Tag - Shoes for the Stars

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Project Ethos: Incubator
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Runway Magazine's Oscar Gifting Suite 2/21/09

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.

Runway Magazine's Oscar Gifting Suite 2/21/09

          It’s not often that an invitation to an exclusive gifting suite for the Oscars, comes knocking at the door. But in my case (and a little help from LookbookLA.com) , I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a gifting suite, hosted by Runway  Magazine, held on the 20thand 21st of February. So, not only do I get a taste of “stardom” if you will, but I also had a rare opportunity to step inside Liberace’s Penthouse. The penthouse is owned by a friend of Runway ‘s President- James Buccelli. Runway also has offices in the space. Some amenities of this venue include a mirrored hallway, small pool and a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Hollywood Hills.

         I caught up with James out by the pool. He started Runway  Magazine two years ago. The company is also doing a TV show that will teach the viewers how to start a magazine…from concept to creation. Runway has been doing the Oscar gifting suit annually, along with suites for the Emmies and  Grammies. He explained that Runway’s Gifting Suites are different from others. It’s not about making money, it’s about everyone having a good time. It’s where the celebrities can come and not be bombarded…People can relax, eat sushi or other award-winning catered foods or even take a dip in the pool. The goal is also to help promote the clients, whether they be the celebrities, PR firms, stylists, media or a certain product.

Speaking of clients promoting their goods n’ wares, I would like to start off with  artist Juan de Lascurain. De Lascurain, a native of Mexico, paints (on canvas and clothing) and has a television show called, “Dream Big”-available in twenty-three Spanish-speaking countries. He also has a “Dream Big” night on Thursdays at a gallery in Culver City. He does high-end and acrylic paintings, along with digital designs.  About a year ago, he began painting his vibrant designs on clothing. Six years ago, he founded, Vida Youth, which helps to inspire people. He gets his inspiration everywhere. He loves life and from where he’s from, the Latin people love life. He wants people to follow their dreams. He says that if you have a dream, faith and you work hard…you can accomplish anything. Check him out at www.delascurain.com and www.vidayouth.com.

Since California is a “Green” state, then it would only be appropriate to have at least one eco-friendly company at the gifting suite. Darleen Reilly, president of Agreenday.org was giving out Globo Bags- reusable dry-cleaning bags made from recycled plastic bottles and valued at $125. She was approached by Mandy (from Runway) at the GoGreen Expo. She loved the bags and loved the fact that Darleen’s products are 100% American madeand insisted that Darleen be apart of the gifting suite. Celebrities that own this piece of dry-cleaning phenomenon include: Russell Simmons, First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah, Tyler Perry and Jennifer Hudson; just to name a few. If you would like to purchase the “Globo Bag” or other Earth-friendly bags (made from Organic Cotton), go to www.Agreenday.org.

Another vendor, selling fun tattoo-inspired hats was ZZPrado. Designer Elizabeth Prado was on hand to tell me a little about her line. She offers: ZZ Prado Men/ Women and Swimwear, though her best sellers are her one-of-a-kind hats, which sold for $65 at the show, but are $100 on up regular price. She is a very creative person and there’s not a moment when she’s not inspired. Her collection can be viewed at www.zzprado.com.

And then there were shoes…well, sexy and sophisticated high-heeled boots to be exact. Some were Western-style, others were fur-trimmed or if you preferred some blinged-out heels; those were on hand as well. Monique Capelta is the creative head  and CEO behind the company, Capelta. It all started in NYC, when she went to a Goodwill, picked up a pair of boots and some pieces of leather and the rest they say…is history… This past Christmas, she got her first shipment of product and this is her first launch. Her funky, edgy and rock star boots range from $395 – 2,200. Her online store is www.capelta.com.

When I walked inside, I noticed a table with rows of creatively designed hats. The designer was Anita Hopkins, of Anita Hopkins Millinery. She has been designing all her life, but turned her hobby into a career twenty years ago. Her hats are chic, elegant and versatile. She wants to create hats that have a new modern twist. One of her signature hats is the Confederate hat, which resembles the uniform hat worn by the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It is very versatile; can be worn sideways or with the brim in the back. Her hats have graced the heads of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including: Pink, Janet Jackson, Dave Navarro, just to name a few. The hats range from $385 – 450, more if you want it customized. Her hats are available online at www.anitahopkinsla.com.

While I was walking around, taking in the sites, I noticed a girl doing an interview, while showing off her handmade handbags. After the interview, I had the opportunity to also talk to her about the bags. Her name is Jenn Bagby of BagbyRoyal Handbags. She has been in business for six years on and off. Like Ms. Prado, Jenn too, finds inspiration in everything, from a building to another designer…even to a random thought. She loves working with upholstery and  cotton silks, depending on her mood. One of her signature pieces is a purse with a long tulle veil. I thought it was a very unique piece and is what caught my eye in the first place. This is her first gifting suite and she was very excited to be a part of it. Her handmade creations range from $50- 200. Her website, www.bagbyroyal.comis currently under construction, but she does have a myspace page.

Special thanks to: James Buccelli, Brad Barker, Mandy and the rest of the staff of Runway  Magazine (www.runwaymagazinela.com), the kind people of Park West for providing complimentary valet parking for the event, Hydrodynamics, Moxxor, Monavie, Jeff Knight Photography, J-Star Media, Sashi Sushi of Manhattan Beach, gift bags donated by Shoes for the Stars.

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