Tag - Mike Vensel

JLMarks, Balthaczar & Joy Rich @ LA Fashion Weekend
Concept 3rd Night (Jen Awad & MILA)
Concept/Angel Johnson- LAFW

JLMarks, Balthaczar & Joy Rich @ LA Fashion Weekend

I had the pleasure of attending LA Fashion Weekend hosted by Mikey Koffman of the Gallery LA. The three designers that showcased their designs were JLMarks, Balthaczar and Joy Rich. I was pleased seeing that Jessica Marks was showing her line, as I’ve met her once before (when I first moved to Cali) in her boutique and noticed her unique style. She has had the store for six years and she designs almost everything. This was her first LAFW showing and her collection, “Boho-Disco Mix”, was inspired by her Mom’s modeling pictures from the 70’s. The nostalgic line was a mix of ‘Coachella-chic’ meets Studio 54. I LOVED the sequins (and it’s such a major trend at the moment) and just the way the dresses moved on the runway. Hop on over of the JLMarks Boutique on West Third and take home a piece of the 70’s. The collection retails for around $150-300. The next line, Balthaczar, created by Crayhton Bauxmont-Flynn and Matthias Bartz was also well executed. They get inspired by just about anything, from architecture to art and gardens. “The tactile environment we live in, using all of our sense from the moment we touch something, see something and how it is interpreted for us and makes us feel…” the designers added. Right now, their shoe line is all the rage. It takes two-three months to produce and are handled by seven people. As far as their apparel line, the red dress with the folded enveloped silk chiffon and the long-sleeved green dress with two-tiered skirt and cowl neckline. I also enjoyed every piece in their collection, especially white and yellow one-shoulder number and the finale wedding dress at the end. The model threw the bouquet and my friend, Nikki Brucato happily caught it. Balthaczar retails for $425-950 for shoes (depending on shoe style and material)and $290-3,200 for apparel. For more info, check out their site or contact them via email: contact@balthaczar.com. The last brand and the headliner of the show, was Joyrich. Joyrich was founded in 2007 and opened its flagship store on Melrose with their signature Japan/West Coast style. The name, Joyrich was conceived with the belief of “to simply be rich in joy.” The brand is heavily inspired by the ’80’s and ’90’s. Their presentation was indeed very fun and festive with an emphasis on denim, paisleys, florals(worn by both men and women), and Americana. “[This season] has an infusion of the ’60’s and ’70’s elements into the multi-faceted line. A tribute to freedom and decades of change, the looks are reminiscent of a time when fashion and music were the expressive voice of the youth movement…” explains Leah Schmidt-assistant director/conceptual designer. Their signature pieces from the collection are the star-studded motor jackets (lined with the Amercian flag print) for men and women, the paisley-printed pieces and the pastel floral denim pieces. The Joyrich brand is aimed to make high-end fashions with accessibility, retailing for $45 for tees and leggings and $125-225 for coats and jackets. Joyrich can be found online, as well as Karmaloop.com, Kitson, Patricia Field and Revolve Clothing.

Special Thanks: J, the designers and models, volunteers and staff, Andrea Hanks, Laura Medina for again, helping me with a spot on the media risers, Mike Vensel for loaning me the outfit I wore to the event, Mikey Koffman and Gallery LA.

**Photography by Andrea Hanks**

**Photos by ME**

Concept 3rd Night (Jen Awad & MILA)

The last night of Concept LAFW, I had the opportunity to see the collections of Jen Awad and MILA (I unfortunately didn’t make the Bryan Hearns show). Jen’s collection was titled, “Dolls After Dark”- a fairytale dream of dolls and playing dress-up. The models played up the part while boasting Lady Gaga shades. Jen’s signature visible stitching was evident in most of the looks, as well as the bustier and sweetheart necklines. Her logo even made an appearance on a dress and top. My favorite looks were the lavender sparkly dress, the skirts with the flirty draping and ruffles and the short and longer pleated dresses with circles at the bust. MILA designer Mila Hermanovski (and Project Runway season 7 finalist) titled her collection, “Rutilated.” She was inspired by her fascination with mineral formations and the layers of opacities and textures at which they grow and appear. She used mostly all natural silks, cottons and leathers in her collection. “The play of scale and print, in addition, add a surreal touch and refer to the other side of the paradox which is the man-made object that attempts to look natural.” I loved the loose, flowy fit of some of the dresses, along with the geometric prints. The accessories also were very earthy and geometric and worked well with the collection and did I mention that I want a pair of the cute leggings in my closet?!

The installations that night were Katie Kay, Curly-V with Mercura NY sunglasses, Poly Chic and Kao Pao Shu. Curly -V’s installation indeed brought a smile to my face. This was his first collection since working with Jeremy Scott. His designs were bold and unique. My favorite piece-a dress that had yellow hearts with smiley faces on them. “Curly-V is for the dreamers of the world- it represents the beauty of the people and their unrelenting spirit to follow their dreams…” For orders or lookbook inquiries: curly.v.apparel@gmail.com. Curly-V was also helping with the small Mercura NY sunglasses display. Designed by Rachel Cohen-Lunning and Merrilee Lichtenstein Cohen of NY, these haute sunnies can be seen on celebrities and in a lot of editorials. Designer Ela Acosta presented some looks from her “Poly-Chic” (short for Polyurethane-Chic) collection. I loved the futuristic looks (especially the blue draped skirt) and I loved how she was able to play with and manipulate the fabrics and plastic. To learn more about her vision and concept of her “Poly-Chic” collection, check out her site. Kao Pao Shu’s Naida Begeta presented her latest collection: “Draw Yourself Up.” This collection is more ready-to-wear for any occasion. The pieces have screen prints of Naida’s drawings and abstract art concepts. According to the press release: Each exclusive drawing is transferred onto fully constructed pieces of clothing, instead of rolls of fabrics, to be sewed together in a second moment. This allows the eye to receive a different image and impression based on how the piece is worn… I must say, Naida has done it again! She is very talented in that she makes couture-like pieces made of ribbons and seat belts to making these carefully constructed pieces with her own drawings that are screen printed on them, and the image is different every time, depending on how the individual wears it. I would also like to give loads of credit to Naida’s husband and photographer- Marco for the lovely display of the photos he shot of the models at the last KPS event. They were stunning! For more on KPS, check out the site or my other article here.

Special Thanks: J, Mike Vensel, Jen Awad, Mila Hermanovski, Francesca Albanese- Marketing Manager at Kao Pao Shu, Naida Begeta, Photographer- Marco Schillaci, the volunteers and staff of Concept, models, designers.

Concept/Angel Johnson- LAFW

There was a new designer presenting her collection at the Concept shows at the Spring Arts Tower during LAFW- Angel Johnson. Johnson started designing while in high school and then continued on to graduate from LA Trade Tech in fashion design. She began her career as an assistant stylist, working with Rhianna, Keri Hilson, Mariah Carey, etc., before starting her own line. For her s/s11 line that she presented on the runway, she chose to use a lot of iridescents and fabrics with texture. It was a very costumey and playful collection. According to Angel, her inspiration was a ‘beautiful dream that turned into a nightmare.’ She references skeletons throughout the collection, using dark undertones against all the pastel laces and iridescents. “I really wanted to play with layering different fabrics to create a new type of material. My line is all about experimenting, mixing and matching different pieces that can be interpreted as casual or red carpet ready, depending on your own personal style.” For more on Angel and her avant-garde collection, go here.

Along with the fashion shows (I unfortunately was unable to attend the Fremont show), there were also installations by: Chanteuse, German-born company: ISM Mode, and Elmer Ave.

I would like to thank Mike Vensel for loaning an outfit for me to wear that evening!

*Photos by Andrea Hanks*

*Photos by ME*

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