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Beat It! A Joseph Rene and Parris Harris Production
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Escondido Fashion Week Presents: David Kahn Jeans and Lauren-Elaine Designs
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Project Ethos: Culture Shock 3.27.09

Beat It! A Joseph Rene and Parris Harris Production

The dynamic duo- Joseph Rene and Parris Harris have done it again, this time, they rocked it out ’80’s style at Club Menage in the heart of Old Town Pasadena.

It was there that the models sashayed down the runway to beats like MJ’s “Beat It” and Dramarama’s “Anything”. The first portion of the show was dedicated to Salon Sessions and featured three models strickin-a-pose as celebrity stylist Joseph Rene and the owners of  Salon Sessions, Neeko and Samvel stood on the brightly lit boxes and fussed with their hair.

The clothing that was provided by Trendy Rags, Parris Harris’s line, “Punk Mail” and Yoga Army added extra splashes of color to the club’s rockin ambiance.

I spoke with the designers  Sandy Wee and Sebastian St. George of Yoga Army, which is located in near-by Temple City, CA. They are an American made apparel company, specializing in mixing hard and soft elements, such as jersies and leathers or silks and laces. It was interesting when Sandy was explaining that even with the rough economy, designers sometimes have it so tough that they are going back to the Grassroots Movement (door-to-door). And that the tradeshows still aren’t cutting the costs to make it easier. They are either the same or have risen because the labor unions are pushing them for higher prices.

The pair, along with Parris Harris are involved in the Ford Fiesta Movement. They were among the special one hundred people chosen to test-drive the 2011 Ford Fiesta for six months, while also completing different missions. When I met the Yoga Army team, they had just received the car. For more information on the Ford Fiest Movement, go to www.phasionarmy.com or www.fiestamovement.com/agents/view/84.

Ms. Wee and Mr. St. George have known Parris Harris for a long time and they are proud to be apart of the ’80’s Rocker Show and to support Parris and Joseph Rene.

Yes, the 80’s did indeed come back that night in a dazzling spectacle of energy, wild hair (including neon netting in a couple styles) and thankfully without the shoulder pads! Bravo!

SPECIAL THANKS: Joseph Rene (www.josephrenesalon.com) , Parris Harris (www.phashionarmy.com) , Salon Sessions (www.salonsessions.com) , Club Menage (54 E. Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena, www.clubmenage.net , the models, hair and make-up, J’ s Luxury Beemer Taxi Service, Trendy Rags (www.trendyrags.com) , Yoga Army (www.yogaarmy.com) and Felix Salzman of LookBookLA!

Escondido Fashion Week Presents: David Kahn Jeans and Lauren-Elaine Designs

                                            The weather was perfect for the drive down to Escondido, CA; where the second annual Escondido Fashion Week was held at the California Center for the Arts.

        I went to support my friend, Parris Harris, who was coordinating that evening’s Red Carpet Finale, featuring David Kahn Jeanswear and Lauren-Elaine Designs.

            The evening started with words from Debra Rosen, CEO of Escondido’s Downtown Business Association; followed by Angelo Damante of Mercedes-Benz of Escondido and Channel 8’s Barbara Lee Edwards. Then, dancers from Georgia’s School of Dance took the stage with a jazz number (they also danced in between the fashion shows and after.)

The first fashion show was David Kahn Jeanswear. The models showcased the latest of his S/S ’09 line- crops, capris, shorts, skinny legged jeans, and skinny crops that were properly accessorized with tanks and tops sporting the David Kahn logo and scarves, hats and jewelry that was provided by Bacio Boutique. The second part of Kahn’s runway show consisted of the menswear line. And I must say…the men really knew how to show off a pair of classic jeans! Most of the male models strutted down the runway with the serious attitudes; also with David Kahn tees and hoodies. One model though, tore off his tank and thrust it into the giddy audience.

Kahn recently launched his menswear collection. He focuses on the European and American fits and straight and boot cuts. Like his womens line, he also uses Italian denim. For more on David Kahn Jeans, visit www.davidkahnjeanswear.com.

            The closing show of the evening was Lauren-Elaine Designs. Her collection (and second full collection) was titled, “Siren Collection”, a dress line inspired by the mythical sirens from Ancient Greek Mythology and the ‘sirens’ of the 50’s (Grace Kelly). The models strolled the runway in ‘goddess’ gowns and dresses with  50’s full-skirted silhouettes.

         I had a chance to catch up with the designer of LED, Lauren-Elaine Edleson, who started in the industry as a model, but turned designer when she was in college. She loves working with colorful prints in fine cotton blends, silks and silk chiffons. She has a passion for hand-dying fabrics and taffeta cocktail dresses. She hopes to manufacture more garments with “green” and organic fabrics in the near future. However, several of her sundresses are already made from organic cotton. Her label is still somewhat new, having been launched in March 2008, during LA Fashion Week. For more on LED, go to www.lauren-elainedesigns.com.

I would like to extend special thanks to Parris Harris, for informing me of this amazing event and my first fashion event outside the LA area. To Debra Rosen, Kory DeMeulenaere (GM of Courtyard by Marriott- Rancho Bernardo), Danielle Aeling, events manager at DBA. She and a fantastic team of people planned this event for eleven months and despite the economy, still managed to get the designers and had an incredible amount of people in attendance. Lauren from Bacio Boutique (121 E. Grand Avenue in Escondido  (760)743-4800), Georgia’s School of Dance, the hair and make-up teams and the woman behind the models, Maurinda Andre of MODA models. Ms. Andre herself started modeling in 1997 and has worked her way up. Afer a stint at Model and Talent Management, she called Debra Rosen and told her of a new business venture. Rosen then gave her one and a half months to get her business started and then told her about Fashion Week 2009. Andre chose to name her new business, MODA, because it was her professional model name and that she has her own personal style. She says she doesn’t follow the trends, she expresses through them. You can reach MODA at (619)618-5990.

Project Ethos: Culture Shock 3.27.09

* ” Project Ethos bridges the gap between Indie and Mainstream worlds and provides opportunities for previous unrecognized talent.” *

This year,  I had the opportunity to attend the bi-annual event, Project Ethos, held at the Vanguard in Hollywood. The theme was “Culture Shock”.  The charity partner for the event was ‘Raising Malawi, who’s goal is to end the extreme poverty that Malawi’s two million orphans and other children have to suffer from.  The red carpet event boasted eight designers,  eleven artists, three bands, two DJs and fifty-six models.

After a colorful dance by Groovaholix, who were keeping to the “Culture Shock” theme, wore tanks that represented different cultures around the world…the seven-designer fashion show started.

AGAPE- A feminine contemporary line, designed by Danyela Jelovac had draped dresses and seperates that had a European flair but a hint of American modernity. The muted colors were perfectly styled with purple tights that went over the heel, which reminded me of a somewhat “mod” style. You can email Danyela at danyelaj@hotmail.com.

MIDNIGHTMARE- The dynamic duo Judy, Donna and Phong Hong are the creative geniuses behind this contemporary line that was inpspired by the mysterious shadows that are formed at night. All the designs on their tees are original hand-drawn illustrations. I LOVED the vest and skirt seperates that were made from feathers! Their designs will be available  in their online store and some boutiques. Their site is www.midnightmare.com.

MIMEKI- This is a handbag line created by Rochelle Thwaites. Mimeki means, “I made it,” in Jamaican. Her line has a following that features celebrities and other fashionistas alike. At one point during her show, two models walked out, instead of wearing clothing, their bodies were beautifully painted. It created a “WOW-factor” with the audience. Her website www.mimeki.com is currently under construction.

COWGIRL HEAVEN- Fun and flirty party dresses that are designed by Houstina Summers, were inspired by ribbons and bows, also Barbie meets 50’s Pin-up. Check her out at www.cowgirlheaven.foliosnap.com or email her at cooltina33@hotmail.com.

LAVSH- Alfred Lape is the creative visionary for this line. He has had no formal education in the fashion industry and is responsible for the patternmaking, sewing, the rest of the design process, as well as the business aspect. He showed very sophisticated shirts, jackets and pants during the show. Every piece of Lape’s collection is sewn with love and care. For more information, go to www.lavshlv.com.

LUXCHER- This contemporary line designed by Naoko Yoshihara takes its name from two French words, “lux”- “luxury” and “cher”- “beloved”. All her clothes that were on the runway that evening were very feminine and sophisticated and could easily take a woman from day to evening. Her email is luxcher@gmail.com.

THE OTHER DUCK- Created by Cheryl Koo, and was derived from the “Ugly Duckling” story. Her line is for those who are the non-conformists, the people are aren’t afraid to stand-out…the outcasts…if you will. Every piece she makes has a message behind it, which is also her personal life message. The models had make-up that represented black masks around their eyes…the dark make-up with the dark clothing was very goth-like. There was a slight twist behind the coats…the lining had color…bright and fun. One of the models also came out in a strapless sheer gown and doing ballet. I do love it when models add a little something extra other than just ‘walking’. Cheryl’s hip site can be found at www.theotherduck.com.

DEVIOUS-DAMZELS- Designer Maria Peralta was inspired by the silhouettes of the 80’s- shoulder pads, dolman sleeves and glitz; along with the art of East LA culture. Her tees had graphics that were edgy and explosive. Her website www.deviousdamzels.com is under construction at the present, but in the meantime, her email is quitedevious1@aol.com.

SPONSORS: Sexy Hair, Jody Domingue, LookBookLA, Sean Healy Presents, BDPR, Covenant House California, 99% Entertainment, Raising Malawi, M2 Event Design, My Studio, Beta Records, Not Rated Productions, Jin and Quinn Productions, Felulu Cosmetics, Agent Training Network, Groovaholix, Paul Mitchell: The School, Illuminate Collective.

Special Thanks: Brianne Bear; Jason Peskin;Erica Carbajal; Monica Ruiseco;my fellow Ethos girls: Kristen, Claudia and Janice and the rest of TEAM ETHOS; Jody Domingue Photography, Ryan Jones, Parris Harris, Felix Salzman (LookBookLA)… For more information on Project Ethos, go to www.projectethos.com.

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