Tag - LookbookLA

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Project Ethos: Culture Shock 3.27.09
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Runway Magazine's Oscar Gifting Suite 2/21/09

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.

Runway Magazine's Oscar Gifting Suite 2/21/09

          It’s not often that an invitation to an exclusive gifting suite for the Oscars, comes knocking at the door. But in my case (and a little help from LookbookLA.com) , I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a gifting suite, hosted by Runway  Magazine, held on the 20thand 21st of February. So, not only do I get a taste of “stardom” if you will, but I also had a rare opportunity to step inside Liberace’s Penthouse. The penthouse is owned by a friend of Runway ‘s President- James Buccelli. Runway also has offices in the space. Some amenities of this venue include a mirrored hallway, small pool and a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Hollywood Hills.

         I caught up with James out by the pool. He started Runway  Magazine two years ago. The company is also doing a TV show that will teach the viewers how to start a magazine…from concept to creation. Runway has been doing the Oscar gifting suit annually, along with suites for the Emmies and  Grammies. He explained that Runway’s Gifting Suites are different from others. It’s not about making money, it’s about everyone having a good time. It’s where the celebrities can come and not be bombarded…People can relax, eat sushi or other award-winning catered foods or even take a dip in the pool. The goal is also to help promote the clients, whether they be the celebrities, PR firms, stylists, media or a certain product.

Speaking of clients promoting their goods n’ wares, I would like to start off with  artist Juan de Lascurain. De Lascurain, a native of Mexico, paints (on canvas and clothing) and has a television show called, “Dream Big”-available in twenty-three Spanish-speaking countries. He also has a “Dream Big” night on Thursdays at a gallery in Culver City. He does high-end and acrylic paintings, along with digital designs.  About a year ago, he began painting his vibrant designs on clothing. Six years ago, he founded, Vida Youth, which helps to inspire people. He gets his inspiration everywhere. He loves life and from where he’s from, the Latin people love life. He wants people to follow their dreams. He says that if you have a dream, faith and you work hard…you can accomplish anything. Check him out at www.delascurain.com and www.vidayouth.com.

Since California is a “Green” state, then it would only be appropriate to have at least one eco-friendly company at the gifting suite. Darleen Reilly, president of Agreenday.org was giving out Globo Bags- reusable dry-cleaning bags made from recycled plastic bottles and valued at $125. She was approached by Mandy (from Runway) at the GoGreen Expo. She loved the bags and loved the fact that Darleen’s products are 100% American madeand insisted that Darleen be apart of the gifting suite. Celebrities that own this piece of dry-cleaning phenomenon include: Russell Simmons, First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah, Tyler Perry and Jennifer Hudson; just to name a few. If you would like to purchase the “Globo Bag” or other Earth-friendly bags (made from Organic Cotton), go to www.Agreenday.org.

Another vendor, selling fun tattoo-inspired hats was ZZPrado. Designer Elizabeth Prado was on hand to tell me a little about her line. She offers: ZZ Prado Men/ Women and Swimwear, though her best sellers are her one-of-a-kind hats, which sold for $65 at the show, but are $100 on up regular price. She is a very creative person and there’s not a moment when she’s not inspired. Her collection can be viewed at www.zzprado.com.

And then there were shoes…well, sexy and sophisticated high-heeled boots to be exact. Some were Western-style, others were fur-trimmed or if you preferred some blinged-out heels; those were on hand as well. Monique Capelta is the creative head  and CEO behind the company, Capelta. It all started in NYC, when she went to a Goodwill, picked up a pair of boots and some pieces of leather and the rest they say…is history… This past Christmas, she got her first shipment of product and this is her first launch. Her funky, edgy and rock star boots range from $395 – 2,200. Her online store is www.capelta.com.

When I walked inside, I noticed a table with rows of creatively designed hats. The designer was Anita Hopkins, of Anita Hopkins Millinery. She has been designing all her life, but turned her hobby into a career twenty years ago. Her hats are chic, elegant and versatile. She wants to create hats that have a new modern twist. One of her signature hats is the Confederate hat, which resembles the uniform hat worn by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It is very versatile; can be worn sideways or with the brim in the back. Her hats have graced the heads of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including: Pink, Janet Jackson, Dave Navarro, just to name a few. The hats range from $385 – 450, more if you want it customized. Her hats are available online at www.anitahopkinsla.com.

While I was walking around, taking in the sites, I noticed a girl doing an interview, while showing off her handmade handbags. After the interview, I had the opportunity to also talk to her about the bags. Her name is Jenn Bagby of BagbyRoyal Handbags. She has been in business for six years on and off. Like Ms. Prado, Jenn too, finds inspiration in everything, from a building to another designer…even to a random thought. She loves working with upholstery and  cotton silks, depending on her mood. One of her signature pieces is a purse with a long tulle veil. I thought it was a very unique piece and is what caught my eye in the first place. This is her first gifting suite and she was very excited to be a part of it. Her handmade creations range from $50- 200. Her website, www.bagbyroyal.comis currently under construction, but she does have a myspace page.

Special thanks to: James Buccelli, Brad Barker, Mandy and the rest of the staff of Runway  Magazine (www.runwaymagazinela.com), the kind people of Park West for providing complimentary valet parking for the event, Hydrodynamics, Moxxor, Monavie, Jeff Knight Photography, J-Star Media, Sashi Sushi of Manhattan Beach, gift bags donated by Shoes for the Stars.

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