A three-day runway marathon, L.A. Fashion Weekend was held at Sunset Gower Studios over the weekend. It was in the heart of Hollywood, but instead of featuring movie stars at the studio, fresh and seasoned stars of the fashion world were getting the spotlight. They were spreading a lot of glamour and rocker-chic stuff on the runway, but it was very apparent that more eco-friendly designs were in vogue.
Another thing that set this showcase of Spring designs apart from the recent New York and Paris fashion weeks was that the L.A.F.W. shows were consumer oriented. Mikey Koffman, the dynamic founder of L.A. Fashion Weekend, reported, “Whatever you’ve seen on the runways here, you will be able to go out and see them in retail stores. You can buy them, and wear them, because they fit your lifestyle.”
That’s different from the high fashion seen in New York, Paris and Milan— ultra-creative, but not wearable in the real world.
Opening night put the spotlight on swimwear, and the show started off with a blast thanks to a powerful performance of “Zipper” by Christina Milian, who also debuted her line of sunglasses. The sexy singer really heated up the place, which was great for the evening of seeing bikini clad models. They were showing off A.Che’s stunning styles and Aussie-inspired Kooey. Plus Teeki, which just launched its girls swimwear line, had one cutie-pie little girl lead the way for all the grownup models. The gals showed off the eco-friendly brand made with recycled materials, which brought cheers from the crowd.
The second day featured brands from Joy Rich Los Angeles, Balthaczar and JL Marks. Although all presentations had some to brag about, the afternoon Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show was extraordinary. The show featured “green” labels with fabulous designs. Kristinit lived up to its mission of “letting the beauty we love be what we wear.” Also the Jonano organic clothing line was awesome with easy-breezy natural gems. Keokjay handcrafted clothes help the women who make them, and Emily Factor’s vibrant pieces provided a touch of eco-sophistication. The collections gave a nod to a sustainable living mantra. Funds were raised at the event to help the Green Youth Movement. GYM’s president Chloe Mills gave an inspiring speech at the beginning of the show about living green and creating an educated younger generation that will become advocates for the environment. When I asked Chloe where her inspiration came from, she said her mother, Donna Mills (of Knots Landing fame) has been a great role model, who has always made environmentally-conscious lifestyle choices.
“I learned by her example,” explained 16-year-old Chloe, making her mom very proud.
Closing night was pure rock-star panache with the White Trash Beautiful line presenting the WTB contemporary styles from designer-musician Nikki Lund teaming with rocker Richie Sambora. The show was extra special for the Bon Jovi guitarist, since his daughter Ava Sambora was featured among the models on the runway. Always super-sweet, Heather Locklear was there to support her daughter and her ex. Also in the cheering crowd were Christina Milian, Bridget Marquardt, Natasha Henstridge, and Tatyana Ali, among other celebrity-fashionistas.
What rocks the fashion world? East coast stylist Mary Lou Krewson flew in for the event and told me, “Style watchers can look to these designers for the chic new trends that will spread from coast to coast. Spring will see more girly-girly whimsical designs as well as casual styles with a conscience. L.A. is a leader in this area.”
There was also high praise for the mini-boutiques that were set up at the event, which displayed jewelry from Wishcraft by Joanna Settoo, Morning Glory, and the Mia Milano Collection. And every night there was a fabulous after party held at Crustacean Beverly Hills.
But the biggest kudos go out to producer Mikey Koffman, and her company The Gallery Los Angeles. Koffman’s team and sponsors created a West Coast showcase for quality designers that has put L.A. on the map in the fashion world.