Designers & Muses (LAFW 2010)

It was once again the beginning of LA Fashion Week, which meant the Standard Hotel in downtown LA was abuzz with designers and their muses during the “FGILA Presents: Designers & Muses” event, led by Mr. James Galanos. I ran into Lauren Elaine with her muse, Kayslee Collins; Nick Verreos and muse; Maggie Barry with muse, Morganne; Lloyd Klein and muse, Natalie Cole; Charlie Lapson and muse, Vanessa Williams; Valerj Pobega and muse; Petro Zillia designer Nony Tochterman and muse, Samaire Armstrong.

I met up with “Oscars Designer Challenge 2010” finalist Oliver Tolentino and his muse- Tutay Maristela, wearing a gorgeous gown made from pineapple and abaca fibers. The gown had a mermaid silhouette and had hand-cut rosettes along with accordion strip accents. This year, he will continue to grow his design career in the LA market and create one-of-a-kind red carpet gowns and build his eco-friendly fashions as well. He has noticed that many of the high-end shops had stopped carrying couture clothing due to the recession, but vows, “I will continue to offer these because I know every woman has an event in her life where she wants more than what can be found in every boutique chain all over the world. She wants that one-of-a-kind and wants to have a direct personal relationship with the designer who creates it.” Check out his site at or stop by his Melrose boutique: 9003 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069 Ph:(310) 858-0555.

Designer Sue Wong looked extremely radiant, along with her muse- Linda Taylor. She chose Linda because, “she is the personification of Aphrodite, who is the ultimate eternal feminine goddess. There is a huge female energy about Linda and she is a vision of loveliness and gorgeousness. She is powerful in her own way, yet still extremely feminine. A great touch to Linda’s story is that she grew up under the shadow of Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania…” Linda’s dress was the epitome of the Sue Wong line. Sue explains of the dress, “the dress is a Victorian-inspired, embroidered, appliquéd and beaded torso gown with pleated lace insert in the skirt. The torso is beaded mesh and the skirt is georgette. It has a beautiful period feel but it’s still current and very glam. The silhouette also has a 1930’s old time Hollywood glamour feel to it. Styled with the gown is a beautiful ruffled, pleated and multi-tiered taffeta coat.” To view more of the line and find out more about Sue Wong, go to

I met two new designers that evening. Pogah designer, Ari Sheuhmelian with his statuesque muse- Lauren Gish. He chose her after working with her several times. “She has that incredible power of transforming in each of my designs to the look I am looking for…And on a personal level, we became friends and I enjoy the creative energy I get when we are together…” The dress Lauren wore is called, ‘Liquid Warrior,’ which is part of Pogah’s 2010 winter couture collection, themed ‘So French Couture’, inspired by the couture of the 40’s and 50’s but with a glamor mix of the 80’s. “The dress (at event) is one of the few bright, strong colors in the collection. The liquid design of the fabric had a big influence in the theme and direction of the collection. The total look of Lauren with the hair and accessories was inspired by the ‘warrior woman’ look- fierce, strong, yet very elegant feminine couture,” Ari explained. Go to or contact Ari at for more information.

I admired the structured 3/4 dress designed by Emiliano Moreno, who’s muse was Sara Welch. He chose her because she is a fashion design graduate who understands his work and construction. The dress she wore was inspired by the use of soft-draped fabric that was also molded into sharp-edged shapes in the past, but still work to this day. As far as his line goes (for Fall/Winter 2010), “it’s making new silhouettes that can relate to the past and can serve as inspiration for the future…” Contact Emiliano at for more information.

Along with mingling with the designers and fellow industry members, guests were also treated to tunes by DJ Ben Adams (DJ Jag) and Australian singer/songwriter, Natalie Cole.

Special Thanks: J, FGILA (, Elizabeth Matthews, Dorothy Woglom, Ilse Metchek and Emily Heintz of California Fashion Association, John Arguelles, the honored designers and muses, The Standard Hotel, Natalie Cole, DJ Jag.

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