Tag - Project Ethos

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Project Ethos (March 2012 Edition)
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Project Ethos: Incubator
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Unique Los Angeles- Dec. 5th & 6th

Project Ethos (March 2012 Edition)

I attended the March 2012 edition of Project Ethos because I was dying to finally see my friend- Melissa Velia’s collection roll down the runway. It was once again held at the Avalon in Hollywood and featured numerous designers and boasted several artists that showcased their work during the pre-fashion show reception. During the reception, I mingled with fellow bloggers and just took in the scene, while trays of yummy bite-size desserts were being passed around. The fashion show was divided in half between ten designers, with a concert by Hyper Crush in the middle. The first group to showcase their designs on the catwalk were: Ermelinda Manos, Luica Couture, Boditecture and Danielle Pettee. First up to show was the line- Luica Couture. The designers Luis Mendoza and Yesica Medina presented mainly womens fashion and two mens looks. I thought the deconstructed blazer and tailvest (think Edwardian tailcoat) were pretty ingenious. I had recently viewed Ermelinda’s last collection at a previous Project Ethos event and was impressed at the attention to detail and fluidity of the line. This time, for Fall 2012, she showed a more mature line, (aside from her usual short, flirty and fun aesthetic) that women of all ages can wear and feel confidant. She showed several fun dresses, from a sheer lacy number that would be a great layering piece to the extravagant finale dresses consisting of feathers and silk chiffons. According to Ermelinda, “This collection is for a woman that loves to stand out but is yet modest. Very high fashion forward women that crave something different, that no one else will have to the party/event. The entire collection is true couture. Everything is hand made. From the pattern, to drape, cut, sew and seam.” Prices for the collection start at $400. Check out Ermelinda’s website, here. Next up was avant garde label-JaJo Couture. Designer Janean Johnson showcased her “Ravens & Revenge” collection, inspired by a mix of wearable goth, grunge and punk influences. My favorite pieces from the collection were the Tartan-esque suit with fascinator and the strapless deep v-neck mermaid dress with a tiered ruffle skirt. For more information on JaJo Couture, go to the website. This next brand was definitely the highlight of the evening- Boditecture. This line answers the problem that we women face on almost a daily basis- “I have several events throughout the day, but don’t want to wear the same thing all the time…” Well, my friends, your prayers have been answered! Boditecture offers a chic yet simple line of convertible dresses. Wouldn’t you know, the designer- Wen Guo, had recently quit her job in architecture (seeing the resemblance to the concept and brand name) and is now working full-time for her brand, since last September. Wen had me at the first look! I can’t wait to see more from the brand. Go here for more information. The last line to show in the first group was Danielle Pettee. Her collection was fun, bright, lady-like and whimsical. All her dresses are made-to-order, using recycled vintage fabrics and are available in all sizes. Go to her website for more information and special order your Danielle Pettee dress! During the break in between the runway shows, we were treated to a concert by LA-based Hyper Crush. The house rocked it out to their electro-meets-pop-meets-hip hop music. For bookings and more info, go here. The last group of fashion stars to hit the stage were: Melissa Velia, Edita Collection, G.Marie, FURIO and GLAUDI. The lights dimmed and a young hip-hop dancer named Joanna Baca took center stage in the opening of the Melissa Velia show. This got the audience extremely pumped for the actual fashion show that immediately followed. What started as a hobby, Melissa enjoyed designing and making clothes for her Barbies back when she was seven. From then on, her drive and passion for fashion has evolved. She launched her brand in 2010 at a Project Ethos event. During this event, she showcased her Spring/Summer 2012 (with a hint of Fall as well) that was an edgy ‘circus’ of beautiful striped prints (just the right amount of stripe width) and florals in chiffons. I also was very proud to have worn one of her dresses during the event. I wore the “Once Upon a Gown“- a black, strapless, long maxi princess dress with loads of tulle and a corseted bodice. Melissa is also well-known for her fun tassel earrings that are available in a variety of sizes and colors. For more information on Melissa Velia, check out her website. The next collection that followed was Edita Collection. This FIDM alum recently launched her label in 2011 and showcased her Fall/Winter 2012 collection during this event. I loved the simplicity of the short dresses, made from either silk or knit. Even though the design was simple and form-fitting, there was always an intriguing peep of sexiness usually from the backs of the dresses; from either the cute button trim or a deep back v, etc. For more information on Edita Collection, please go here. The next collection of the evening is G. Marie by Regina Marie Woods. Her Fall/Winter 2012 collection included organic and Vegan separates. My faves include a silk color blocked jacket with Vegan leather and the two finale dresses with rosette detailing and drape. This next line- FURIO- was inspired by Cambodia, designed in France and made in America. I really enjoyed the opening story by designer Catherine Furio, regarding her experiences in Cambodia… The twenty-year-old girl who wouldn’t sell Catherine the red and pink tapestry scarf because she didn’t want to lose the conversations the two shared. “I was taken aback and realized at that moment that the backbone of FURIO Apparel had to cater to the need of relationships, the investment of people…and ultimately to use fashion as a platform to share in the primary human experience.” So, the collection that had been dreamed up under her mosquito net, hit the stage on the eve of March 13th. It was a beautiful collection, with colorful and artistic separates constructed from raw silk. The collection ranges from $200-2,000. For more information, please go to their website. The evening concluded with the line- GLAUDI by Johana Hernandez. Can someone say “SEQUINS”!? And myself, being obsessed with sequins (mainly of the vintage kind), I found some of that 80s influence in some of the bright sequin dresses. Why oh why don’t I see more of her designs on the red carpet? They are unique and when the wearer walked into a crowded room, she is she to turn heads in GLAUDI Collection! Hear more about Johana’s humble beginnings that got her to where she is today and view her collections here.

After the show, followed an LAFW afterparty and encore fashion show from FURIO.

Way to go Project Ethos team!

Project Ethos: Incubator

LAFW 2010 wouldn’t be complete without a show by my friends at Project Ethos! Thousands packed into the Music Box Theatre in Hollywood to watch musical performances, fashion shows by TEN designers, and view the art exhibits on the rooftop.

I was able to make my way to the front, where I joined in the gaggle of female party-goers swoon over the first performance of the evening, rock/experimental/soul band, Bruno Mars. They entertained the audience with their hit songs, such as: “Billionaire” and “Nothin on You.”

After the band, the fashion show began. The show featured ten designers, ranging from “Project Runway” season six contestant, Gordana Gehlhausen (GOGA by Gordana), “Project Runway” season contestant Jesus Estrada (Haus of Estrada), Rachael Feigelson (Love Child), Shant Der Ashodian (ARKA Clothing), Michelle Liu (EMEL), Shoes for the Stars, Rochelle Carino (Rumple Munkeh), Maria Peralta (Devious Damzels), Omatu Gottschlich and Sandra Sturm (Fulani), Marialia Pacitto (Marialia), and Seth Nobmann (Seth Wellington). I was able to catch up with a few of the designers about their collections.

Devious Damzels has been around for two years and was founded by Maria Peralta-who is also the head designer. The company started out as an LA inspired t-shirt line (see the Unique Los Angeles Spring ’09 article) but has evolved into doing fine jersey wear like: tanks, harem pants, terry hoodies, metallic dresses and leggings, which were shown on the runway. The line has been seen on the likes of Tiffany “New York” Pollard (VH1’s “I Love New York”) and the Paradiso Girls. Devious Damzels is currently being sold online (but with limited availability) at www.deviousdamzels.com.

Fulani designers Omatu and Sandra showcased elegant red-carpet worthy gowns from their “i812” collection. “i812” stands for “i ate one too” and means that it’s all about the woman who “will get herself a man.” (She “ate one too.”) Their inspiration is based upon the ‘typical’ bridal shower, but with a twist: two colors for two particular moods, which are loud and muted. This Viennese company started in August 2003 and is named after the Fulani tribe in Africa. The Fulanis are known are their beautiful women, thus the name of company, “Fulani” speaks for itself as a company that exudes sex-appeal, self-confidence, elegance, etc. The line has been seen on Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Jadakiss, Jamie Foxx, Eve and R. Kelly. Fulani can be purchased in Austria or on their website at www.fulani.at.

My lovely friend, Rochelle Carino, designer of the fun collection Rumple Munkeh showcased her Fall 2010 collection that night. Her pieces, ranging from cute tops to fun mini hand-beaded dresses, inspired by the ‘Bond Girls.’ Rochelle believes in two things when she designs: 1.) “that the woman has fun and feels giddy, confident and sexy when she puts on my clothes” 2.) “that the clothes feel good and are comfortable to wear.” As a huge fan of her dresses myself, I love how she keeps her silhouettes simple but will jazz up the dress with girly accents like: peacock feathers, bows, pearls, handmade beading, etc. Her clothes are available online at www.rumplemunkeh.com and become a fan on Facebook!

The last designer I would like to spotlight is Marialia Pacitto. Marialia is the self-taught designer behind her alternative high-fashion line, ‘Marialia’, which she started when she was sixteen. I loved her mini-dresses and corset with the tulle tutu skirt. Her pieces have been seen on Onch Movement, Brittany Flickinger, Audrey Kitching and other numerous “underground” people. You can purchase and/or contact Marialia at www.marialiaxo.com, www.twitter.com/xomarialia or marialia@marialiaxo.com.

A performance by Love Grenades followed the fashion show.

SPECIAL THANKS:J, the wonderful crew at Project Ethos (shout-out to Brianne Bear, Project Ethos PR-Jill Queza, Jason Peskin), Bruno Mars (www.brunomars.com), Love Grenades, local DJ Mando Fresko (Power 106), all the artists: Amy Bernays (paint), Lea Barozzi (graphic designand illustration), Michael Pukec (live painter), Jennifer GutierrezMorgan (photography and mixed media installations), Claire Cetera (paint and photography), Arnold Randall (sketch, paint and mixedmedia), Nan Lawson (illustration and photography), Jeremy Asher Lynch(paint and video), Shane Pollard (photography, paint, design, andsculpture), Erin Hammond, and Tom Howarth (paint and sketch), Emma Zerner and Houstina Summers selling Junquie Girl.

Unique Los Angeles- Dec. 5th & 6th

I attended another Unique Los Angeles on the 5th at the California Market Center. This time, there were over 300 vendors and the show expanded by having the Eco-Green Room in a ballroom on the ground-floor. This goes to show you that the economy is slowly getting back on its feet. 300! Sonja Rasula has come a long way since I first volunteered a couple years back, when they had 200 vendors.

It was not even noon and the line of anxious shoppers was almost out the door. Upon getting my ticket, I also received a limited-edition cotton Unique Los Angeles tote, this year designed by Shepard Fairey’s design company, Studio No.1.

Most of the vendors were the same from previous shows, but I ran into some new vendors.

In the Eco-Green Room was Chime Designs, a booth with jewelry made from donated and recycled drum cymbals and scrabble pieces, designed by Leslie Wilson. Most of the drum cymbals come from donations made by Sabian and local drummers from local bands. For more information, go to www.chimejewelry.com.

I followed my eye to a booth of color… Bold, electric and very 80’s… 1981 Collection, designed by Timmery Turner is a smorgasbord of necklaces, bracelets, hairpieces and rings that are all handmade and  hand-painted. She uses vintage pieces, bottle caps, toy cars, etc to create wearable works of art inspired by the 80’s. Contact Timmery at timmery@1981collection.com or visit her site at www.1981collection.com.

In the 13th floor penthouse, I stopped by Robin Charlotte, designer Robin Humphrey takes fish who have recently died at the local fish store and then preserves and paints them in resin, turning them into charms and buckles for jewelry, belts and handbags. Her pieces are currently sold at Duet (290 Forest Ave.) in Laguna Beach or go to www.RobinCharlotte.com for more information or to make a purchase.

Headpieces are THE trend this year (and I’m hoping next as well). This was elegantly stated by designer, Jesslabelle of NbbWear (Natural Born Beauties). She has been in business since 2000 and does vintage-inspired millinery. Her headpieces can be worn day to evening or as she put it, “Whether your going to a party, dinner, doing a strip tease for your boy, or heck…. even dress up to go to the grocery store or do laundry! NBB WEAR is sure to make heads turn and “Ta-dah” the spot light is on YOU!” The peacock and embellished number she wore at the show really wowed me and I know it’ll do the same for you, dear readers. Visit www.jesslabelle.com and do shop her Etsy store at www.nbbwear.etsy.com.

I recognized my fellow Project Ethos alum, Jennifer Garcia of Vim Trousseau, who was showing some dramatic cropped black and gold Kimono jackets made from 100% silk dupioni. According to Jen, this has been the best seller was inspired by her three vintage kimonos that are in her closet. She wanted it classic but with a modern twist. The kimonos are sold at $150.00. Her latest endeavors are her one-of-a-kind handbags made from her personal collection of magazines…which is aptly named “The Glossy Queen.” She has three permanent collections: ‘Fashion Connoisseurs’- which features images relating to anything fashion, from top models to high fashion houses. Her fav is the ‘Balenciaga Bag.’ The second collection is the ‘Icons Collection’- featuring images of iconic people of the music and entertainment industry. The ‘Michael Jackson Bag’ is of course the most popular of the collection. The last collection is ‘Make a Statement’- which features a play on words. “Fun phrases so your bag can speak when you don’t want to!” Jen also has a ‘Black History’ series and ‘Superheroes’ series, which has clippings from comic books. The bags are $50.00 and also comes with jeweled straps that are removable and can be worn as necklaces. Most bags come with two straps, you get a great deal with a one-of-a-kind handbag and two necklaces. Check out www.vimtrousseau.com or contact Jen at jen@vimtrousseau.com.

I spy with my fashionable eye…handmade recycled avante-garde couture! This particular booth boasted just that as well as headpieces and jewelry. The brand is Kittinhawk, designed by Allysun Maria Dutra. She is committed to recycling and keeping her business small and community-oriented. She sources out of antique shops, thrift stores, garage and estate sales, and even out of dumpsters. I love how passionate Allysun is…not only to fashion, but to being unique, one-of-a-kind and environmentally friendly. Check out Kittinhawk at www.kittinhawk.com.

I know I’m straying away from fashion, but I stopped by two booths dealing with photography. Jen Zahigian Photography- Jen is from the Bay Area, but is making her way down to LA. Her specialties are off-beaten paths, hidden corners of the country and nostalgic roadside signs. Check out her amazing shots at www.jenzahigian.com. The other booth, I happened to stumble upon due to this digital painting of the famous motel at North Shore in Salton Sea, CA. 33 Stewart Avenue is owned by Sean Finocchio. He takes photos and then transfers them onto wood, paper or canvas. Check out www.33stewartavenue.com.

NOTE: I would like to also acknowledge the vendors from the previous shows that I ran into: Hillary Danner and Maria Newman of ECOBOOMA & Jenkins Jellies. Hillary recently opened Studio Root 66 in Highland Park, dedicated to emerging and eco-friendly designers. (5917 N. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90042 ph:323-482-1414 and www.studioroot66.com), Dust Design Co., Fleamarketgirl.com, Mojo Cosmetics, 7Lightningbolt, Dip It Designs. Dip It designer Ryan made a new CAUTION wallets, this time, with Japanese CAUTION tape, fun bottle cap rings and Chinese take-out boxes (for decoration). Lastly, Liz Abbott of Leatherette Heart created new Lady Gaga-esque headpieces with birds and feathers, along with her apparel and barrettes with kitschy charms.

SPECIAL THANKS: Sonja Rasula and the crew of Unique Los Angeles, California Market Center, J, the vendors, Sean and Celeste of 33 Stewart Avenue and sponsors.

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