Diane Nelson of resort fashion brand D Heart D spends several months of the year in her beloved second home of India, soaking up its culture and creating fine block-printed fabric and clothing including flowy, easy-to-wear dresses. 

The designer and former wardrobe stylist and model’s best-selling Nina dress is tea-length with a tiered skirt, body-skimming waist, and subtle ruffled detail. It, as well as Nelson’s flatteringly cut kaftans, are available in a variety of colors, from subtle to vibrant. All showcase her signature hand-blocked patterns, which she learned to create during her first visit to India. 

Nelson recalls hopping from factory to factory to experiment with color and printing on raw fabrics. “I would take my samples back to the hotel and tip the staff to wash and dry the fabric so I could see the results,” she says. “I remember immediately falling in love with the process and the people … My love for India is huge. The art and the people, everything about it. It’s an incredible place.”

Nowadays, Nelson visits India twice a year. She stays in an apartment for a few months at a time before returning to her studio workroom in the U.S. to create her clothing collection. For the past few years, she has released seasonal collections and color stories once a year for individuals, retail stores, and wholesale clients. Now that she has her own printing factory in India, she will release more collections throughout the year.

D Heart D (which stands for “Diane Loves Dresses”) collections are also sold through trunk shows and pop-up events — including at The Arbors in Round Top. “I think Round Top attracts creative people. It’s full of stylish women, so it’s always a great place to gauge new designs,” says Nelson.

In addition to her top-selling styles, Nelson will bring new designs to Round Top this season, including new prints that feel more European than traditional Indian block prints. She will also have home goods including tablecloths and pillows. 

Find D Heart D at The Arbors venue, Tent E-1, during the Round Top Spring 2024 Antiques & Design Show, March 16 – 30. To inquire about wholesale or individual orders, email 
[email protected] or message Nelson on Instagram @d.heart.d. View current collections at dheartd.com.