Louis Verdad kicked off Los Angeles Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios with a stark collection, inspired by new wave music, vinyl and whalebone corseting. The first part of the highly anticipated show focused on molded shapes, cast in all black with patches of shiny patent leather. Starting with a no-nonsense tuxedo pant and suit jacket ensemble, Louis heralded the birth of a reinvented Verdad woman. Kinkier, darker and more contemporary than the designer’s famous retro heroines, this new brand of fashionista is a force to be reckoned with. That said, the label’s trademark Hollywood glamour, referencing is the 40s, is not a relic of the past – just yet. The nostalgic sensibility of yesteryear is still very much alive in Verdad’s plaid wools, cigarette shapes, sleek shoulders and white wood platforms. It appears; ‘synthesis’ is Louis’ key to chic.
Halston alum Kevan Hall knows how to amplify feminine beauty to soaring heights of glamour. Hand picked by Mercedes-Benz to represent the automotive giant, Mr. Hall is indeed on a fast track to fashion stardom. Speaking of stars, the gifted designer’s muse for Fall 2006 was Diana Ross in the 1975 film, “Mahogany.” Kevan’s reinterpretations of the iconic singer’s dramatic gowns in rich jewel tones are simply to die for. Next year, expect to see these red carpet stunners on Hollywood’s elite.
ANTIK DENIM Designers Alexandre Caugant and Philippe Naouri unveiled their Antik Blackout collection with a bang. Focusing almost exclusively on black denim pieces with a rock n’ roll twist, the dynamic duo redefined “workwear denim” for urban dwellers. Antik’s new look is fashion forward as always, but the label’s trademark embellished pockets have been toned down for a rougher edge. This season, in addition to jeans, Caugant and Naouri also showed military inspired leather jackets, camouflage pieces and studded skirts.
YA YA designer Ya-el Aflalo described her new look as, “the anatomy of a classic.” Indeed, her elegant trench coats, sculpted jackets and long flowing dresses with fluid hems have a timeless quality.
BUFFALO JEANS David Bitton’s vision for the fall was one of unexpected combinations. Layering innovative prints, textures and pieces atop one another, the gifted jean-ious showed his creativity is not confined to great fitting denim pants. Elegant tailored jackets, Mongolian shearling coats and pencil skirts are all par for the course, when it comes to conceiving anti-fashion eclectic fashion, Bitton style.
MORPHINE GENERATION Prior to the show Erik Hart said that he was inspired by everything, “From William S. Burroughs to the music of Bauhaus and Slayer to DaDaism, late 70s, 80s punk and new wave band flyers.” Dubbing his new collection “New Romantic Collapse”, the young designer proved his original and self-referential attitude by showing positively modern pieces like hooded cloaks, distressed leathers and minimalist Japanese denim pieces.
SUE WONG is the mistress of glamour. On her runway more is always more. Take intricate embellishments, beautiful embroideries, and luxurious fabrics; add a dash of historicism, coupled with learned sophistication, and you have got Wong’s version of haute style.