Tag - California Market Center

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F2 Runway Show during FOCUS (June 12th, 2011)
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Designer Launch Pad Fashion Show
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Unique Los Angeles- Dec. 5th & 6th

F2 Runway Show during FOCUS (June 12th, 2011)

I was eager to attend the latest runway show during the Fall/Holiday 2011 LA Market. The show was titled, “F2 Runway Show” and featured brands located inside the California Market Center. The lucky designers showing were: Zuur Jeans, JewelWraps, Tyler Kim, Luii Jackets, Lina Mendoza, Pouch and Annie & Jade by Annie Le. Zuur Jeans made its debut during LA Fashion Week in March 2011 and are designed by Miguel Estrada right here in good ‘ole LA. Zuur Jeans is known for the comfy fit and soft fabrics. Miguel believes in creating the highest quality jeans for men and women that are uber-stylish. For more information, check out the company website. JewelWraps presented beautiful Pashmina, Cashmere and Silk shawls and stoles that were colorful and immaculately embroidered. Check them out online here. I know it’s a little early to be thinking about coats and jackets, but I saw some really cute jackets from Luii Jackets. They offer light as well as heavier jackets. So even in 60 degree weather, you can add a Luii Jacket to layer with a cute tee or tank, jeans and heels. Lina Mendoza and Tyler Kim showcased breezy separates. I really liked the delicate Tyler Kim silk blue print dress. So perfect for Fall! Lina Mendoza’s spaghetti strap maxi with black empire bodice and red lace skirt caught my eye as being perfect for that evening stroll in Newport or Laguna. For all my budget-savvy ladies out there…Pouch is the brand for you! They recently launched the “Versatile Dress” which is a lovely dress (and top) made from 95% polyester and 5% spandex jersey, which is perfect for every woman. The twist? You can wear this dress at least seven different ways: strapless, Grecian halter, halter, skirt, knotted halter, one-shoulder, plunge…the possibilities are endless. Definitely be sure to check them out here! The last line to show was eco-lux Annie & Jade by Annie Le. I totally fell in love with this line. It’s hip, sexy and is meant to help the wearer feel comfortable and confidant. The solid colors just popped on every look. I adored the blush pink romper, the blue halter jumpsuit and the blue 100% Silk “Lucille” dress. Swoon…Swoon…. Be sure to visit their website and Facebook for shopping and updates! If you’d like more information on future fashion shows for FOCUS and LA Market, go here and check out their blog.

Special Thanks: Audrey O.- marketing and PR with CMC, designers, models, producer- Jeffrey and Honest Tea.

*PLEASE NOTE: All photos taken with my camera phone, so my apologies if quality of pix aren’t the greatest.*

Designer Launch Pad Fashion Show

My first event of the new year kicked off at the California Market Center during LA Market Week. The Designer Launch Pad Fashion Show was a new addition to the Focus Tradeshow, which took place on January 16th. Before the show, I made sure I had a spot right smack in front of the runway. I chatted it up with fellow photographers and my friends Houstina Summers and Leondra Quinones before the show began.

The show (showcasing S/S 2010 collections) started on time, starting with sexy yet simple swimwear by Anahiblue. The name, “Anahiblue” comes from the name of a Persian water goddess.The suits were in bright, solid colors; which designer Michele Sparks says was a big theme: color…Color that resembles tropical vegetation. Sparks was also inspired by famous female personalities; which is why she chose to name the suits accordingly: Ava, Dita, Nadja and Nikita. Her last inspiration is the woman who loves to wear designer apparel on a daily basis, but unfortunately comes up short when shopping her designer swimwear. “I design for the fashion savvy woman whose body is maturing, but my aim is to still keep her feeling feminine and sexy without revealing too much. I am also a big advocate on providing extra padding, shaping and camouflage where needed to bring out her best possible shape,” says the designer, who has had experience in very market, but feels that there is much more possibilities with swimwear. With that being said, Michele hopes to explore different facets of the swimwear market. She ‘wants to change people’s perception of what swim is and get a seasonal dialogue going on about what it could be.’ Anahiblue ‘is geared toward women who leave their eighteen year-old bodies behind, but are very fashion conscious…and is about high fashion, support, shaping and clever camouflage to best out of a woman’s shape.’ For more information, check out www.anahiblue.com or email Michele at sparksm@mac.com.

The next collection uses geometric concepts and the artistic theories of Calder and Brancusi. Let me introduce Camelia Skikos Collection. Camelia Skikos, designer by way of Romania,London and San Francisco was experimenting with duality. According to Skikos, “…from strict cuts and sculptural shapes to soft and draped, using contrasting fabrics like silk and leather, soft and hard, shiny and matte, this collection is dedicated to capturing a woman’s duality, whether it is sensual and mysterious or strong and feminine. The detachable leather pieces offer the illusion of strength and lend the wearer a sense of versatility.” I loved her collection in that it was reminiscent of the 1960’s bright mod style. Check out this fab California brand at www.cameliaskikos.com for more information.

This next designer drew her inspiration from watching too much, ‘Gossip Girl.’ I give you- DustieDoll Clothing. It all started when Dustie Smith was given a ‘Sew Perfect’ at an early age; then at age twelve, she was inspired to start designing clothes after watching “Pretty in Pink.” Since then, Dustie created her clothing company, “DustieDoll Clothing”, which has evolved into selling at boutiques such as: Kitson, Bloomingdale’s and Fred Segal; along with being seen on many celebrities. Dustie showed tees/tanks, dresses in black, white and striped, with jewel, chain and sequin embellishments. They were paired with shorts, ripped jeans and skirts that were also embellished with chains. DustieDoll Clothing was designed to feel comfy, but also be very “fussy.” They have recently been featured in Nylon and Style Watch (part of People magazine). Dustie hopes to keep growing the company in size every year and she’s planning on giving portions of the profits to refugees outside of Burma and Russian orphans. To get the scoop on Dustie Smith and DustieDoll Clothing, go to www.dustiedoll.com.

Twenty-one year old Jazmin Whitley-designer of the SoCal label, Li Cari, had recently presented her S/S 2010 collection “Decades” at the Project Ethos House of Blues event. She showcased a few of those pieces in the Focus show. A couple of my favorite pieces was the blue strapless frock made in raw silk (and was featured on the cover of California Apparel News) and the blue silk bolero, white silk shirt with blue roses and yellow cuffed shorts ensemble. Li Cari is a favorite among celebrities, such as: Aimee Teegarden, Hanna Beth, Christina Ricci and Jamie Pressly. For more information on Jazmin and Li Cari, go to www.shoplicari.com or befriend her on Myspace or Facebook.

This designer hails from Manhattan, by way of FIT and Jersey and having just been in business for a year, is already creating a buzz in the industry. Her name is Marissa Erskine and her company is Rissa. Her collection was based on a painting of an Asian watercolor butterfly. The clothes were very flowy and whimsical, resembling the movement of the butterfly. She used 3D butterfly appliques, lapels, 3D petals and still manages to keep the classic silhouette because she feels that that extenuates the female form. What set’s Rissa apart from other labels is that the Rissa consumer is the quintessential quirky girly-girl who is fashion forward and artistic. Think ‘Gossip Girl’ (Blake Lively) meets Rachel Bilson meets ‘Sex in the City’ (if the women were younger.) The contemporary line also features trademarked “Rissa Necklaces” as well- they are hand knitted/braided necklaces and scarves that are attached to blouses. Her price points vary from the low end of $150 for blouses to the higher end of $300-400 for necklaces, $450-650 for dresses and $500-650 for sweaters. For more information on Rissa, go to www.lovelyrissa.com or contact her at (609)468-1792.

Za Za Zsu designer Sahar Hersal also recently presented her “Sunday Sexy” collection during the Taylrz Joynt Boutique grand re-opening and the VVV Group’s “Fashion for a Cause” show. Her dresses were simple yet elegant. Perfect for a dinner out, a night on the town or, according to Hersel, a Sunday, because “Sundays are all about being effortlessly cool and strikingly sexy…” To get in touch with Hersel, go to www.ZaZaZsu.net or become a fan on Facebook!

The last designer to present, Althea Harper, was of Project Runway Season Six fame. Harper, an alum of Cincinnati School of Design and Central Saint Martins became a contestant of Project Runway in 2008, following graduation. She was one of the three finalists to present her collection at Bryant Park and was selected as first runner-up. Following Project Runway, she became part of the Tory Burch design team while also starting her company. Althea Harper was founded in April 2009 and Althea showcased her first collection during New York Fashion Week this past September and will be showing again this February. According to Harper, “Althea Harper is known for a cutting edge style that combines both tailoring and draping to silhouettes appear strong and beautiful.” Harper’s collection that she presented at Focus represented the true nature of assimilation. “Particular interest in the Old West and the women that were forced to become as tough as men and adapt to the laws and land of the environment, including the surrounding culture of the Native Americans who had claimed the land for centuries. A mix of tailoring and drape, unique combinations of fabric and rare uses of color and print are evident in this collection, highlighting the struggles and triumphs inherent in the process of assimilation, much like the pioneering women of yesteryear, there is a strong sense of the needs of women and their inherent strength in today’s culture,” explains Harper. The designer would like to be a household name design company and would like to be represented on the contemporary floors of all major department stores, as well as having a store of her own. She also hopes to branch out to menswear and accessories. For more information, as well as contacting Althea, go to www.altheaharper.com.

SPECIAL THANKS: Frances Harder of FBI (Fashion Business Inc.), Joanne Lee, Leila Baboi, Fashion Business Inc., California Market Center, Focus Apparel & Accessories Show, Jason’s Wine and Spirits, TNT Make-Up Agency, Jacqueline Umof, Erin Humphrey, Oscar Rodriguez, Chelsea Matthews, Deborah Levine, J, Felix Salzman of LookbookLA.com, Grace Chan of Grace Models (www.gracemodelmanagement.com) and Susan Costa of WCM (www.worldcoastmanagement.com)

Unique Los Angeles- Dec. 5th & 6th

I attended another Unique Los Angeles on the 5th at the California Market Center. This time, there were over 300 vendors and the show expanded by having the Eco-Green Room in a ballroom on the ground-floor. This goes to show you that the economy is slowly getting back on its feet. 300! Sonja Rasula has come a long way since I first volunteered a couple years back, when they had 200 vendors.

It was not even noon and the line of anxious shoppers was almost out the door. Upon getting my ticket, I also received a limited-edition cotton Unique Los Angeles tote, this year designed by Shepard Fairey’s design company, Studio No.1.

Most of the vendors were the same from previous shows, but I ran into some new vendors.

In the Eco-Green Room was Chime Designs, a booth with jewelry made from donated and recycled drum cymbals and scrabble pieces, designed by Leslie Wilson. Most of the drum cymbals come from donations made by Sabian and local drummers from local bands. For more information, go to www.chimejewelry.com.

I followed my eye to a booth of color… Bold, electric and very 80’s… 1981 Collection, designed by Timmery Turner is a smorgasbord of necklaces, bracelets, hairpieces and rings that are all handmade and  hand-painted. She uses vintage pieces, bottle caps, toy cars, etc to create wearable works of art inspired by the 80’s. Contact Timmery at timmery@1981collection.com or visit her site at www.1981collection.com.

In the 13th floor penthouse, I stopped by Robin Charlotte, designer Robin Humphrey takes fish who have recently died at the local fish store and then preserves and paints them in resin, turning them into charms and buckles for jewelry, belts and handbags. Her pieces are currently sold at Duet (290 Forest Ave.) in Laguna Beach or go to www.RobinCharlotte.com for more information or to make a purchase.

Headpieces are THE trend this year (and I’m hoping next as well). This was elegantly stated by designer, Jesslabelle of NbbWear (Natural Born Beauties). She has been in business since 2000 and does vintage-inspired millinery. Her headpieces can be worn day to evening or as she put it, “Whether your going to a party, dinner, doing a strip tease for your boy, or heck…. even dress up to go to the grocery store or do laundry! NBB WEAR is sure to make heads turn and “Ta-dah” the spot light is on YOU!” The peacock and embellished number she wore at the show really wowed me and I know it’ll do the same for you, dear readers. Visit www.jesslabelle.com and do shop her Etsy store at www.nbbwear.etsy.com.

I recognized my fellow Project Ethos alum, Jennifer Garcia of Vim Trousseau, who was showing some dramatic cropped black and gold Kimono jackets made from 100% silk dupioni. According to Jen, this has been the best seller was inspired by her three vintage kimonos that are in her closet. She wanted it classic but with a modern twist. The kimonos are sold at $150.00. Her latest endeavors are her one-of-a-kind handbags made from her personal collection of magazines…which is aptly named “The Glossy Queen.” She has three permanent collections: ‘Fashion Connoisseurs’- which features images relating to anything fashion, from top models to high fashion houses. Her fav is the ‘Balenciaga Bag.’ The second collection is the ‘Icons Collection’- featuring images of iconic people of the music and entertainment industry. The ‘Michael Jackson Bag’ is of course the most popular of the collection. The last collection is ‘Make a Statement’- which features a play on words. “Fun phrases so your bag can speak when you don’t want to!” Jen also has a ‘Black History’ series and ‘Superheroes’ series, which has clippings from comic books. The bags are $50.00 and also comes with jeweled straps that are removable and can be worn as necklaces. Most bags come with two straps, you get a great deal with a one-of-a-kind handbag and two necklaces. Check out www.vimtrousseau.com or contact Jen at jen@vimtrousseau.com.

I spy with my fashionable eye…handmade recycled avante-garde couture! This particular booth boasted just that as well as headpieces and jewelry. The brand is Kittinhawk, designed by Allysun Maria Dutra. She is committed to recycling and keeping her business small and community-oriented. She sources out of antique shops, thrift stores, garage and estate sales, and even out of dumpsters. I love how passionate Allysun is…not only to fashion, but to being unique, one-of-a-kind and environmentally friendly. Check out Kittinhawk at www.kittinhawk.com.

I know I’m straying away from fashion, but I stopped by two booths dealing with photography. Jen Zahigian Photography- Jen is from the Bay Area, but is making her way down to LA. Her specialties are off-beaten paths, hidden corners of the country and nostalgic roadside signs. Check out her amazing shots at www.jenzahigian.com. The other booth, I happened to stumble upon due to this digital painting of the famous motel at North Shore in Salton Sea, CA. 33 Stewart Avenue is owned by Sean Finocchio. He takes photos and then transfers them onto wood, paper or canvas. Check out www.33stewartavenue.com.

NOTE: I would like to also acknowledge the vendors from the previous shows that I ran into: Hillary Danner and Maria Newman of ECOBOOMA & Jenkins Jellies. Hillary recently opened Studio Root 66 in Highland Park, dedicated to emerging and eco-friendly designers. (5917 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042 ph:323-482-1414 and www.studioroot66.com), Dust Design Co., Fleamarketgirl.com, Mojo Cosmetics, 7Lightningbolt, Dip It Designs. Dip It designer Ryan made a new CAUTION wallets, this time, with Japanese CAUTION tape, fun bottle cap rings and Chinese take-out boxes (for decoration). Lastly, Liz Abbott of Leatherette Heart created new Lady Gaga-esque headpieces with birds and feathers, along with her apparel and barrettes with kitschy charms.

SPECIAL THANKS: Sonja Rasula and the crew of Unique Los Angeles, California Market Center, J, the vendors, Sean and Celeste of 33 Stewart Avenue and sponsors.

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