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6th Annual "Fashion on the Square" -San Francisco
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7Lightningbolt Fashion Show
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Jovy Janolo Presents: Fabowlous Mixer/Show and Charity Bowling Event

6th Annual "Fashion on the Square" -San Francisco

I must say, this next fashion event was special. Not only was my boyfriend coming along, but it was my first “really out-of-town” event. It was the 6th annual Fashion on the Square (FOTS for short) held in San Francisco at the Intercontinental Hotel.

I had met the founder of FOTS, Y’Anad Burrell through another event and it was a pleasure being able to attend one of her events. She created FOTS as a bridge between the traditional fashion weeks so it always takes place in the summer. Seeing and knowing that there were many talented designers out there who couldn’t afford the conventional shows, had also helped her vision of FOTS emerge into a yearly event. Having said that; this year, she combined two established designers with one aspiring designer who was still in school to share the same stage.

Planning the seminars and shows usually takes her nine months beginning in September. The charities that are chosen have to ideally be connected to the fashion industry. This year, three were chosen: Fashion Delivers, Wardrobe for Opportunity and KIDS (Kids in Distressed Situations). Each charity is involved with bringing awareness to the event by reaching out to the members of their audiences.

Each FOTS Institute-Seminar this year focused on every aspect of the fashion industry. From the talent/modeling agencies to photographers, marketing, the designers themselves and the hair/make-up teams. I attended the “Meet the Designers” panel seminar, where the three designers were each given questions that they were to give their personal views or life experiences. This year it was b. Michael, Oligo Tissew and Erik Stultz and delegated by lingerie designer, Simeon Dacumos of Aperitif and Tushe. In the corner of the room was a piece from each of their collections. b. Michael chose a strapless red floor-length gown from his fall collection. It had a mermaid silhouette and made of silk wool and hand-embroidered. His pieces are “timeless American glamour and beauty.” Erik Stultz, a student at the Art Institute of California- San Francisco, chose an ensemble inspired by the African tribal landscape. Oligo Tissew, who spent a year in London at Central St. Martins before heading to the States to finish out at Otis, chose a long, black knitted coat with a tulip silhouette.

The last seminar I attended was “Fashion Marketing, Publicity, Trends and Branding”, delegated by Denise Kelly and featured Marieke van der Poel of Peclers Paris, Donna Barry of Inkspot PR and Lisa Prescott of Agency Collective. As a person just starting in the industry myself, I found it very informative hearing from the PR, trend forcasting points of view on how to brand and market yourself.

After a short break, we headed back over to the Intercontinental Hotel for the fashion show, which b.Michael and Eric Stultz were presenting their collections. After everyone took their respective seats ( I was lucky enough to sit at the end of the runway), Janelle Wang, co-host from “View from the Bay” gave welcoming remarks, followed by Denise Bradley, who was the host of the show. Erik Stultz presented his collection first. There were a few menswear designs inspired by 1950’s Robots that went down the runway first, then models wearing elegant bustier lingerie whose colors were inspired by coral reefs and silhouettes inspired by the circus strolled the catwalk. The last part of the presentation showed looks inspired by the African tribes. He wanted the colors of that collection to reflect that of the African tribal landscape. The highlight of his presentation was a model in a strapless, draped, long tiered dress complete with a raffia belt. On her head with a dramatic feathered headpiece. After his presentation, two dancers, Caroline Rocher and Keelan Whitmore from Alonzo King LINES Ballet performed; followed by the runway show of b. Michael. His clothes that went down the runway were simple, yet elegant and clean with a hint of detail. His collection ranged from menswear to cocktail dresses, coats, pant suits, to evening gowns. My favorite dress was, of course, the embroidered red dress that I had seen on the mannequin hours before. The show ended with some closing remarks by Y’Anad and b. Michael being presented with an award by FOTS and a letter from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, proclaiming July 25th as “b. Michael Day.”
If you would like more information on FOTS, please visit www.fashiononthesquare.com.

Note: I was not able to attend the Children and Teen Runway Show MCed by child star Khamani Griffin. It featured looks from Gymboree, JCPenney, Old Navy, Sears, Apple Bottoms, Janie & Jack, Fabulosity, Blue Skies, Cocoa Jeans and Crazy 8.

Special Thanks: Y’Anad Burrell, April Reynolds and Manuel of the Donatello Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel, Unsung Diva! Production team, the invited guests for the seminars, the designers- b. Michael, Oligo Tissew and Erik Stultz, the models, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, American Airlines, the charities, J. Garcia, Glass House Communications (www.glasshousepr.com), Taylrz Joynt Boutique is at 13549 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. The number is (818)907-7818.

7Lightningbolt Fashion Show

Elevate Lounge, located on the penthouse floor in downtown LA was the setting for Heidi Luerra’s RAW event, featuring a fashion show by 7Lightningbolt. RAW is a collaborative event that brings together designers, artists, musicians, photographers, make-up and hair, etc from all over Southern California. All RAW events are located in some of the hottest venues in LA, Long Beach and Fullerton. The creative mind behind RAW and of Project Ethos fame is Heidi Luerra. She told me that it took only about a week to produce the event. But that’s after having seven years experience in Hollywood under her belt and having numerous artist contacts. As a fellow designer (and FIDM grad) Heidi saw fellow artists not get anywhere because they didn’t have the financial resources; but she wanted to change that. Thus, RAW was born, giving artists the opportunity to showcase their work for free. She does ask that they promote the hell out of it (the event). For for information or to get featured in a RAW event, go to www.HeidiLuerra.com or www.rawartists.org.
Before the show, I surveyed artwork by Daniel Acuna and Felicia of Jazmin as well as a photography slideshow by Michael Yates (www.michaelyatesphotography.com).
After a few words by VJ Michael Benz, who was wearing a new hoodie from his line, Blive Couture and a new glove boasting MJ’s face- a tribute to the legendary singer’s passing; the show started.
The crowd went wild as 7Lightningbolt’s collection went down the the runway. There was a mix of mens tees, jackets and vests that were deconstructed and womens jackets, screen printed tees and reworked suits. The theme from the models hair/make-up was a menagerie of pirate meets punk meets 40’s pin-up. Everything in that collection, dubbed “The Environmental Renegades” by one of the designers, JD Nielson; was made from recycled clothing/fabric. The price points range from $60 for tees to $275 depending on the piece and work. For more info, 7Lightningbolt is on myspace and their official website is www.7lightningbolt.com.
The last acts of the evening was a dance act by Sarah and Taryn, which featured a combination of choreographed dance and contortion moves; and music performance by Legs on Sale.

Special Thanks: The Designers of 7Lightningbolt: JD, Joe and Kenny; J’s Luxury Taxi Service, Heidi Luerra, Michael Yates, Parris Harris, DJ Robb-Rockwell, Felix Salzman of LookbookLA.

Note: RAW and Heidi Luerra believe in being green, so they have collaborated with solar2web.com to make the site totally eco-friendly. For more info, contact either Heidi or solar2web.com.

Jovy Janolo Presents: Fabowlous Mixer/Show and Charity Bowling Event

When it comes to mixers, you’d usually think of a small gathering in a bar or restaurant. Well, producer Jovy Janolo decided to trash the “stereotypical” mixer and opted for a more lively event that included bowling (for charity) and a fashion show that featured three designers; MidnightMare, DiviNatioN by Naira and Astarte; and was hosted by actress, Calpernia Addams. She also performed her hit single, “Stunning,” while getting the audience pumped up for the fashion spectacular.
Lucky Strike Lanes in Hollywood was chosen to be the venue for the festivities. The runway was the walkway in between the lanes, which were illuminated with neon lights to liven up the event. The first designer showing was MidnightMare Apparel. They were showcasing their signature hand drawn tees and tunics. I saw some new pieces going down the runway: the introduction of their mens line, tees, thermals and jackets that were hand drawn by MM designer, Phong Hong. Phong draws his inspiration through what he observes from the shadows at night. The drawings depict fierce animals with weapons, such as a scorpion, raging bull, hawk with wings of blades, etc. The price points for the men’s apparel range from $49-69 for thermals, $69-109 for Organic button-downs, $29-59 for Organic cotton tees. They custom make blazers and black pants with plaid detail upon request. For the womens line, designed by Donna and Judy Hong, consisted of their signature tees and tunics with hand drawn feminine silhouettes of women that are disguised as animals. For the runway, they were paired with the ruffled skirts and hot black liquid leggings with gold zippers running down the back. They debuted their new dress collection that evening. Showing off two strapless dresses that are fitted at the top and have ruffled skirts. The dresses range from $68-128 and the leggings are $58. For ordering and more info, check out www.midnightmare.com.
The next line to go down the runway was DiviNatioN by Naira McMullen. There were squeals from the audience (myself included) due to the male shirtless models that posed at various points on the runway. The models then came out, flirting and posing with the men. Each garment was unique, handcrafted by Naira herself. Ms. McMullen is a fellow graduate of FIDM and an emerging designer based here in LA. Since she’s still starting out, she jumped at the chance to participate in Jovy’s show, as well as be involved with charity, in this case, SpcaLA. Her website is: http://www.divi-n-ation.blogspot.com. She can also be reached at nstudio72@gmail.com.
The last line of the evening was Astarte, which featured fun, versatile clothing for the plus-size woman who’s not afraid to make an entrance. The runway show featured the models strutting down the runway and flirtingly posing with the male models. One model worked it while changing a suit for work into a sparkly red top and black skirt for evening. Astarte, headed by designer Jennifer Davis is based in Long Beach. Everything is manufactured there. She uses a certain cutting technique and fabrics that gives the plus-size woman shape. What sets Astarte apart is that the clothing is elegant yet casual. The cut and lines of the garments make it flow and creates shape for the hourglass and curvy figures. To view the online catalogue and for more info, please go to www.astartewoman.com.
The show was indeed a success and had a huge turnout. Jovy credits his inspiration for this unique mixer to a recent ANTM episode, which Tyra required the models to walk on the slippery lanes on a bowling alley. Lastly, he wanted to connect people in all industry backgrounds together, especially during these times. He wants to see people not just party at these mixers, but to mingle and network… There will be many more of these mixers to come and I can’t wait to see what Jovy will come up with next.

Special Thanks: Felix Salzman of LookbookLA, J’s Luxury Taxi Service, SpcaLA, Jovy Janolo, Parris Harris, Calpernia Addams, Lucky Strike, MyFashionPlace.com, JIVID.com, UltraFineMedia.com, German Oliva Productions, Efren Beltran Photography, and Apparel News Group.

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