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Chinese New Year's Carnival and Fashion Show
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Rock Madness Fashion Show @ BoxEight 1/31/09
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Modeled Fashions Designing Women 2009

Chinese New Year's Carnival and Fashion Show

This post is going to go a little differently. Mainly because I was modeling in the show. My dear friend, Rebekka Lien was showcasing ten to fifteen of her designs at the Chinese New Year’s Carnival held at Mandarin Baptist Church of Pasadena in Arcadia. After the show, I emailed her questions about her inspirations, etc and I’m going to post it like a Q & A. 

Q: So Rebekka, what was the inspiration of your collection? 

A: The collection consisted of all the pieces that I made in the last 2 years.  There isn’t one inspiration in my collection- but I would definitely say that what inspires me is the abundance of life.  I am constantly amazed at what life throws at me, at times bad, at times good.  However, it is the tears and joy of life, that overall encompasses my work. I love color, prints, and believe that fashion is all about being yourself!

Q: Did you have a theme in mind when designing the collection? 

A: The theme was “I Love My Models!”  Honestly, I was not so concerned about getting my name out there or showing my designs, but I really wanted everyone to have a blast.  I was mostly concerned about my models and the audience.  I picked music, hair- dos, wacky colors and fun accessories so that it would create the most “wow” effect.  I also loved how my models weren’t professional, I wanted them to have fun dancing and just being themselves. So I think my theme was probably “The Unique You…Fully Enjoying Life”.

Q: How did you hear about the venue

A: The carnival coordinator and good friend of mine had asked me to do it.  I was psyched because it would be my first fashion show.  I also wanted the show to be enjoyable and theatrical.  Thus, while I was planning the blue prints of the show, I decided to include freestyle dancing and skits to go along with it.

 

Indeed, the show was a blast! I met new people and walked another runway, while being able to break lose and just have fun. (Ok, so I was a tad-bit shy. No break dancing for me…but…) I do want to shout-out to the designer herself, Rebekka, her brother, the people that were at the MBCP that day and of course, the models!!!

If you would like more information and to buy her amazing designs, check her out at: http://rebekkalien.wordpress.com or email her at : rebekkalien@gmail.com.

Photos courtesy of: Rebekka Lien!!

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.

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