Tuesday, March 24, 2009

LA Fashion Week Marches into new terrain

LA Fashion Week took a big step forward this month now that the beast known as IMG/Smashbox is no longer. Several factions (myself included) have been working for years to bring LA Fashion Week downtown to the heart of LA and where the fashion industry resides. Our own major media outlets have been mildly supportive at best and even still, this was the most interesting Fashion Week in years.

LAFW included Downtown LA Fashion Week, CoLA (closing Fashion Week with the always interesting Brian Lichtenberg) and BOX8 (hosting Gen Art to Kick the Week off), all hosting large scale events with non-conflicting dates. That's a milestone, especially when you consider that these were all independent productions without a mega-corporate sponsor footing the bill for any of the aforementioned. It's unfortunately typical for that fact to blow right by the often cynical major press outlets.

The "Downtown LA Fashion Week" event was the comeback location for Louis Verdad's wonderful collection and the place for Cameron Silver to showcase his storied and stunning collection of vintage couture. Silver's 'Decades' collection is the elite of what LA Glamour is all about and what eco-fashion has to offer when you consider that the gowns showcased were at least 20 years old (and included looks from the 30's and 50's!), immaculately constructed and obviously built to last. DLAFW targeted LA's high art and fashion culture and aimed to continue to broaden the appeal and insights that eco-fashion has to offer via EcoNouveau.

Verdad's artful "Fashion Presentation" was gorgeous and showed brilliantly in the MOCA upstairs space. August Bradley's large scale photography complemented the all black collection perfectly. This was the first-ever presentation of large-format prints from Bradley, including some never before seen prints. A video installation by the acclaimed “Fashion Cinema” film director Robertino Fonseca revealed the broader story and inspiration behind Louis Verdad’s work.

DLAFW's choice of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as a centerpiece venue of LA Fashion Week symbolizes LA as the art mecca that it has become (let's own it, people!) and how connected it is to the fashion community. The DLAFW event was also a fundraiser for MOCA, which strengthened our community ties downtown, helping a major institution that almost went under last year.

LA Fashion Week is most definitely interesting again for the majority of Angeleno's. Expect October 09 to be even more expansive and compelling.