Tag - Oliver Tolentino

Designers & Muses (LAFW 2010)
FGILA Presents: Designers & Muses

Designers & Muses (LAFW 2010)

It was once again the beginning of LA Fashion Week, which meant the Standard Hotel in downtown LA was abuzz with designers and their muses during the “FGILA Presents: Designers & Muses” event, led by Mr. James Galanos. I ran into Lauren Elaine with her muse, Kayslee Collins; Nick Verreos and muse; Maggie Barry with muse, Morganne; Lloyd Klein and muse, Natalie Cole; Charlie Lapson and muse, Vanessa Williams; Valerj Pobega and muse; Petro Zillia designer Nony Tochterman and muse, Samaire Armstrong.

I met up with “Oscars Designer Challenge 2010” finalist Oliver Tolentino and his muse- Tutay Maristela, wearing a gorgeous gown made from pineapple and abaca fibers. The gown had a mermaid silhouette and had hand-cut rosettes along with accordion strip accents. This year, he will continue to grow his design career in the LA market and create one-of-a-kind red carpet gowns and build his eco-friendly fashions as well. He has noticed that many of the high-end shops had stopped carrying couture clothing due to the recession, but vows, “I will continue to offer these because I know every woman has an event in her life where she wants more than what can be found in every boutique chain all over the world. She wants that one-of-a-kind and wants to have a direct personal relationship with the designer who creates it.” Check out his site at www.olivertolentino.com or stop by his Melrose boutique: 9003 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069 Ph:(310) 858-0555.

Designer Sue Wong looked extremely radiant, along with her muse- Linda Taylor. She chose Linda because, “she is the personification of Aphrodite, who is the ultimate eternal feminine goddess. There is a huge female energy about Linda and she is a vision of loveliness and gorgeousness. She is powerful in her own way, yet still extremely feminine. A great touch to Linda’s story is that she grew up under the shadow of Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania…” Linda’s dress was the epitome of the Sue Wong line. Sue explains of the dress, “the dress is a Victorian-inspired, embroidered, appliquéd and beaded torso gown with pleated lace insert in the skirt. The torso is beaded mesh and the skirt is georgette. It has a beautiful period feel but it’s still current and very glam. The silhouette also has a 1930’s old time Hollywood glamour feel to it. Styled with the gown is a beautiful ruffled, pleated and multi-tiered taffeta coat.” To view more of the line and find out more about Sue Wong, go to www.suewong.com.

I met two new designers that evening. Pogah designer, Ari Sheuhmelian with his statuesque muse- Lauren Gish. He chose her after working with her several times. “She has that incredible power of transforming in each of my designs to the look I am looking for…And on a personal level, we became friends and I enjoy the creative energy I get when we are together…” The dress Lauren wore is called, ‘Liquid Warrior,’ which is part of Pogah’s 2010 winter couture collection, themed ‘So French Couture’, inspired by the couture of the 40’s and 50’s but with a glamor mix of the 80’s. “The dress (at event) is one of the few bright, strong colors in the collection. The liquid design of the fabric had a big influence in the theme and direction of the collection. The total look of Lauren with the hair and accessories was inspired by the ‘warrior woman’ look- fierce, strong, yet very elegant feminine couture,” Ari explained. Go to www.pogah.com or contact Ari at Pogah@pogah.com for more information.

I admired the structured 3/4 dress designed by Emiliano Moreno, who’s muse was Sara Welch. He chose her because she is a fashion design graduate who understands his work and construction. The dress she wore was inspired by the use of soft-draped fabric that was also molded into sharp-edged shapes in the past, but still work to this day. As far as his line goes (for Fall/Winter 2010), “it’s making new silhouettes that can relate to the past and can serve as inspiration for the future…” Contact Emiliano at emilianomoreno@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Along with mingling with the designers and fellow industry members, guests were also treated to tunes by DJ Ben Adams (DJ Jag) and Australian singer/songwriter, Natalie Cole.

Special Thanks: J, FGILA (www.fgila.org), Elizabeth Matthews, Dorothy Woglom, Ilse Metchek and Emily Heintz of California Fashion Association, John Arguelles, the honored designers and muses, The Standard Hotel, Natalie Cole, DJ Jag.

FGILA Presents: Designers & Muses

It was truly an honor to attend the opening industry cocktail party  for LA Fashion Week. It was an event where thirty of LA’s top designers and their muses mingled with guests on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel, benefiting the Fashion Group International (of LA)’s Scholarship fund that supports future fashion designers. It also benefited the new FGILA Scholarship category in footwear design sponsored by “Logan Real”, who is based in Miami. Growing up, I have always wanted to be a fashion designer and of course, I read all about these designers in books and magazines. But actually being able to mingle and meet them was the best experience one could imagine!

I met Joy Han of Voom by Joy Han and her muse, Deborah Lindquist and muse, Michele Bohbot of Bisou Bisou, Michael Costello, Rachel Pally and her Mom, who was her muse; Randolph Duke and muse Edyta Sliwinska, Nony Tochterman of Petro Zillia and her muse Romi, who was her young daughter; Uriel Saenz with muse, Catalina Lopez; Lesa Amoore (www.lesaamoore.com), Lori Taylor of Smashbox Cosmetics, Melodie Wotley of Snobz Design Team…..

Rami Kashou of Project Runway fame and his muse, Paula Miranda. She wore a dress inspired by Frank Gehry’s architecture (think the Disney Concert Hall). “I find beauty in the shapes and volumes yet the light weight his works maintain. I wanted to channel such details in clothing designs,” says Kashou. “I like to think my designs are original and uncommon, also that they speak of a woman’s sophistication, elegance and strength.” Rami is launching his new website this month (November) so definitely check it out! www.ramikashou.com .

Philipines-based designer Oliver Tolentino and his muse, supermodel Tutay Maristela, who is also from the Philippines. She opened and closed his LAFW show and wowed the audience with her walk and how she projected herself on the runway. For the D&M event, she wore this stunning long blue gown, which was inspired by Oliver’s home country. It was hand-dyed in different shades of rich blue, which according to Oliver, resembled the ocean on the beaches of the Philippines and when the woman walks in the dress, the fabric “flows like waves.” Most of his eco-friendly collection is made from Pina or pineapple fabric and hand-dyed in many different colors. **Designer’s Note- ” I was very pleased with the reaction of my first LA Fashion Week show, after having opened my Melrose boutique only three months ago (in October). I was flattered that many said it was like a New York couture runway show.”** For more info, please visit www.olivertolentino.com.

I noticed Onch (from Paris Hilton’s BFF and a previous Taylrz Joynt event) and found out he was the muse for designer, Maggie Barry. She chose Onch because he represented the fun in fashion. He was decked out in white and a neon green shirt with huge lips licking teeth and carried a make-up bag with a picture of an eye. He also wore jewelry and a rubber ducky headband from his line, available at www.onchmovement.bigcartel.com. Very Pop-Art indeed! His outfit was part of Maggie’s “Pop-Art” collection of dresses and such that are also reversible. The art on the make-up bags were a collaboration with make-up artists and photographers to create custom works of beauty and that will be featured at a pop-up store during the next downtown LA artwalk.”Have fun with fashion and may fun fashion find you.” For more information, go to www.maggiebarry.com.

Sue Wong, a famous LA dress designer and her muse, Brandise were also there. Brandise has been a model for Sue for nine years and has the ‘Sue Wong Look’. According to Sue, Brandise is “a chameleon of many diverse looks…has the ability to transform into the many metamorphoses of my design fancies…” The black strapless gown that Brandise wore was inspired by Nineteenth century Belle Epoque/Boheminan Montmartre Cabaret. This era inspired her entire Spring 2010 collection of cocktail dresses and gowns. “The gown is adorned with jet beading and seutache embroidery with long hanging beaded fringed tassels, creating a sensual and vampish look,” adds Sue. Brandise wore a top hat designed by Sue in the spur of the moment. The necklaces that they both wore were designed by Joe Polthakorn of Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry (http://www.vilaiwan.com). I cannot put into words the feeling I get when I look at Sue Wong’s gowns…. She’s such an amazing designer and I hope to one day wear one of her pieces to an event. For more information, go to www.suewong.com.

Another ‘fabulous’ designer that I caught up with, was none other than Meghan Fabulous. She and her muse, actress Nzinga Blake both wore floral gowns. “…she is a fresh, young Hollywood actress that exemplifies beauty, class, attitude, humor and style; all of which are at the heart of my brand,” Meghan says of her muse. “Nzinga reminds me of Springtime, fresh bright colors and beautiful blooming flowers. I wanted her to look like she was covered in a bouquet of lilies, daisies, peonies, hybiscus and orchids. Her personality is radiating like a newly blossomed flower.” When asked about the ‘Meghan Fabulous Brand’, Meghan states that “Fabulous is a feeling…an attitude. My clothes strive to give you an edge of confidence with the rich fabrics, bold colors, sexy cuts and distinctive prints…”  The Meghan Fabulous customer should feel “priceless” in all situations that are thrown at her. “She commands attention and loves the spotlight.” As I peruse her website, www.meghanfabulous.com, I can see that…. Her clothes do grab my attention and are fun and bold. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Then I met up with design husband-and-wife team, Magid Mehrabadi and Michele Bernard of Magid Bernard and their muse, Shayn Jeppesen (www.shayjeppesen.com). They chose Shayn because she represented the Magid Bernard brand: timeless, classic elegance. Also, by her “presence”… “She exudes a cool, regal style that transcends age, time or place. We believe our clothes do the same.” The other reason they chose her was “they felt that as a young professional, she symbolizes both the mission of the FGILA Foundation and underlying theme of the event…Shayn is a new face in LA…We were excited to introduce her to the industry through our active membership and involvement with FGILA.” The team designed a long “Mermaid” dress for Shayn to wear to the event. The gown was made of  turquoise crocheted English mohair over a bias silk slip. Embellishing the gown were 3/4″ teal and green iridescent paillettes, which were crocheted into the fabric when it is woven, not sewn on after. “We felt that the combination of luxury fabric and youthful sparkle was perfect for Shayn.” The signature Magid Bernard signatures that we will always see in their collections are luxurious fabrics, like: mohair, leopard print angora, super soft and lightweight hot pink and turquoise boiled wools, giant plaids shot through with metallic threads and silk…for their signature bias cut dresses and gowns. Also, we will always see is the architectural quality in the clothing. “Think femininity and fit to a women’s body….We celebrate the feminine form in all its beauty, whether long and lean or lush and curvy…” For more info on this lovely design duo, go to www.magidbernard.com.

Along with mingling with the designers, the Regional Director of FGILA, John Arguelles gave a small speech and also introduced singer, Anjulie, who was nominated by VH1 for “breakthrough video of the year 2009.” It was definitely I night I will always cherish and I look forward to next year’s LAFW kick-off festivities!

SPECIAL THANKS: J, the designers, models (muses), FGILA, Anjulie, the Standard Hotel, buzzflickr PR, The Contact List, Logan Real, Kenneth Brayden Matthews Photography,Taryn Hipwell of Eco Divas, Valerie Samson and Debra Stevenson.

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