Orange County held its fashion week during the week of May 18-22 in Santa Ana and was hosted by the OC Fashion Association. I only attended the OC BORN show, held at Santa Ana’s bustling Artist’s Village. It featured designers: Adolfo Sanchez, Dual Society, Matteblack and International Citizen Design House. The event had quite a turnout and each collection was impressive and brought out its own uniqueness. Let me start out with designer Adolfo Sanchez, who is the main reason I attended the show. I’ve known him for some time now and am always amazed with his collections . Adolfo’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection for the show was dark, with a Victorian/Goth feel. He liked the idea of juxtaposing hard and soft materials, thus making dresses with leather bustier-inspired bodices and flowy chiffon skirts. He also incorporated wool and fur into bits of the collection, from being an embellishment on a dress or as material for a purse or clutch. Silhouettes were kept simple, though a few pieces boasted peek-a-boo bodices. Then there was one dress where the model would turn to walk back, surprising us with a plunging back. For further information on Adolfo Sanchez, check out the website! International Citizen Design House (or i. CTZN for short) showed a vintage European military-inspired daywear collection for men and women. i. CTZN was founded by friends Sheena Gao and Laura Krusemark, who based the majority of their inspiration on their passion for world traveling. Their garments offer a variety of embellishments and quirky details, such as: unique vintage military design details, including metal buttons, screen printing, calligraphy in various languages, garment surface distress, as well as patches from all over the world. My favorite part of the showcase were the leg warmers- so chic and could easily add some pizazz to heels or skinny jeans. I thought the Russian and Nomadic-inspired hats were very funky and original. I also adored the tank dress-so light and flowy, and could easily be layered with tanks or camis (and they styled it with leg warmers for the show, which gave it that added “umph”). Five percent of the proceeds from International House Tee goes to Greenpeace International, a global organization that protects and conserves the environment as well as promoting world peace. To learn more on i.CTZN, check them out here. Matteblack is a fashion house that showcased their line of wovens and Alpaca knit outerwear. Matteblack was founded in 2005 by brothers Paul and Matt Wignall. For the show, they (along with knit designer-Julia Nish) traveled to the Alpaca farms in Oregon, picked up the fiber and Julia spun the yarn. Julia got her inspiration from the Peruvians and their use of vibrant colors and patterns on Alpaca. “I love to combine different patterns together using neutral colors mixed with hits of color. I have been working with Alpaca fiber for a couple years now and especially like going to the farms and collecting the fiber, having it spun in mini mills here in California and then knitting with it. It is the most natural Eco friendly way to design and exciting to be fully part of the whole process. For this Fall/winter collection Paul and I worked on creating a Spaghetti western vibe which included different styled ponchos for the women that I hand knit and felted all with Alpaca. The men’s jackets made from waxed coten and wool blankets. As for the thinner knits on the men and women I used Organic Italian Cashmere that was used in the long dress that was modeled off my long scarves for men and women made from the same combination of patterns,” Julia explained. In terms of styling the looks for the show, they wanted to implement a layered “old western” or “spaghetti western” editorial look. Check out more information on Matteblack here. Dual Society, a menswear line designed by Rey Aquino, showcased his ‘Modern-Edwardian’ inspired collection. I could hear all the ladies in the audience swoon (ok… me too…) over the male models that strutted down the runway in sleek, tailored suits that took me back to a bygone era when men were impeccably dressed during all hours of the day. Dual Society is also on Facebook, so be sure to check out their page for news and updates.
For more information and to become a member of the Orange County Fashion Associate, click here. On a side note, before the show began, there was a model walking around with a woman who was the wife of balloon artist “Super K”. The model was wearing an intricate dress made entirely out of BALLOONS! It was such an amazing sight to see! And what a perfect idea for your next red carpet event or promo work. Check out Air Born Creations!!!