Tag - Li Cari

Designer Launch Pad Fashion Show
Project Ethos- House of Blues
BoxEight Presents, Li Cari Fashion Show

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)

Project Ethos- House of Blues

The House of Blues on the famous Sunset Strip was the spot to be for Project Ethos, held on October 24th. I attended with my friend, the fabulous Fashion Stylist, Tiffany LaVonne. Before the fashion show, there were performances by Cold Flamez and Electrolightz and an artist exhibition with Matt D. Williams, Terry Kim, Joel Garza, Tobi Salver and Cathryln de Leon.

The fashion show featured seven designers…

Li Cari designer, Jazmin Whitley showcased some pieces from her Spring/Summer 2010 collection, “Decades.” According to Jazmin, the collection was “inspired by the new decade and represents strong, powerful women with clean lines and bold color.” For more info, check out www.shoplicari.com.

Goci was designed by duo Golnessa Farmanara and Cindy Ayvar and founded in 2009. The name Goci was evolved from the first two initials of the designers first names. They presented their first Spring/Summer collection in June 2009 at a gallery on Rodeo Drive and have had three other shows with Project Ethos. The collection they showed at the HOB was inspired by the 1930’s, “when women started to be more feminine and glamorous.” Adds the designers, “We want to revive this look for this collection and making day wear as glamorous as evening wear.” Because accessories played a huge role in the way women looked in the 30’s, Golnessa and Cindy incorporated hats, veiled headpieces, necklaces and gloves with their garments. My favorites were the long goddess-like white gowns that graced the runway. What sets Goci apart is that you can see and feel a unique mixture of their rich cultural heritage powered by their extensive education and experience in the US and Europe. For more information, go to www.gocidesign.com.

The next designer to present was Rina Palma, who’s collection was “In Motion” and was based on the life of a contemporary working woman who’s ready for vacation in Rio. The dresses, tops and swimsuits that I saw on the runway were inspired by the woman’s lifestyle while on vacation. As we all know, vacations usually mean the beaches, festive dinners and dancing. Rina chose black, browns, greys and cream- which are natural and complimented with a pop of a yellow green. The darker colors related to the work that the woman left behind and the bright colors represented the fun, care-free lifestyle she has while on vacation. Rina is currently designing custom clothing and jewelry for private clients. If you would like an exclusive Rina Palma piece, contact her at rina@rinapalma.net or (213)915-8705 & (661)400-4303.

The next brand got the audience in a frenzy…Let me introduce Private Arts…An intimates collection based in Los Angeles and comprised of designers Meaghan Walker and Michelle Alexander and gallery artist Jeffeny Hughes. They presented eleven lace panty and bandeau top set with a unique contemporary art concept for each set. They also presented bloomers, two nighties and an avant-garde kimono bath robe and corset  from their couture collection. I enjoyed every piece and I think that every girl needs a sexy piece by Private Arts in her closet! For more information, check out www.privateartsla.com.

Next, a whimsical collection of skirts, dresses and corsets created by Eleonore Santos of Garden Party. Her collection, “Girl Story” was inspired by the quaint shops and antique market on Portobello Road in London. The pastel buildings reminded Eleonore of walking through a fairytale village and thus, were her chosen color palette for her collection. Another inspiration was of the fairytales themselves…the innocence and blissful oblivion that the characters reside in. She wanted her collection to have a child-like feel but also remain very feminine. The name, “Garden Party” was derived from the nursery rhyme, “Mary, Mary- Quite Contrary…” Eleonore started the label in May of 2008 and operates out of her bedroom, when she’s not doing homework. According to her, “The Garden Party Girl would rather curl up on the couch with a book than head to the mall, cherishes that music box that belonged to her Grandma, loves flowers and isn’t afraid to admit she has quirks.” Everything in her collection screamed ‘cute’. I adored the bubble silhouette in her dresses and skirts and the clean lines in her corsets. To shop her collection, simply go to www.gardenpartyclothing.etsy.com.

Next, dresses from Houstina Summers’s “Pure Love” collection floated down the runway. I absolutely love Cowgirl Heaven and was pleased to see a couple new pieces along with pieces from previous shows. Her presentation also featured models from Runway Rhythm who again gave an awesome dance performance. For your next party or red carpet event, check out www.http://www.etsy.com/shop/cowgirlheaven and be sure to check out her blog at www.cowgirlheaven.blogspot.com. 

Lastly, the last presentation to show was SYC FUK by Bucky Bakes. SYC FUK stands for “Street Youth Couture From Unwanted Kids.” This is the anti-fashion, punk rock line that has always turned heads at events…mainly because of the SYC FUK Girls- girls in barely there minis, tanks, fishnets and stripper heels and the models who, at the end of the runway, give the audience the finger and the model who came out wearing panties and heart pasties (I was told this was not a lash out at the Lindsey Lohan line for Ungaro…but inspired by the “American Junkiiie” herself) …But hey, it’s theatrical and very much part of the SYC FUK brand. The collection shown at the show was called “American Junkiiie” because the American society is completely junked out on music, fashion, food, sex, drugs and celebrities. The collection was compiled of men’s wear- leather trimmed flannels, distressed denim jeans and vests, torn and tattered jackets strewn with sterling silver buttons and hoodies with hand cut leather patches and studs. The women’s line was compiled of micro mini dresses, flannel shirts and dresses, studded/torn denim and fur lined hoodies and boots. The SYC FUK line is worn by many bands and celebrities including Holly Madison (Girls Next Door) and Daisy De La Hoya (Daisy of Love), Criss Angel, Josh Todd (Buckcherry) and James Kottak (the Scorpions). Check out www.SYCFUK.com or (310)926-5777 or sycfukg@gmail.com. 

Another great show Project Ethos!! 

SPECIAL THANKS: the peeps @ Project Ethos, House of Blues, J, Tiffany LaVonne, Global Wellness,DJ Robb Rockwell, sponsors: FIDM, LookbookLA.com, Closet Mouse, Lovecurescancer.com, 99 Percent Entertainment, Models International, MyStudio.net, Beauty Tech Studios.


BoxEight Presents, Li Cari Fashion Show

It seems that 20 year old designer Jazmine Whitley has done it again! The Li Cari show ended the BoxEight Fashion Week on the 15th at the famous Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway with not an empty seat in the house and not to mention the media frenzy. Before the show, my friend Hannah and I mingled with friends and met new ones in the imacculate six-story lobby of the theatre. A few minutes before the show was to start, we made out way into the theatre to scope out seats. Due to the seats being so far back, I had to move up to the center aisle and stand with the rest of the media. Ok, I mentioned that I had to STAND…well in five inch heels that is… and the show went for fifteen minutes…YOU do the math. 

Promptly at 10pm, BoxEight founder Peter Gurnz came onstage and gave a brief history on BoxEight’s influence at Fashion Week and then he introduced his team. Then, the show began.

Jazmine’s inspiration for her collection was back-to-basics. The silhouettes were classic and had a ‘Jackie-O’ look. She “wanted to convey a sense of the basics and nature.” She is also aware of our country’s tough times and wants people who wear Li Cari to have a peaceful mindset, which starts when they go to their closets to pick out something to wear in the morning. There was another designer that shared the spotlight that night.  She is Lynn Curtin, founder of men’s and women’s Cuff Luvv Collections. You also may have recognized her in the last season of Real Housewives of Orange County fame. Her rocker inspired cuffs for the show worked well with Li Cari’s classic style.

           Lynn started the company a little over three years ago, however she’s been designing most of her life. She was tired of giving her friends the same gifts over and over again, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. Now, her cuffs are sold at Fred Segal and other small boutiques around the OC area, including Duo, in Laguna Beach which on every first Thursday of the month, they host a small party. Even Stephan Tyler was given one of her cuffs. She has a new cuff coming out, which is more economical and is about an inch wide, but still with the iron cross and studs  and will sell for $99.  It takes around an hour from design to finish, though depending on the leathers. She is in the process of getting a manufacturer, due to getting more involved with the higher-end retail shops.  You can currently read about Cuff Luvv in this month’s issue of Orange Coast Magazine on page 26 and shop her collections at www.shoplynncurtindesigns.com.

Special thanks to: Hannah David,  Jose’s “Luxury Taxi Service”, and Susan Costa of WCM.

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