There is nothing that more clearly articulates the stereotypical personality of Los Angeles fashion than Ed Hardy. This Spring 09 not only featured the typical plethora of decals on hoodies, jeans, and denim skirts, but accessorized them with UGG boots, plastic visors, trucker hats, and bodega-style Kayne West glasses. It is so bad, so very very unfashionable, that we're wondering if we might have just found our halloween costume (we were going to be either Glamour Shots or Sexy 19th Century Oil Tycoon)--that is, if we have the courage to don such things in New York. Perhaps we're taking it too seriously though, perhaps the Ed Hardy team totally gets how tacky it is--something tells us, however, that their loyal customer might not be in on the joke.
The mixed prints, marching band jackets, and slashed denim we saw from Whitley Kros were all on target for Spring 09, but, no matter how you slice it, this collection is one hundred percent West Coast. We're not going to say that on weekends we don't roll out of our apartments in loose fitting outfits that are one part what we wore the night before and one part boyfriend's t-shirt--but, you know, not all the time. The hair, makeup, and styling from Whitley Kros is something we doubt will appeal to fashionistas worldwide--even if untidiness has its place in every young person's life. In truth, some looks resonated with us more than others but there's really nothing all that bad to say about the collection. You know, sometimes you've nothing more profound to say than "it's just not my cup of tea".
>> After over a month of rumors, Smashbox Studios finally confirmed that it was ending its five year partnership with IMG after Spring 2009 LA Fashion Week closes Oct. 16.
Dean and Davis Factor, co-owners of Smashbox, the current LAFW venue, wanted to relocate the event closer to Hollywood, "take it to the next level," but "New York is [IMG's] big focus and it’s difficult with everything they have going on all over the world. It would be hard for them to do LA on the level they do New York. My brother and I can."
So where does that leave LA Fashion Week? As part of its agreement with the Factors, IMG is not able to produce a Fashion Week, so it's all up to the brothers, who say they remain committed to the event. Ideally, they're looking at Hollywood rather than the current Culver City location: "Hollywood embraces the city of Los Angeles, there’s so much creative stuff to take advantage of here, the red carpet, costume design, stylists, everything from the surf industry to Maxfield’s."
But it may not be in the same runway show form: "We’re going a completely different route." Will all the new changes be effective in harnessing a spot as the fifth major Fashion Week? The Factors have their work cut out for them.
>> In the past few years, our attention has been on New York Fashion Week and where it will move after the Bryant Park lease runs out in 2010, but new revelations about the future of Los Angeles Fashion Week bring it temporarily to the forefront.
Sources told Los Angeles magazine that the five-year LA Fashion Week partnership between IMG, who also runs NY Fashion Week, and Smashbox Studios in Culver City, where LA Fashion Week is held, will end after the Spring 2009 presentations in October. When asked for comment, an IMG spokesperson merely said: "The focus of IMG and Smashbox continues to be the October shows and we won’t comment further on what is currently only rumor and speculation."
If IMG does pull out, ownership of LA Fashion Week would be up for grabs — Smashbox Studio owners Dean and Davis Factor could go it alone or look for a new partnership. Several options have been suggested, not in the least of which involves moving the shows to Hollywood. But as Racked LA puts it, "The truth is the application of the NY Fashion Week structure on LA has never quite worked. Let's hope this is an opportunity for improvement and finding a platform that works for the city's designers."
We brought you our picks from the first few days of L.A. Fashion Week, and now that the week has commenced, here's our roundup of the rest. From Wednesday through Friday a dozen or so designers showed their West Coast versions of Fall 08, and our favorites among them were DDC LAB and Ashleigh Paige. Los Angeles Fashion Week isn't something we have a whole lot to say about but there are a few designers who deserve a little extra recognition. This season, DDC LAB for innovation and Ashleigh Paige for costumery. Funnily enough, these designers showed Fall 08 from the two Los Angeles angles we actually can relate to, namely environmental awareness and old hollywood glamour.
DDC LAB: Designers Roberto Crivello and Savania Davies Keiller showed their DDC Lab Fall 08 collection during L.A. Fashion Week. The draw of their collection, given the basic aesthetic, is in their innovation with fabric and functionality. Blazers that block UV rays, charge your mobile phone, or are otherwise made from environmentally friendly textiles like cork, make for a simple but intelligent statement. The mens and womenswear line for Fall 08 was utility based with that sort of Diesel aesthetic that appeals to twenty somethings who like their fashion simple, modern, and heavy on charcoal and black. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.
Ashleigh Paige: This Fall 08 season Ashleigh Paige showed her Fall 08 collection and convinced Los Angeles that what might be considered 'high end lingerie' is more accurately 'couture swimwear'. The delicate ensembles have questionable authority when it comes to actually submerging oneself in water but, as we know, not every bathing suit donning fashionista likes to swim in the first place. Some, that is, like to lounge under umbrellas with a good book. Swimsuits lined or not, Paige does an excellent job of vamping up your average underthings and giving them that old hollywood appeal that is highly classy however marketable. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.
Oh, Los Angeles, you crazy old broad. Los Angeles Fashion Week, which comes just before Market Week, is chalk full of many license-less New Yorkers hitting the pedal to the metal and cruising to the shows. We think it's a funny little image, and although the shows never generate the same kind of excitement as New York, there are always those moments when you say to yourself, "Baby, a star is born". As much as the thought of Jenna Jamison unveiling the newest Peta Ad, well, startles us, we'd prefer to just, well, recap. Below, our rundown of what Los Angeles has thrown on the table the past few days. Namely, one designer for each day and a little Gen Art lovin'.
JMary, Jesse Kamm, & Le Sang des Betes: This will be the fifth year that Gen Art hosts its "The New Garde" event, showcasing up and coming designers West Coast style. The event, sponsored by Botox, kicked off Los Angeles Fashion Week. JMary showed West Coast evening appropriate outerwear in black and charcoal wool, there was a pleated black dress that would have satisfied fashionistas from both coasts. Jesse Kamm, who launched her label a few years ago, showed a collection inspired by Crocodile Dundee. The hand printed head scarves she created as part of the collection, we're right on target with Fall trends but not a far reach, given her inspiration. Finally Trang Chau of Le Sang des Betes, showed off her training as a sculptor by showing tailored garments with a slightly off-kilter silhouette (pictured above).
Sunday, March 9, Whitley Kros: The line, rep'd by People's Revolution, featured bohemian layering in bright colors. The best print by far, a sort of digital Southwestern print, appeared on three frocks, each to suit different figures. The designers, Marissa Ribisi and Sophia Coloma (one of the founders of Satine), specialize in what they refer to as 'luxe casual wear' which we saw manifest in the high quality knit sweaters and chic silk trousers. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.
Monday, March 10, Suh-Tahn: All the black, brown, and leather a New Yorker in Los Angeles can handle. This Fall 08 season, Suh-Tahn featured a palate of basic colors, and one refreshing white cotton dress. The dress, a simple scoop neck with dipped waist seam, epitomizes what casual West Coast style does best. Namely, a well-made basic that is as glamorous as any high maintenance frock (given the right accessories and attitude). Indeed, this is how you dress up in Los Angeles and for a moment there, we felt a little jealous. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.
Tuesday, March 11, Falguni & Shane Peacock: This Fall 08 saw leopard silk prints, dramatic drapery, and jeweled embellishments. At worst it veered towards tacky airport-shop sheaths, and at best, towards vintage Versace glamour. What was most successful were the mixing of loud prints, jewels, drapery, and length without appearing like the bedspread from hell. Falguni & Shane Peacock, also known as Peacock Couture, governs a bridal, resort, and men's line in addition to the womenswear collections. The company made its debut during India Fashion Week, some years back. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.