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Denim shorts on display at Dor L’ D’or, above, and a summer dress, below, at Emilia. Further below: a boot at Do L’ Do’r. (Photos by Lola Todman. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank Charter School Intern

Women’s fashion is on the rise in downtown Red Bank. It may not be Paris or Milan, but you may have noticed new stores such as Lucki Clover and Bella Chic Boutique joining not-much-older merchants Dor L’ Dor, Rue RoyaleUrban Outfitters and stalwarts Backward Glances and CoCo Pari.

Or you may even be a customer of Emilia, one of three side-by-side women’s clothing stores to open on Monmouth Street in little more than a year.

So the pressing question is: why?

“Options,” said Blaise Lucarelli, manager of Dor L’ D’or, which opened in mid-2010. “When there are different types of women, there need to be options.”

Because of that need, there are also many different stores designed around age ranges, affordability, specialty clothing and other things that may define a specific type of female, said Lucarelli.

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At about six feet tall, with his always-on mascara and mop of jet black hair tousled just-ever-so, Blaise Lucarelli was made to stand out in a crowd.

“My parents named me Blaise, so I was destined to be different,” he tells redbankgreen‘s Human Bites.

Different? How? Well, it can hardly be reduced to words. One must experience Blaise, a larger-than-life Red Bank native and aspiring fashionista now working — and, he’s the first to tell you, performing — at Dor L’Dor, a womenswear shop on Broad Street.

On hiatus from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising to gain experience in the fashion industry, the Red Bank Catholic alum returned to the borough  after taking a couple years to live in New York, where he says he really started to feel comfortable with who he was. While there, he had a beauty mark tattooed next to his right eye.

“My mother always told me, ‘know your audience,’ ” he says. “I’m never going to change who I am, but I can change the level or degree of who I am.”

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