Tag - Los Angeles

A Visit to Emblem Showroom – Los Angeles
Bustown Modern – Los Angeles
Melrose Trading Post – Los Angeles
Bloom Showroom
AK Showroom
Woodbury University “Neo-Tribes” Fashion Show- LA
Preview of Sue Wong’s “Great Gatsby” Fall ’13 Collection- Los Angeles

A Visit to Emblem Showroom – Los Angeles

During my recent visit to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to stop by Emblem Showroom, located in The New Mart and in the heart of LA’s Garment District. It was founded by Eveline Morel (you may or may not have heard of her past endeavor, hip little boutique- Em & Co.). Emblem offers over twelve years of experience in retail, design and business management. According to Eveline, “We work with global and emerging contemporary brands whose unique combinations of quality, wearability, and style bring a unique and valuable offering for consumers. We are passionate about fashion, innovative design, and bringing style that inspires. With a talented and passionate team, and over 12 years experience in design, retail buying, and marketing, Emblem Showroom connects retailers with innovative designers and products from US and around the globe. A dynamic and multi-talented team of fashion bloggers, former retail buyers, merchandisers, and visual creative, we focus on providing value-added solutions and products for retailers to help them thrive and meet their customers’ needs. We connect brands with our ever-expanding network of stylists, social media mavens and fashion influencers, for maximum trend impact.”

Emblem houses a unique array of brands, mainly from Australia, but also from here in the States as well. The brands I viewed were: The Shanti Butterfly, Pelle D’ Arte, Elle Zeitoune, Magdalena Duma, Ashley Michaelsen, Natasha Morse Designs, Talina Hermann, Chasensully and Silvana K (they also rep Australian brands- Clarissa Avenue and Nest of Pambula).

Australian brand- The Shanti Butterfly was founded in 2002 by Justine Guyot, on the beaches of Goa. The brand’s name reflects on the “peace in the present moment, the butterfly and the pure freedom of the months the designer spent there.” The pieces I saw were effortless, yet chic and wearable. I also loved the use of prints and color, in that they were toned down, yet could easily be mixed n’ matched.

Usually I’m not a huge fan of leather clothing, but after seeing some trendy pieces from Pelle D’ Arte, my taste for leather did a 180. Pelle was launched by Nairana, who’s roots began in New Zealand; but now calls Bali home. The quilting and tailoring were just exquisitely constructed and fine-tuned into the garments. She also has a line of uniquely shaped tote bags that are just so deliciously good and versatile. Now if only I lived in a somewhat colder climate to wear Pelle D’ Arte all the time…

Sydney, Australia based- Elle Zeitoune first launched in 2010 and has since had a major following. Her brand features a variety of cocktail and party dresses, as well as coordinating separates. I was able to view the gown and cocktail collections at the showroom and was delighted by Elle’s use of structure and use of sweetheart neckline. My favorite dress from the collection is the “Ruby Gold“- a gown with cap sleeves, gold sequins and demure silhouette. I would love to see more of these gowns on the red carpet (at least here in the States).

Polish-born Magdalena Duma moved to Sydney, Australia in 1990. She unofficially launched her label after Christmas 2007, where she began selling her clothing at markets at Bondi and Glebe. In 2008, she officially launched the brand after going into business with her best friend. Her brand consists of handcrafted, European-inspired trendy pieces for the independent woman. Most of the pieces I viewed were simple and on trend for the season. I also noticed some fun quirks to a few pieces, such as a jacket with the elbow area exposed and a zippered top with feathers.

New York born and raised- Ashley Michaelsen is quite the multi-tasker! This bi-coastal designer is also known for her acting and modeling. She launched her brand when she was just 21 and believes her brand mixes playful flirtiness and timeless elegance. She draws most of her inspiration from the stylish women of New York and LA.

Chasensully is a brand based in Corpus Christi, TX and launched by friends- Tiffany Foster and Kelley Cortese in 2007. The contemporary brand features fashion-forward, youthful clothing at moderate prices.

Los Angeles based Talina Hermann launched her namesake brand in 2008 and is inspired by her own experiences here in the U.S. and her native Ukraine. All her modern and streamlined designs are also manufactured in Los Angeles. She also has a collection that focuses on original graphic patterns inspired by many cities she has traveled to, such as LA and New York City.

Natasha Morse launched her jewelry brand in Fall 2013 and has since been gaining numerous fans. She crafts her statement pieces out of semi-precious stones, crystals, glass beads, pave diamonds and gold-plated brass.

Silva, along with her husband- Nubar created the first green jewelry manufacturing company in Los Angeles during the 90s, called- Silvana K. To this day, they have recycled over 250 pounds of copper per month from certified recycling centers. Very piece is manufactured in LA and is nickel, cadmium and lead free. I absolutely love this jewelry brand! Everything about them screams statement-worthy and would brighten up any outfit.

Be sure to follow Emblem Showroom on Instagram!

Bustown Modern – Los Angeles

8166 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
PH:(323) 951-0290
HOURS: Tuesday- Saturday 11am-6pm PST or BY APPOINTMENT

Bustown Modern is the brainchild of husband + wife team Anessa Woods and Paul Fogt, who share a mutual love of vintage and antiques. Their concept began when they realized that they were passing up items that they didn’t “need,” whereas other people would want them. They then started buying and selling on eBay and rented a space at a local antique mall. After seeing positive results and their business and the quality of merchandise grow, they strayed away from eBay and ventured on to open up a web store. It wasn’t until January 2014, that they packed up, moved across the country and opened their brick-n-mortar on Melrose Ave.

The little Melrose shop is truly a gem and great addition to the area. It has a modern feel, yet houses treasures that are rare, unique and just…oh-so-exquisite on a historic level. When asked about a great piece of clothing that has been found to date, Paul responds, “We have lots of favorites. Some are in our closets. Some are long sold. Every piece has a story, whether it’s the brilliance of the piece itself or just the memory of how we came across it. Anything haute couture is always great because it’s so special. There were only a finite number made and that piece you’re holding is the only one exactly like it ever – it was handmade for someone to their exact specs. We’ve also had a lot of unique pieces that are just so unique or really rare and you feel privileged to have gotten to see, feel and photograph them.”

They offer a little something for everyone, both style-wise and price. Prices range from $50 for the cutest little Paloma Picasso coin purse (everrrr) to $5,000. As Paul states, “A lot of high-end shops get hung up on designer labels only. Yes, we have tons of designer things but we don’t necessarily have them because they’re designer. We buy by the piece, for the piece. Whether it’s designer or not, we look more at design, quality, construction, rarity and how the piece fits into current and future trends. Anessa has an incredible eye and it really resonates with people. We try to offer a very curated collection and when people come in the store or look at our website, we think it really shows.”

I had such a amazing time checking out their curated collection of clothing, accessories and jewelry. This is one of the very few shops in Los Angeles that you can actually touch and feel a Sant’ Angelo, Galanos, Cardin or Halston. This part of Melrose is definitely my little piece of vintage heaven.

Melrose Trading Post – Los Angeles

Held EVERY Sunday from 9-5!
Rain or Shine!
$2 Admission!

Located in the parking lot of Fairfax High School (corner of Fairfax and Melrose).

If you are in the LA area and have not been to the Melrose Trading Post yet…I HIGHLY recommend you go. Granted, the traffic on Fairfax is somewhat of a nightmare, but once you turn into the entrance to the flea market, you are greeted by a friendly volunteer who directs you to the free parking (yes, I said FREE) on the soccer field. Once you walk back to the market, you’ll pay your $2 admission, which goes directly to support programs at the high school. Voila! Now that you’re in, you’ll be immersed in the world of vintage, repurposed furniture, clothing, accessories and various random knick-knacks. As a MTP virgin and avid vintage junkie- I wished that I had brought a wad of cash with me, as I saw so much and my budget was so small…this time… Luckily, there is an ATM available, but beware of the $3 fee.

Aside from all the vintage goodness, I spotted one vendor- Industrial Vintage, with a fascinating recycled jewelry collection. The owner- Beth Gellar, takes old bus tags, key tags (from old hotel rooms) and random old key chains and charms and turns them into fab bohemian-style necklaces, etc. for her line, “Personal Numerology.” One style of key tags in particular comes from a beach resort in New Jersey and are naturally patinaed by the ocean. The bus tags come from a school bus company in Wisconsin. Prices for the collection range from $20-45. Beth does not have an online shop at the moment, but next time you’re at the Trading Post, check out her both. If you need a necklace sooner or whatnot, feel free to contact her at: BethGellar@sbcglobal.net.

The Melrose Trading Post can easily be an all-day affair, so bring comfy shoes, sunscreen, cash and your friends. I would suggest being creative in your wardrobe as well, as I spotted a lot of innovative outfits and street style photographers and bloggers. Bring your appetite as well, for the MTG offers a small food court. The best place to get some yummy grub would have to be the GC Crepes. They are also known for their fresh-squeezed orange juice (which is quite good). So, with all this being said, are you excited to check this place out!? The prices are great! I bought a pair of vintage sheer, pleated palazzo pants for FIVE BUCKS!!! I saw vintage sequin tops for $10! Vintage Dooney & Bourke purses for $15?! SOLD! How amazing is that!? From my observation of the vendors I shopped at, people were super friendly and helpful (and willing to bargain).

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience at Melrose Trading Post. Definitely go check it out and let me know what you think!

Bloom Showroom

In the heart of downtown LA’s historic district lies a quaint little showroom, tucked away in the owner’s residence in one of the historic buildings-turned-lofts. Bloom Showroom is independently owned by Jennifer Dermer and offers publicity and sales for emerging designers. Bloom’s mantra is to flourish or thrive. Bloom Showroom’s goal is to help the artists flourish and thrive in the fashion world…Helping new artists ‘bloom’… At this time, five lines are represented: Santina Lucce, Something Charming by Jolica, Lila Clare Jewelry, PERI and Casalinda Studio. The Lila Clare Jewelry collections were one of my faves when I toured the showroom. Each piece is made from eco-friendly sterling silver and other mixed metals, such as copper or 14K gold fill. Designer Clare Johnston draws her inspiration from her love of nature-from basking in the many acres of forest that was her backyard growing up in the mountains of North Georgia. There are three collections: Botanic, Luna and Joy. The Botanic collection focuses on nature in the Southwest with emphasis on the Prickly Pear Cactus. She casts their skeletons to form exquisite abstract cuffs, earrings and necklace pendants. The Luna collection is comprised of mixed metals that produce stunning combinations. The Joy collection offers impressions of lotus petals that are mixed with semi-precious gemstones. For more information, go to the Lila Clare website. The Santina Lucce line was unavailable to preview during my visit, but from what I can see from the images, the line is made for the modern bride. The line is made in America and takes reference from vintage and fine jewelry. So whether you need some fun and whimsical pieces to amp up your wedding attire or need some bling to jazz up your tee and jeans, then Santina Lucce should be on your list. For more information and to check out the images, go to the Santina Lucce website. Another cute jewelry line is Something Charming by Jolica. World-traveler and designer Jolica Taguiped became inspired by the native artisans in Europe, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. After eight years of having her own shop, Jolica decided it was time to design jewelry full-time. She currently has three lines in the Something Charming collection: Lava, Nautilus and Mahjong. The Lava line is pieced with hand picked gemstones and Murano glass and individually crafted using the lost wax casting process. Jolica looks back at her French and Hawaiian roots for her inspiration for the Lava line. The lava flows on Hawaii’s Big Island are the heaviest influencers of the line. The Nautilus line offers a unique look with hand-hammered sterling silver before shell, gemstone or coral are added. The line is also inspired by Jolica’s love of the Nautilus shell. The Mahjong line is based off of the ancient Chinese game. For more information, please check out the Something Charming website. The last jewelry line and one of my other faves is Casalinda Studio. Casalinda Studio is an eco-friendly collection was founded in 2007 by mother-daughter duo Linda DaPra and Jennifer Dermer. The collection’s inspiration is based from California’s native flowers (influenced by the works of A.R. Valentien-who is commissioned by Ellen Browning Scripps to paint the endangered flowers), mudcracks and other natural wonders. The brand only uses recycled, reclaimed metals and fair trade, conflict free, recycled, reused or vintage semi-precious stones and beads. The brand’s goal is to create ‘guilt-less glamour,’ as explained by the brand, “California’s botanical, sea and geological diversity is an artistic treasure that is the motivation behind creating our pieces. We believe that we must all conserve this environment and preserve the diversity of life that exists here.” Casalinda Studio is based in San Diego. For more information, check out Casalinda Studio’s website. The last line represented is the eco-friendly clothing company- PERI Pure Eco Rag Industry. PERI founded the company in 2010 and is based in LA. She is inspired by her deep love for all the beautiful nature that surrounds her. The PERI motto is I am Organic, I am Biodegradable, I am recyclable. I loved checking out the clothes. The designs were simple yet cute and fun; from a navy-blue short sleeve jumpsuit with fuschia silk belt to a lovely ombre hi-low skirt. She has separates that work for every occasion, whether it be at the office or for a night out. Check out PERI’s website for more information. Check out Bloom Showroom via their new website!

AK Showroom

I was so pleased to hear that one of my friends- Amy Kim had recently opened up a showroom in the Cooper Building. I had the pleasure of working with her and Jen O’Brian- the lovely showroom manager during LA Market Week (June 2012). Not only did I learn a different side of the fashion industry, but I also found some amazing brands that they rep: Isabel Lu, Lavuk, Seventh Wonderland, Dra Clothing, Spencer Lacy, The Bikini Thief and Kinship. Here is my little Q&A sesh with Amy…

LAFS: What inspired you to start your own showroom?

AK: I first came into the Fashion industry back in 2006 working as a sales manager for a denim company. And when I paid my first visit to a well-known showroom at the Marts back then, I knew that this was what I would be doing.

LAFS: What brands do you carry and why?

AK: d.RA Clothing. I first met the owner Diana Ra when she was launching d.RA and we connected right away. At the time, she had left the Head Designer position at Patterson J. Kincaid to start her own label – and I fell in love with d.RA instantly. I believed in the brand from the start and hope it achieves the fame it deserves.

LAFS Side Note: d.RA is one of this blogger’s fave brands in the showroom! Love the girly and chic tops, skirts and dresses in fab solids and fun prints! The quality is great and I could definitely see myself having fun mixing prints with this collection!

Isabel Lu. Having come from launching a few Korean-American owned brands prior to opening my Showroom, Isabel Lu was exactly the type of brand I was looking to add to our lineup. The Collection is beautiful, fashion-forward, yet affordably priced for Contemporary. The owner Jane Moon has many years of experience in the industry and is quite savvy in all aspects. A great partnership.

LAFS Side Note: Isabel Lu had some great leopard print separates that I love and some of those maxi dresses would look great in my wardrobe. Everything in the Isabel Lu brand is classy and chic, perfect for the office and dinner after!

LAVUK Los Angeles. I’m a big believer of eco-friendly and earth consciousness. When we first met with Natasha Gindin – the owner of LAVUK for the first time, we knew there was something very special about her and the brand. She brings such unique style and vision to the table which is incomparable other eco-friendly brands out there. Natasha and LAVUK are headed for stardom.

LAFS Side Note: I’ve known the LAVUK brand (and the lovely Natasha) for a few years now. I love the brand… because not only is it eco-friendly as Amy had mentioned, but I love that Natasha takes risks in cut or silhouette…and it looks great!

KINSHIP Made in LA. We’re always to looking for a great new potential brand to launch and cultivate. And what better line to do so with than a trendy, hip, and affordable knit Collection? KINSHIP covers everything from basics, novelty, and graphics – truly something for everyone. Creative Director Alex Vargas and his team bring 10 plus experience in the knits world and have been waiting to launch their own brand for quite some time. We are working towards KINSHIP being the next household name in the knits arena.

LAFS Side Note: KINSHIP is a great brand for your basics. Alex has some unusually fun cuts in the tops and sweaters. I found that the material was nice and comfy!

SpencerLacy. We really wanted to represent some Australian labels – as we know the Aussie brands are very hot in the USA right now. SpencerLacy is a beautiful contemporary collection which all the finer stores always gravitate towards. The Collection brings the cool Aussie vibe and translates them into very wear-able styles for women of all ages.

LAFS Side Note: LOVE SpencerLacy as well! Actually, come to think of it, I’m loving all the Australian brands that have come out so far. The brand offers amazing flowy chiffon dresses in solids and prints. Oh and the knits… I tried on this oversize sweater and wanted to curl up on the couch with a good movie and hot cocoa and just be ‘snug as a bug in a rug’! So yeah, the knits are luscious! Then they also have basics, like tops, leggings, etc.

Swim Division – starting July of this year, we have added a Swim Division to the Showroom. Here are the brands we currently represent: Bikini Thief. This is an adorable Swim Collection which is getting crazy recognition in the USA right now – having been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issues and also sponsoring top women’s athletes! The owner Whitney Andresen is a sweetheart and it shows in the Collection – which is very sweet, girly, feminine, with the right amount of sexiness. Look for an exciting project coming up soon with a supermodel for next Spring!

LAFS Side Note: I didn’t get the chance to view this line in person, but from the looks of it on the website, the suits look nice! It’s also 100% made in Los Angeles.

Seventh Wonderland. Here is an amazing Australian Swim Collection which we just could not pass up, and which inspired me to add the Swim Division to the showroom. Seventh Wonderland is a fast rising star in the USA Market as well, having being picked up by some prominent retailers this year. Look forward to growing their presence in the upcoming seasons and beyond.

LAFS Side Note: Again, didn’t get the chance to see the line in person, but this line looks pretty rad from what I’ve seen on their website. Gorgeous prints and cuts. They take swimwear a little step further….

LAFS: What makes AK Showroom stand out from other showrooms in your niche?

AK: I myself come from the Corporate Sales Managerial background – in which where I was not only in charge of sales, but learned the ropes from the manufacturer’s end. I firmly believe that this enables me to work with all of my brands more efficiently (having been on the other side) and in better conjunction to cultivate and grow sales. I hired Jen O’Brien as my Showroom Manager because not only does she bring almost 10 years of Showroom Sales experience – but has represented every type of brands out there ranging from high-end to lower-end. She is extremely hard working and truly remarkable. I feel very fortunate to have her heading on my team.

LAFS: What can we expect to see from AK Showroom in the future?

AK: An East Coast Showroom is in the works. We will be joining forces with ELR Media Group NY to combine Sales and PR for the brands we present. Our target launch date for the NY Showroom will be September of 2012!

LAFS: How might we contact you if we want to do pulls, etc?

AK: Phone Number: 213-239-0496 Jen O’Brien: jen@akshowroom.com Amy Kim: amy@akshowroom.com

Thank you so much Amy and Jen! I wish you both huge success in the showroom! So, dear readers, if you happen to attend any of the LA Markets, please pay AK Showroom a visit! AK Showroom is also on Facebook.

Woodbury University “Neo-Tribes” Fashion Show- LA

My last night in LA (during my most recent visit) was fashionably eventful to say the least. I was invited to attend Woodbury University’s 49th annual fashion show. The theme for this year was called “Neo-Tribes.” The show was under the direction of Woodbury’s Chair of the Department of Fashion Design- Kathryn Hagen, while the students were mentored under such industry legends as: Jared Gold, Eduardo Lucero and Eddie Bledsoe (as well as the rest of the distinguished faculty). LA’s fashion maven- Lisa Kline was the honored guest of the evening (as well as the VIP viewing of the collections a few days before the public viewing…and I was in Phoenix…) It was held at Center Stage Studios in downtown LA and featured sophomore swimwear, junior collections, costume designs inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and senior collections.

From the moment the lights initiated the start of the show and the pulsating, energetic music, it was a constant “WOW, what’s coming next?!” moment. The sophomores swimwear featured futuristic silhouettes with geometric cut-outs infused with automotive graphics and bold colors. The juniors collection delved into contemporary and evening wear. The show then transitioned to the costume design portion, in which students had created stunning looks that marched to the beat of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We saw looks from scenes spanning the timeline between 1462-1887. The scenes where the models acted were brilliantly executed and left us wanting more (and I have never wanted to don a Victorian gown and dance the walze so badly). Then we charge right into the highly-anticipated senior collections. I tell you, my brain has never been so visually impacted… The creativity just radiated from these students, whose inspirations ranged from: ‘Gothic Lolita,’ a range of eras, a variety of cultures, Alice in Wonderland, poets, etc. Seeing new silhouettes, futuristic designs paired with funky footwear (including a pair of sky-high Japanese-inspired geta or footwear that was made by one student) was like waking up on a beautiful sunny morning, going to the terrace and breathing in fresh air.

After the show, awards were given and the students were given a standing ovation. I left the venue feeling inspired and hoping to see more fashion shows like that.

Huge thanks to Jaime, Woodbury University, Kathryn Hagen, the students and models, hair and make-up teams!

Preview of Sue Wong’s “Great Gatsby” Fall ’13 Collection- Los Angeles

You walk into the mansion- built during the time of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” and step into the sweeping living room, furnished in exquisite antiquities. You see guests dressed in 1920s style ensembles. You step out onto the patio, where on the many tables, wonderfully presented appetizers and gorgeous cakes await your discerning pallet. No folks, you are not dreaming..you are at The Cedars- home of iconic Los Angeles designer- Sue Wong. Sue was presenting her Fall 2013 collection, which was inspired by The Great Gatsby to an intimate crowd of leading celebrities, artists, entertainment and fashion industry insiders (it was also the celebration of her birthday). My friend and I were excited to attend and see the collection that evening, which consisted of informal modeling, mingling and touring the palatial Loz Feliz home. The gowns exuded the essence of the coquettish Flapper and the splendor of the Art Deco era while showcasing signature detailing that is very significant of the Sue Wong brand, including: delicate hand beading, intricate embroidery, appliqué, animal prints and timeless silhouettes. Models also paired the gowns with amazing statement jewelry from Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry. Towards the end of the evening, guests sang and wished Sue ‘happy birthday’ and were serenaded by Israeli opera singer- Michael Peer. It was such a fun evening…an evening where all worries were lifted and it felt that for those few brief hours, one could indulge in the fantasies of a rich, bygone era.

For more information on Sue Wong’s brand, go to SueWong.com.

Happy Birthday Sue!!

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