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Rock Madness Fashion Show @ BoxEight 1/31/09
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Modeled Fashions Designing Women 2009
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S. Tiara's Birthday and Fashion Show- Kress

Rock Madness Fashion Show @ BoxEight 1/31/09

 What does an awesome hairstylist, “Hollywood’s Notorious Fashion Coordinator”, photo shoots and a fashion show have in common? Why “Rock Madness Fashion Show” at BoxEight Studios in downtown Los Angeles, of course! And it was hosted by Joseph Rene and Parris Harris.

I arrived a little after four, parked my car and walked into the bustling warehouse- turned- photo studio. Models were milling around or in make-up with Joseph Rene and Parris was running all over the place, making sure everything was in order. I made my way to the back of the place, and ran into my friends Jenny, who was modeling Trendy Rags and her friend, Crystal. I just love it when you go to industry events and you see the same people over and over again. It’s like we’re all one big, happy family! Kudos to the fashion industry!

Now, on to the important stuff! Let’s meet some of the ‘fahbulous’ people that helped put this unique show together. Joseph Rene, celebrity hair stylist and Executive Producer of the show. Joseph had a lot of energy through-out the night, despite being up until 3am, making the hair extensions for the models. He, along with Parris, came up with the “Rock Madness” idea three months prior to the show. He was approached by Trendy Rags to do a a live photo shoot and fashion show. And of course, the show was something that I’ve never seen before and it turned out to be a huge success.

The other co-producer, Parris Harris and I had to meet up for coffee, due to him being extremely busy the night of the show. His inspiration for the show was hot men and women and energy mixed with ‘fantasticness’ all at the same time. He and Joseph wanted to have a 70’s and 80’s theme. The wildness of the 70’s along with the make-up of the 80’s. They chose Trendy Rags and David Kahn Jeanswear as the featured designers of the event.

Trendy Rags is owned by Jimmy Lee and offers two lines, “Motor City Legends” and “Fresh and Famous”. This is the third event for Lee, however, he’s done other shows at major Hollywood clubs. He manufactures here in LA, not far from BoxEight. Motor City Legends is influenced by rock, whereas Fresh and Famous has an 80’s influence. The colors are bright and the garments have an urban and street feel to them. The lines include: tees, hoodies, thermals and will eventually feature denim. The tee from Fresh and Famous that stated, “Recession My Ass” was especially made for this show. (And is one of my favs!) Trendy Rag tees range from $75- 600. Check out Jimmy Lee’s brands at www.trendyrags.com, www.freshandfamous.com, and www.motorcitylegends.com.

The fashion duo chose David Kahn Jeanswear as the other designer because Parris loved that the flared jeans were 70’s and the skinny jeans were more 80’s, sticking to the theme of course. I spoke with Alesia Poynter, representing Mr. Kahn, who had a meeting that evening. She was quite helpful when I asked about the line. Mr. Kahn  met Parris through a myspace ad last year. David Kahn is known for making women feel beautiful and comfortable in the jeans. He’s fitting women ranging from twenty to sixty years old. The jeans have just enough stretch in them that anyone can wear them.  They also manufacure here in LA. The jeans are made from Japanese and Italian Premium Denim. They retail at $150-200. The line is viewable at www.davidkahnjeanswear.com.

I enjoyed the energy of the night… as a budding photographer myself, it was exciting watching the main photographer/owner of BoxEight, Peter Gurnz shoot the models strutting down the runway to the loud, pulsating music by  DJ Joe and then have a “mini-shoot” at the vintage car parked at the end of the runway.

 

Special Shout-Out’s to: Dominic (Make Me a Supermodel), Tiffany Pollier (I Love NY), Mo (Mo’s Models), iModels, Sense Magazine, BoxEight Studios (www.boxeight.com), Bliss Tea, Jeff Knight Photography

EXTRA NOTES: You can reach Joseph Rene at www.josephrenesalon.com. Parris Harris is also a designer, he has a line named, “Punk Mail”, which is mainly reconstructed garments. Check out all of Parris’s “dysfunctional function” at www.justintv.com/parrisharris, www.myspace.com/phashiontv and www.parrisharris.com.

Modeled Fashions Designing Women 2009

                              It’s the beginning of the new year, which didn’t stop entrepreneur JS (John Smith) from putting on the first show of the year- “Modeled Fashions, Designing Women 2009,” held at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. Smith founded his company, Modeled Fashions Entertainment Group in September 2008 as a result in wanting to change the attitude and concept of his first company, First Take Entertainment. He chose Modeled Fashion as the new name because he wanted to be “modeled” and emulated by other people in the industry.  He wanted “Modeled Fashions, Designing Women 2009” to be the first show in 2009…thus setting the bar in fashion in 2009. He is about enhancing creativity, not only his own, but fellow artists as well.   He will go out and find entertainers, models, designers and comedians that haven’t had their chance in the industry and give them the opportunity to live their dreams. He also gives 110% effort helping fellow artists. And “Modeled Fashions, Designing Women 2009” did just that.

      It was held on Saturday, January 17th at the Celebrity Centre’s Garden Pavilion in Hollywood. Being somewhat early I was able to catch up with the designers of the show before taking my seat at the front of the runway.

Houstina Summers of Cowgirl Heaven was the first designer I ran into. She has been designing for one year and is self-taught. She specializes in couture and party dresses. She makes all the patterns and sews everything herself and loves experimenting with different styles and looks. Her inspiration is God (is love.) She credits the colors in the sky and sun that inspire her as well. Also that she loves dresses and she knows that every woman loves a great dress. Her advice to budding designers and business owners, “If you can see it, you can do it…If you can envision it, if you have the heart and passion for it, you can do it.”

Another featured designer of the evening was Katie Manzella of K. Manzella. Katie has done a few shows with JS and they support each other. She has been designing since she was thirteen in the Punk Rock Era. She made her own clothes and refined her style. She does everything herself- from the sketching to the sewing. However, when she does manufacture, it will be here in LA under regulation. She is adamant on helping out the economy and making sure that people are treated well (health insurance, no child labor and livable wages.) Her inspiration for this collection came from the women of the 1900’s- 1940’s because they were glamorous and cared about how they looked.  To them, going out and dressing up was a special occasion. When her company gets bigger, she wants to create a trend in LA of giving back more and being more aware of people. “It’s not just about the clothes that come out, it’s about the process of creating them.”

The next line are was also the first to show their goods down the runway. This team of three generations- Grandmother, Mother and Daughter created a line of leggings and vests named Tru Britt. The collection for the show was comprised of leggings ranging from mid-length, stirrup, long and gathered. They used liquid latex and faux leathers. The price points for the leggings range from $40-45. The tie- vests are very versatile and since they are made from soft netting, they take up hardly any room in the suitcase! The vests are $35- a great deal in this rough economy. Their website is coming soon!

As I kept interviewing the designers, I found that we had one thing in common…FIDM. Like the designer I’m about to introduce- Pam Mbanga. She has been designing for four years. So far, she has showcased in seven shows in Canada as well as Edmonton Fashion Week. Her inspirations for the the evening’s show is the sexy woman…She’s confident, she knows who she is and doesn’t have to show too much skin to be sexy. Pam’s favorite fabrics, and the most difficult to work with, are chiffons and organzas. She makes all the patterns and sews everything herself. She sells online and at the FIDM Scholarship Store, as well as selling in boutiques in Toronto and London. Check out her collection at www.mbangainc.com.

Another Canadian and fellow FIDM student is Erica Cee Steeves, who has been designing for five years. She has done two other shows in Canada for her school. She found her inspiration at the Balloon Festival in Canada. She loved the hot-air balloons and their colors. She does evening wear, cocktail and party dresses. Her favorite saying is “Life’s all about working, so why not like what you’re wearing.”

The last fantastic designer on my roster is Kimberly  Alfaro of Kimberly Alfaro Collections. The “Collections” mean that the pieces are the best of the best of everything she has done. Her pieces have a lot of silk and peacock influences.  She also incorporates Swarovski Crystals and embroidery into her designs. She is also a fan of trains on dresses. Her silhouettes  are sleek, classical and accent the hour-glass figure. She uses Marc Jacobs and Roberto Cavalli as influences. One of the dresses in the collection, a denim dress with a long train has an Oscar de la Renta influence. She grew up with a family of sewers and has pretty much been designing all her life. She has been designing professionally for seven to eight years. As far as hearing about JS, she heard from the head of the texile department at FIDM and immediately jumped at the great opportunity. Her designs can be viewed at www.kimberlyalfaro.com.

I want to give special thanks to comedian, D Shorte, who did a very funny routine during intermission and Miss Guatemala, Krys De La Mora. They were great MCs throughout the event. Also, Terra Incognita, who performed during the runway shows. The wonderful models that rocked the runway. The creative eyewear, Tingaling. The sponsors of the show: Vice, Glass House PR, Jacob’s Shoes for the Stars. He handmakes 70% of the shoes and has a boutique on Melrose. Lastly, Glammin School of Make-up in Orange County.

S. Tiara's Birthday and Fashion Show- Kress

Hollywood’s latest hotspot, Kress, was the place to be last Thursday the 18th. It was the birthday of hairstylist Stephanie Tiara, which also included a fashion show; featuring designers: Michael Benz and Kristen Don. Despite having to be at work early the next day, I went…Partly because I knew Michael and the show’s producer, Brand, from past fashion events.

After a half-hour or so of waiting to be let in, I finally was “branded” with a mushroom stamp on my inner wrist and was ushered in with a “Congratulations…” by one of the security guards. I breezed up the stairs and into a small lobby where I had to wait for an elevator that would whisk me up to the rooftop festivities.

The elevator doors opened and I walked around. Due to the cold weather, the roof was semi-covered and there were heat lamps (not enough in my opinion, but I get cold easily) that scattered the venue. The evening was clear and the view of the surrounding city was spectacular.

While waiting for the fashion show to begin, I caught up with one of the designers, Michael Benz, who is also a VJ. He is the designer of the line, Blive Couture (pronounced believe.) Blive is a mix of rock, cool, classy and edgy couture. It’s slogan is ‘Respect, Love, Couture.’ The line boasts hats and jackets, all handmade by Benz, without the help of patterns and measurements; and will feature a shoe line in 2009. As a friend of Stephanie, who’s also modeled in some of his fashion shows, he did the show as a birthday and Christmas present for her. She also wore one of his designs that evening.  Michael likes to “live now, forget tomorrow.” He is inspired by music, art and people; one person in particular is Jen. He says that she a style that no one else has. For the latest news and events on Michael, check out www.vjmichaelbenz.com.

I would like to also give kudos to the other designer, Kristen Don. I loved the denim, flowy dresses and the tops that were made from scarves. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to speak with her.

Since the show’s producer was a little busy due to taking care of the show, I caught up with him at the Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood. Brandon Birtwistle or Brand, as he likes to be referred to, is an actor, model and most importantly, an entrepreneur. He started out as an actor and booked a photo shoot in Tokyo for Baby Dior at the age of two. He told me that since he’s been in the industry for awhile he become the “go-to guy”, people started coming to him to find other people to book other people…ie models, photographers, etc. That being said, brings us to the present. Everytime he has produced a show, it has gotten bigger and better. For the Kress show, it took one and a half to two months to plan. He is good friends with Stephanie and she approached him with the idea. The show did not have a budget, but he credits the will of the awesome people that helped along the way. Brand believes that it’s better to work with people than to work above, below or for someone. He wanted to give some special shout-outs to some of the sponsors of the show: MUAH make-up artists who have always helped at his shows, Welcome Clothing, Elitescene *thank you Gio*. He also wanted to bring awareness to another designer, M the Movement, an eco-friendly company that specializes in bamboo and silks. They plant trees to offset the energy they have used.

Since Stephanie Tiara was somewhat busy herself during the show, I caught up with her on the phone. She is a well-known  hairstylist at 9022 Salon in West Hollywood. She chose Kress because her friend who did Thursday nights there, got her the venue. She wanted to add a fashion show to her party because she wanted to first performance as a rapper to be with the show, since the song is about fashion. She also did shows with Brand and wanted to combine his and her talents to put on the show. She chose Michael Benz as one of the designers and Brand and her thought that Kristen’s style was good for the show as well. During the show, she and Jazmine performed, “We Got That” while the models strutted down the center aisle. She had help with the song, but is starting to write her own lyrics. Her inspirations are hip-hop and rock. She wanted to combine her talent and style with fashion.

Congratulations to Stephanie on her birthday and to Brand for directing/producing a fantastic show!!

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