Fixing L.A. Fashion Week

Here’s the thing about Los Angeles Fashion Week: It doesn’t exist. At least, not in the traditional (and much more respected) format that we have come to know from Mercedes-Benz fashion weeks in New York, Paris and the like.

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The scene at Designer & The Muse, which kicked off L.A. Fashion Week Oct. 3 at Sofitel Beverly Hills’ Riviera 31 Lounge.

But it did exist at one point, most recently in 2008, when Mercedes-Benz, IMG and Smashbox studios were on board and uniting the industry in L.A.

Since those three left the scene, there hasn’t been an official fashion week. Style Fashion Week L.A. has come close, and Concept L.A. isn’t far behind, but we don’t have anything that really puts us on the map of “must-attend” runway shows. To sum it up politely: No one cares about LAFW.

This is a large part of why I started Fashion Maven Los Angeles; there are plenty of talented Los Angeles-based designers, and they deserve to be highlighted, singled out, shown as unique.

But others have their own reasons why LAFW isn’t influential in the industry (to the point where we’re almost a joke). Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, Linda Immediato points out:

“The idea behind fashion week is to create a platform for designers to present their collections to buyers who enable supply and to media editors who selectively create demand. And let’s forget for a second that, when it did happen, L.A. Fashion Week took place a month after designers have already shown in NY, Paris, London, and Milan and that buyers have by now already bought and editors have already published their trend reports. Some critics have argued that an LA Fashion Week can’t help but be irrelevant because of when it did/would fall in the calendar. Nowadays, some West Coast designers show in NY and then go to Project or Magic in Vegas to show their collections to West Coast media and buyers there, though the clothes hang on racks instead of models and the vibrancy and excitement of a runway show is missed.”

Be sure to read her entire article, because she hits the needle on the head. But not all hope is lost. There are plenty of great things about our unofficial fashion week. Though it’s rather fragmented, this leaves plenty of opportunity and time to attend shows. Plus, we use models who lean more toward the California aesthetic: curvy, tan and happy. No grumpy, hungry facial expressions here.

Tell me—what do you think about LAFW and how do you wish it could be different (if at all)?

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LAFW Kicks Off with Designer & The Muse at Sofitel Beverly Hills

October 4 held a few fashion surprises during Á LA Mode Productions’ Designer & The Muse event, when Los Angeles’ most fabulous designers gathered, bringing with them the people who inspire their designs. This was all to kick of Los Angeles Fashion Week, and it was a great night! Plus, it’s the second time I’ve been to an event at Sofitel Beverly Hills’ Riviera 31 Lounge, and it’s always morphs into the perfect setting.

LAFW: Sue Wong — Review

Sue Wong, actress Brooke Burns and models at the Sue Wong “Autumn Sonata” Fall 2012 Preview on March 16, 2012. Photo by Matt Marut. (PRNewsFoto/Sue Wong)

Oh, honey. It’s not that Sue Wong‘s fall 2012 collection, which she debuted at a champagne lunch in her private atelier in Los Angeles, was bad. The inspiration was there: a 20s glam sophistication wrapped up in beading and drop waists. Normally, this could be a fun concept, but here’s the thing: The models look like they’re playing dress up on Halloween in ill-fitting costumes from Party City. And there’s just nothing new. It’s more or a less a re-creation of looks we’ve seen in movies of flappers and dance hall dames. Maybe with a hint of a modern edge, and little more tailoring, this collection could have been something great.

The other problem is this video of the collection that was released in place of an actual runway show. I would describe the music as a mash-up of French new-wave sex whispers, wannabe rock and echoed opera sonatas. Which, by the way, is the name of the video: Autumn Sonata. And the editing reads as a cheesy homage to the early 90s Calvin Klein “Nothing-comes-between-me-and-my-Calvins” commercial. But we do love Brook Shields.

LAFW: Worst of the Weekend (the Oh, Honies)

Part of the fun of Los Angeles Fashion Week is all the attendees who take fashion risks knowing there will be a tent full of industry insiders there to judge. Sometimes the results are perfection, but other times … not so much. Same goes for the runway. While there are looks from this weekend that are now burned into my mind as new favorites, there were also some outfits that looked like Disney princesses dropped acid and got scissor happy with some fabric (for example, except for one or two looks, all of Sarahi). We call these “Oh, honey” looks because when you see them, your first reaction is to say “Oh, honey … no no no.” Check out the worst looks of the weekend in the slideshow below.

LAFW: Best of the Weekend

I’ll be honest, I was less than impressed with the clothes I saw on the runway during Los Angeles Fashion Weekend. Also, disappointed — after seeing some incredibly talented designers at FGI‘s “Meet the Designer and the Muse” last week, I really thought the runway looks would blow my mind. Overall, the clothes at L.A. Fashion Weekend were just … uninspired. I expected more. Better. I mean, Los Angeles has such a talent pool of unique artists. Artists. What Katie May can do with double georgette fabric is beyond words, and gravity, because that’s what her final results do; they defy gravity. I swear, her model last week was floating around the room.

Anyway, there were some looks from Ashlee Brooks and Dina Bar-El that were gorgeous. But most of my favorite fashion came from the people watching the shows. Check out the slideshow below for my favorite looks, both on the runway and off. Oh, and though I thought the clothes from Hi Fashion were bit too Lady Gaga-centric, their dancing models and spontaneous singing made for a great show.