun! We were so grateful for their talent and expertise in pulling together the design as well as the logistics of hosting friends and family in a foreign country.

Since you have a love for floral prints and flowy dresses, which of Mestiza’s dresses attracts your eye the most?

I love the blue and white Torero Gown because of the bold tropical print and the tiered skirt.

Where does your sense of style originate from?

Classic Southern interiors and style, a la my mother and grandmothers.

As an interior designer, you work with a variety of spaces. What style of homes are your favorite to work with?

Classical architecture (bonus points for an old home with original details) with a fresh take on layered, traditional interiors.

What historical homes or museums are your favorite to visit for inspiration?

I’m always fascinated and find so much inspiration in the architecture and interiors of Italian hotels that were once private villas. Even if we’re staying somewhere else, I always find time to walk through the lobbies of the old, famous hotels in Europe. To name a few favorites– Villa d’Este, Hotel Splendido, Le Sirenuse, Palazzo Avino. Most hotels in the U.S. would be too worried about Zuber wallpaper getting ruined to put it in the lobby bar, and that’s a shame.

What draws you to the Mestiza brand?

The timeless, flattering silhouettes with vibrant and unique prints!

How does wearing your Mestiza piece make you feel?

Like twirling around, because of the fabulous and flowy tiered skirt!

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