LA Fashion Week began with a weekend of runway shows and fashion/art installations hosted by Concept LA Fashion Week at the ACE Gallery in the Mid-Wilshire district. Housed in an historic Art Deco building, the ACE Gallery is an interesting venue for shows, with its wide open spaces and attempt to mix fashion and art together. To get to the runway space, you first had to pass through the gallery and make your way through art installations and performance artists, giving a buildup to the runway shows that would ensue.
The first show that I took in at Concept LA Fashion Week was designer Averi Bell’s Fall 2011 Chemline Collection. A former costume designer for LA’s film community, Ms. Bell launched Chemline in the Fall of 2007. Chemline is an apparel line that is inspired by Ms. Bell’s love for storytelling, combined with a love for the craftsmanship of garments.
Placing an emphasis on using materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable, the Fall 2011 Chemline fabrics are hemp, hemp silks, yak hemp blends and recycled poly with an emphasis on texture. The color palette for the collection was primarily black, white, grey, and shades of cream/off white, with a shot of a vibrant emerald green in the mix for a few outfits and as an accent on a black hooded jacket.
Silhouettes are sleek and modern with a remarkable attention to construction and details. A very lady-like collection with scalloped hemlines, meticulous tailoring and the mixing of matte and shine fabrics give Chemline a sophistication that makes it stand out among other LA fashion lines. A few pieces of note are the structured vests over blouses, a black cocktail dress with fabric streamers that connect to the ankles and a belted black gown with white shoulder accents and white godets at the hem.
Averi Bell’s Chemline Fall 2011 Collection accomplishes what she set out to do: tell a story. And liking the story that was told, I will look forward to more of her storytelling in the future.
Video by Omri Escalante