Tag - LA market week

Fall/Holiday 2012 Fashion Presentation
LA Market Week (Oct. 2011 edition)
Designer Launch Pad Fashion Show

Fall/Holiday 2012 Fashion Presentation

This June meant another fashion market for the city of Los Angeles and with that, another fashion show…err…rather a presentation held in the lobby of the California Market Center. Guests partook in an open bar and photo booth provided by Patron (with wine provided by Frey Vineyards), non-alcoholic beverages provided by Dry Soda Co., Izze and Honest; and munchies by Trader Vic’s. We saw several Fall/Holiday 2012 looks provided by Miilla, Chaudry, Mystree, Monoreno and Darling.

The favored contemporary brand- Miilla launched in 2010. We saw classic chic silhouettes that could easily transition from day to night and from a warm day to a chilly evening. The collections are meant to be mixed ‘n matched to suit your personal style….so go ahead, shop Miilla and enjoy standing out from the crowd.

“If it’s not magic, it’s not worth having,” are Krishan Chaudry’s words to live by. Krishan came up with the “wrap-up” concept for his new brand-Chaudry in 1978 while walking the streets of New Delhi, India. In 1995, he expanded the brand, introducing contemporary dresses, skirts, tops and evening dresses that are inspired by his native India. Check out Chaudryfashion.com for more information.

Los Angeles based contemporary brand- Mystree launched in 2006 and are known for their tops and sweaters. If you have are a boutique owner, you can sign up for an account on the Mystree website.

Also based in Los Angeles, Monoreno launched in 2006 and is dedicated to designing original and beautiful creations to make the women who buy the pieces feel confident in the latest trends. For more information, please go to Monoreno’s website.

The last brand to showcase some of their looks was London-based Darling. Darling was created in 2008 and is the brainchild of Nadia Moraes. The fun, feminine and vintage-inspired line was recently voted Womenswear Brand of the Year at the Drapers Fashion Awards 2011 and has been seen on the likes of Kelly Brook, Anna Friel and Peaches Geldof, just to name a few. Go to Darling’s website to shop the line and for more information.

LA Market Week (Oct. 2011 edition)

Whew, it’s been quite a whirlwind of adventures and this past LA Market Week was just one of them. There was the usual tradeshows, like FOCUS, SELECT, Designers & Agents and Transit, but I was also introduced to the latest edition to the montage of shows- COEUR, which I will discuss a little later. But first, I’d like to introduce some new brands I discovered while hanging out at the California Market Center.

Moda Revise and Wave (LA Unlimited Apparel Group)

I e-met Moda Revise’s (pronounced reveesee) designer- Stella Chang a few weeks before the show and got somewhat acquainted with the line of handbags. I enjoyed seeing the line in person and loved that not only is she the designer, but her artwork is also featured on the bags. The art work is very Japanese and Manga inspired. I really admire the amount of detail that she put in the artwork and designing the bags. For more information, check out Moda Revise here. I also wanted to mention that I saw a beautiful floral jumpsuit in the same booth (both repped by LA Unlimited Apparel Group) designed by the German brand- Wave.

Costella Handbags

I was browsing the booths when I spotted shapes in gleams of metallic bronze and gold. Then I randomly spotted my friend, Isabelle (designer of IDNYC), who introduced me to Luciana Ellington- owner of Costella Handbags. She founded Costella in 2007 and using the sewing skills she learned from her Grandmother, creates exquisite unique handbags styles that are also presented in a limited quantities. My faves are the metallic ‘Gold Croco’ and ‘Spring Wood’ clutches. What’s also neat about the clutches is that they also expand. This is such a unique collection and a lot of hard work goes into making each bag. Check out more Costella here.

Sendra Boots/2568

Spanish brand-Sendra Boots has been around for awhile, since 1913. They are known for their edgy, western styles; as well as their equestrian, biker and fashion boots. Check out the Sendra Boots website here. Sendra also has a sister brand called 2568. 2568 was created after a trip down to Guatemala, where the designers discovered a village full of artisans creative beautiful and colorful textiles. The line uses only fair-trade materials and retails from $50-200.

Mellie J Showroom

I was browsing SELECT when a friendly “Hello!” caught me sort of off-guard. I returned the greeting and walked over to the booth. The woman introduced herself as Melanie Flood, owner of Mellie J Showroom in London. She reps several lines, two of which I was drawn to- Laga from Spain and London-based brand, Tofu. Each brand had interesting characteristics that I loved. For example, Laga was very girly with vintage-inspired prints. Tofu offered 60s mod-inspired baby doll dresses that Twiggy would fall head-over-heels in love with (cause I know I sure did)! Melanie also offers a sample-sale site, which you can check out here. I just wanted to personally say thank you to Melanie and Johanna for your hospitality and kindness and for gifting me the GORGEOUS Laga floral maxi dress and Laga vintage-inspired locket necklace!

Henri Lou Jewelry/Handbags

I spotted this jewelry line at SELECT as well and thought their bracelets would make great options for the “armparty craze” that is currently trending. The bracelets are handmade from the best suede and leather that come in a variety of colors and adorned with a brass or sterling silver ring. Designer-Reagan Rowland drew her inspiration while at a saddle shop during a trip to the ghost town of Calico (off the 15 between Barstow and Vegas). To shop the line and get more information on Henri Lou Jewelry, check out the website.

What Goes Around Comes Around

What Goes Around Comes Around is a prestigious vintage boutique based in NYC, but also has a shop here in LA on La Brea. They carry high-end vintage, as well as contemporary brands that complement the vintage. They also have their own WGACA brand of vintage-inspired pieces (which they showed at the Designers & Agents show). I fell in love with every piece. The prints were rich in color and texture. Everything is versatile and can be mixed ‘n matched to create the perfect day-at-the-office look or a show-stopping red-carpet ready outfit. Check out the WGACA site here.

Bella Luxx

I don’t know why I didn’t discover this lux t-shirt brand sooner! Can we say, “hello new daytime uniform!” Bella Luxx is based in LA and offers high-quality tees, dresses and jumpsuits. The design team- Danny, Harris and Marco DeGeorge base their brand off of the laid back yet chic California lifestyle where “less is more”. When I browsed the racks at the booth, I was able to feel the fabric, which is called ‘Tissue Jersey’ and comprised of 90% Modal and 10% Silk… it literally felt like tissue. It was so soft and delicate (definitely handle with care when cleaning the garment). I wanted the tees in every cut and color, as well as the maxi dresses and jumpsuits. You can easily dress every style up or down. Definitely check out Bella Luxx, you’ll thank me later!

Now, let me present COEUR- a premiere women’s home, gift and accessories show that debuted this past LA Market Week. COEUR means “heart” in French and offers more sophisticated, timeless, avant-garde collections for the discriminating consumer. The show boasted a lounge by Matters of Space, an installation by Society for Rational Dress and a Cash & Carry Pop-Up by A Current Affair and a coffee bar by Fix Coffee. So, without further ado, here are some brands I discovered at COEUR.

Marie Turnor Handbags

I adored the sleek envelope clutches that came in solid and color-blocked hues. If you’ve ever been stumped on what to wear (handbag-wise) to a picnic…then I think I have your answer- The Picnic Clutches that are inspired by the paper lunch sack that is typically rolled up at the top. Such a cute idea, right?! The designer-Miss Beth Goodman, also is a firm believer that “less is more,” which is true in the case of her brand. I think that the simplicity of the brand is what makes it stand out in lux minimalism. Check out Marie Turnor Accessories here.

Ona Chan Jewelry

I had pleasure of meeting designer Ona Chan and her assistant-Elena during the show. I loved how Ona presented one collection of her line in glass vases filled with water, greenery and rocks. That collection is aptly named “Water” and is inspired by the flowing water of rivers, oceans and relaxing baths. Her other collections include: “Bark”-which is a 100% organic line that reflects growth, change and life that centers around colorful gems. “Facets”- simple yet sexy and modern. “Mimi Too”- Inspired by Ona’s daughter’s drawings of her friends. “Love” and lastly, “Virtues”- which is inspired by Ona’s Chinese background. Such a great line! Please go here for more information on Ona Chan Jewelry! I also want to thank Ona for gifting me a lovely bracelet from her “Virtues” line.

Bliss Lau

I met the talented designer behind the NYC-based Bliss Lau jewelry line- Bliss while at COEUR. The Parsons grad has been designing her signature body chains for six years now. Her body chains are stunning and are draped to resemble the shape of different parts of the body. She also gets her inspiration from the New York architecture, especially the Brooklyn Bridge and the Chrysler Building. Loved every piece! Check out Bliss Lau here.

Corina Haywood~ Modern Millinery

As a fellow head piece maker, it excited me to stumble across Corina Haywood’s booth. I just LOVED her collection of sculpted avant-garde works-of-art! She launched her line in 2001 and along with hat-making, she also teaches workshops at various locations around LA. More more information, check out her website!

Other notable booths I checked out include MAL jewelry. I loved the “Crocodile Skin” cuff and necklace, “Leather Collar” necklace and the “Pyramid” pieces. Such beautiful work by this NYC designer. There were also two more jewelry designers: LA-based Gilda Grey, known for colorful, bohemian designs; and Gabriela Artigas, another LA-based designer. I loved her simple, geometric shapes on necklaces and rings. My dear designer friend- Jenny Dayco showed me some new pieces to her collection. I LOVE the tribal-inspired bracelets! She also launched cute turban headbands and scarves. Ladies, I would highly recommend checking out Commandos by Her Look. They produce quality seamless undies, slips, strong panty hose that won’t run and other ‘ladies-only’ accessories. Since I’m a huge fan of sunglasses, I checked out the Thierry Lasry booth. LOVE all the styles! Very vintage-y and are a celebrity favorite. Can’t do an island getaway this year, well, why not bring a little island to your feet? Bali Soles is a chic brand of sandals that is not only great for the beach, but great to spice up any outfit for just about any occasion. Lastly, for all you vintage lovers out there, I’m sure you’ve heard of the handbag brand- Whiting & Davis?! They are still around (since 1876) and still making gorgeous Art Deco and Victorian-inspired metal mesh handbags, clutches and even iPad cases. They also offer modern and contemporary designs as well and are a huge celebrity favorite (and this blogger’s too)!

I want to thank the folks at California Market Center, Alyson Bender (PR), Gregory for redoing my hair at the pop-up salon by Oliver Ifergan Atelier, DJ Kiino Villand the brands and designers.

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)

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