Tag - Michael Benz

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7Lightningbolt Fashion Show
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S. Tiara's Birthday and Fashion Show- Kress

7Lightningbolt Fashion Show

Elevate Lounge, located on the penthouse floor in downtown LA was the setting for Heidi Luerra’s RAW event, featuring a fashion show by 7Lightningbolt. RAW is a collaborative event that brings together designers, artists, musicians, photographers, make-up and hair, etc from all over Southern California. All RAW events are located in some of the hottest venues in LA, Long Beach and Fullerton. The creative mind behind RAW and of Project Ethos fame is Heidi Luerra. She told me that it took only about a week to produce the event. But that’s after having seven years experience in Hollywood under her belt and having numerous artist contacts. As a fellow designer (and FIDM grad) Heidi saw fellow artists not get anywhere because they didn’t have the financial resources; but she wanted to change that. Thus, RAW was born, giving artists the opportunity to showcase their work for free. She does ask that they promote the hell out of it (the event). For for information or to get featured in a RAW event, go to www.HeidiLuerra.com or www.rawartists.org.
Before the show, I surveyed artwork by Daniel Acuna and Felicia of Jazmin as well as a photography slideshow by Michael Yates (www.michaelyatesphotography.com).
After a few words by VJ Michael Benz, who was wearing a new hoodie from his line, Blive Couture and a new glove boasting MJ’s face- a tribute to the legendary singer’s passing; the show started.
The crowd went wild as 7Lightningbolt’s collection went down the the runway. There was a mix of mens tees, jackets and vests that were deconstructed and womens jackets, screen printed tees and reworked suits. The theme from the models hair/make-up was a menagerie of pirate meets punk meets 40’s pin-up. Everything in that collection, dubbed “The Environmental Renegades” by one of the designers, JD Nielson; was made from recycled clothing/fabric. The price points range from $60 for tees to $275 depending on the piece and work. For more info, 7Lightningbolt is on myspace and their official website is www.7lightningbolt.com.
The last acts of the evening was a dance act by Sarah and Taryn, which featured a combination of choreographed dance and contortion moves; and music performance by Legs on Sale.

Special Thanks: The Designers of 7Lightningbolt: JD, Joe and Kenny; J’s Luxury Taxi Service, Heidi Luerra, Michael Yates, Parris Harris, DJ Robb-Rockwell, Felix Salzman of LookbookLA.

Note: RAW and Heidi Luerra believe in being green, so they have collaborated with solar2web.com to make the site totally eco-friendly. For more info, contact either Heidi or solar2web.com.

S. Tiara's Birthday and Fashion Show- Kress

Hollywood’s latest hotspot, Kress, was the place to be last Thursday the 18th. It was the birthday of hairstylist Stephanie Tiara, which also included a fashion show; featuring designers: Michael Benz and Kristen Don. Despite having to be at work early the next day, I went…Partly because I knew Michael and the show’s producer, Brand, from past fashion events.

After a half-hour or so of waiting to be let in, I finally was “branded” with a mushroom stamp on my inner wrist and was ushered in with a “Congratulations…” by one of the security guards. I breezed up the stairs and into a small lobby where I had to wait for an elevator that would whisk me up to the rooftop festivities.

The elevator doors opened and I walked around. Due to the cold weather, the roof was semi-covered and there were heat lamps (not enough in my opinion, but I get cold easily) that scattered the venue. The evening was clear and the view of the surrounding city was spectacular.

While waiting for the fashion show to begin, I caught up with one of the designers, Michael Benz, who is also a VJ. He is the designer of the line, Blive Couture (pronounced believe.) Blive is a mix of rock, cool, classy and edgy couture. It’s slogan is ‘Respect, Love, Couture.’ The line boasts hats and jackets, all handmade by Benz, without the help of patterns and measurements; and will feature a shoe line in 2009. As a friend of Stephanie, who’s also modeled in some of his fashion shows, he did the show as a birthday and Christmas present for her. She also wore one of his designs that evening.  Michael likes to “live now, forget tomorrow.” He is inspired by music, art and people; one person in particular is Jen. He says that she a style that no one else has. For the latest news and events on Michael, check out www.vjmichaelbenz.com.

I would like to also give kudos to the other designer, Kristen Don. I loved the denim, flowy dresses and the tops that were made from scarves. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to speak with her.

Since the show’s producer was a little busy due to taking care of the show, I caught up with him at the Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood. Brandon Birtwistle or Brand, as he likes to be referred to, is an actor, model and most importantly, an entrepreneur. He started out as an actor and booked a photo shoot in Tokyo for Baby Dior at the age of two. He told me that since he’s been in the industry for awhile he become the “go-to guy”, people started coming to him to find other people to book other people…ie models, photographers, etc. That being said, brings us to the present. Everytime he has produced a show, it has gotten bigger and better. For the Kress show, it took one and a half to two months to plan. He is good friends with Stephanie and she approached him with the idea. The show did not have a budget, but he credits the will of the awesome people that helped along the way. Brand believes that it’s better to work with people than to work above, below or for someone. He wanted to give some special shout-outs to some of the sponsors of the show: MUAH make-up artists who have always helped at his shows, Welcome Clothing, Elitescene *thank you Gio*. He also wanted to bring awareness to another designer, M the Movement, an eco-friendly company that specializes in bamboo and silks. They plant trees to offset the energy they have used.

Since Stephanie Tiara was somewhat busy herself during the show, I caught up with her on the phone. She is a well-known  hairstylist at 9022 Salon in West Hollywood. She chose Kress because her friend who did Thursday nights there, got her the venue. She wanted to add a fashion show to her party because she wanted to first performance as a rapper to be with the show, since the song is about fashion. She also did shows with Brand and wanted to combine his and her talents to put on the show. She chose Michael Benz as one of the designers and Brand and her thought that Kristen’s style was good for the show as well. During the show, she and Jazmine performed, “We Got That” while the models strutted down the center aisle. She had help with the song, but is starting to write her own lyrics. Her inspirations are hip-hop and rock. She wanted to combine her talent and style with fashion.

Congratulations to Stephanie on her birthday and to Brand for directing/producing a fantastic show!!

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