FGILA Presents: Designers & Muses

It was truly an honor to attend the opening industry cocktail party  for LA Fashion Week. It was an event where thirty of LA’s top designers and their muses mingled with guests on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel, benefiting the Fashion Group International (of LA)’s Scholarship fund that supports future fashion designers. It also benefited the new FGILA Scholarship category in footwear design sponsored by “Logan Real”, who is based in Miami. Growing up, I have always wanted to be a fashion designer and of course, I read all about these designers in books and magazines. But actually being able to mingle and meet them was the best experience one could imagine!

I met Joy Han of Voom by Joy Han and her muse, Deborah Lindquist and muse, Michele Bohbot of Bisou Bisou, Michael Costello, Rachel Pally and her Mom, who was her muse; Randolph Duke and muse Edyta Sliwinska, Nony Tochterman of Petro Zillia and her muse Romi, who was her young daughter; Uriel Saenz with muse, Catalina Lopez; Lesa Amoore (www.lesaamoore.com), Lori Taylor of Smashbox Cosmetics, Melodie Wotley of Snobz Design Team…..

Rami Kashou of Project Runway fame and his muse, Paula Miranda. She wore a dress inspired by Frank Gehry’s architecture (think the Disney Concert Hall). “I find beauty in the shapes and volumes yet the light weight his works maintain. I wanted to channel such details in clothing designs,” says Kashou. “I like to think my designs are original and uncommon, also that they speak of a woman’s sophistication, elegance and strength.” Rami is launching his new website this month (November) so definitely check it out! www.ramikashou.com .

Philipines-based designer Oliver Tolentino and his muse, supermodel Tutay Maristela, who is also from the Philippines. She opened and closed his LAFW show and wowed the audience with her walk and how she projected herself on the runway. For the D&M event, she wore this stunning long blue gown, which was inspired by Oliver’s home country. It was hand-dyed in different shades of rich blue, which according to Oliver, resembled the ocean on the beaches of the Philippines and when the woman walks in the dress, the fabric “flows like waves.” Most of his eco-friendly collection is made from Pina or pineapple fabric and hand-dyed in many different colors. **Designer’s Note- ” I was very pleased with the reaction of my first LA Fashion Week show, after having opened my Melrose boutique only three months ago (in October). I was flattered that many said it was like a New York couture runway show.”** For more info, please visit www.olivertolentino.com.

I noticed Onch (from Paris Hilton’s BFF and a previous Taylrz Joynt event) and found out he was the muse for designer, Maggie Barry. She chose Onch because he represented the fun in fashion. He was decked out in white and a neon green shirt with huge lips licking teeth and carried a make-up bag with a picture of an eye. He also wore jewelry and a rubber ducky headband from his line, available at www.onchmovement.bigcartel.com. Very Pop-Art indeed! His outfit was part of Maggie’s “Pop-Art” collection of dresses and such that are also reversible. The art on the make-up bags were a collaboration with make-up artists and photographers to create custom works of beauty and that will be featured at a pop-up store during the next downtown LA artwalk.”Have fun with fashion and may fun fashion find you.” For more information, go to www.maggiebarry.com.

Sue Wong, a famous LA dress designer and her muse, Brandise were also there. Brandise has been a model for Sue for nine years and has the ‘Sue Wong Look’. According to Sue, Brandise is “a chameleon of many diverse looks…has the ability to transform into the many metamorphoses of my design fancies…” The black strapless gown that Brandise wore was inspired by Nineteenth century Belle Epoque/Boheminan Montmartre Cabaret. This era inspired her entire Spring 2010 collection of cocktail dresses and gowns. “The gown is adorned with jet beading and seutache embroidery with long hanging beaded fringed tassels, creating a sensual and vampish look,” adds Sue. Brandise wore a top hat designed by Sue in the spur of the moment. The necklaces that they both wore were designed by Joe Polthakorn of Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry (http://www.vilaiwan.com). I cannot put into words the feeling I get when I look at Sue Wong’s gowns…. She’s such an amazing designer and I hope to one day wear one of her pieces to an event. For more information, go to www.suewong.com.

Another ‘fabulous’ designer that I caught up with, was none other than Meghan Fabulous. She and her muse, actress Nzinga Blake both wore floral gowns. “…she is a fresh, young Hollywood actress that exemplifies beauty, class, attitude, humor and style; all of which are at the heart of my brand,” Meghan says of her muse. “Nzinga reminds me of Springtime, fresh bright colors and beautiful blooming flowers. I wanted her to look like she was covered in a bouquet of lilies, daisies, peonies, hybiscus and orchids. Her personality is radiating like a newly blossomed flower.” When asked about the ‘Meghan Fabulous Brand’, Meghan states that “Fabulous is a feeling…an attitude. My clothes strive to give you an edge of confidence with the rich fabrics, bold colors, sexy cuts and distinctive prints…”  The Meghan Fabulous customer should feel “priceless” in all situations that are thrown at her. “She commands attention and loves the spotlight.” As I peruse her website, www.meghanfabulous.com, I can see that…. Her clothes do grab my attention and are fun and bold. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Then I met up with design husband-and-wife team, Magid Mehrabadi and Michele Bernard of Magid Bernard and their muse, Shayn Jeppesen (www.shayjeppesen.com). They chose Shayn because she represented the Magid Bernard brand: timeless, classic elegance. Also, by her “presence”… “She exudes a cool, regal style that transcends age, time or place. We believe our clothes do the same.” The other reason they chose her was “they felt that as a young professional, she symbolizes both the mission of the FGILA Foundation and underlying theme of the event…Shayn is a new face in LA…We were excited to introduce her to the industry through our active membership and involvement with FGILA.” The team designed a long “Mermaid” dress for Shayn to wear to the event. The gown was made of  turquoise crocheted English mohair over a bias silk slip. Embellishing the gown were 3/4″ teal and green iridescent paillettes, which were crocheted into the fabric when it is woven, not sewn on after. “We felt that the combination of luxury fabric and youthful sparkle was perfect for Shayn.” The signature Magid Bernard signatures that we will always see in their collections are luxurious fabrics, like: mohair, leopard print angora, super soft and lightweight hot pink and turquoise boiled wools, giant plaids shot through with metallic threads and silk…for their signature bias cut dresses and gowns. Also, we will always see is the architectural quality in the clothing. “Think femininity and fit to a women’s body….We celebrate the feminine form in all its beauty, whether long and lean or lush and curvy…” For more info on this lovely design duo, go to www.magidbernard.com.

Along with mingling with the designers, the Regional Director of FGILA, John Arguelles gave a small speech and also introduced singer, Anjulie, who was nominated by VH1 for “breakthrough video of the year 2009.” It was definitely I night I will always cherish and I look forward to next year’s LAFW kick-off festivities!

SPECIAL THANKS: J, the designers, models (muses), FGILA, Anjulie, the Standard Hotel, buzzflickr PR, The Contact List, Logan Real, Kenneth Brayden Matthews Photography,Taryn Hipwell of Eco Divas, Valerie Samson and Debra Stevenson.

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