Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: L.A. Fashion Weekend 2011 Part 3

Having previously reported on the womenswear and handbag portion of my evening at L.A. Fashion Weekend at the Sunset Gower Studios, it is time to move on to the two menswear collections!

The first of the men’s collections to hit the runway was Z-Brand, a line that offers clothing for a relaxed casual lifestyle.  Z-Brand originated from the designer’s travels around the world and the effects that travel had on his clothes: a worn-around-the-edges relaxed and on-the-move look.

For Fall 2011, Z-Brand took its inspiration from Jon Krakauer’s novel “Into the Wild”, bringing an even more rugged masculine feel to the collection.  Presenting a good mix of denim, knits, plaid shirts and bulky cardigans, Z-Brand can easily and stylishly fill your needs for casual wear.  And let’s face it, people are dressing more casually than ever.

Next of the men’s collections presented was Civil Society, designed by Brad Schwartz.  While Z-Brand goes after that casual “I don’t care about my clothes” look, Civil Society is more for the man who wants to make a statement with his clothes.

Civil Society combines European craftsmanship with American sensibility, blending old-school tailoring with modern textiles and trim details.  Citing its inspiration as “the creativity and original style of musicians and everyday people”, Civil Society’s Fall 2011 collection has more of an urban dressier appeal.  The collection includes a variety of jackets, sleek pants, vests, dress shirts and hoodies, suitable for everyone from rock stars to more relaxed office attire.
Seeing two lines back to back like this empahsized how different they were and how they both not only were viable as LA lines, but could also have a broader universal appeal.  I can easily see hanging both in my closet to suit different activities and moods!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: L.A. Fashion Weekend Fall 2011 Part 2

The second evening of L.A. Fashion Weekend featured 6 different companies on the runway, 4 women’s wear and accessory companies and 2 menswear companies.  Since they all appeared on the runway one after the other, I will report first on all of the women’s wear companies.

The first label to hit the catwalk was Biatta, a company that not only has its own line of lingerie/intimate apparel, but also does private label for companies like Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s.   Lace, animal prints and floral prints ruled the runway with lingerie that is definitely not intended to stay under wraps.  This is lingerie that you want to wear for that special someone in your life. :)

Next up, Nicole Lee, USA, an LA based handbag company.  Models dressed in black leggings and black tops with colorful scarves sported the latest collection of handbags on the runway.  Obligatory blacks and browns were shown together with a gorgeous teal colored bag and a mixture of prints, tassels, faux fur, giant logos and even feathers made for a trendsetting collection of handbags.

Then back to apparel, we experienced the world of Nuvula.  Inspiration for the design team at Nuvula is a mixture of art, poetry and theater, combining to create what they describe as “The circus of life, the circus of performing, and the circus of the surreal”.  A color palette of black, white, red and purple was presented with large houndstooths, bohemian prints and bold color-blocking.  Silhouettes also took on a futuristic avant-garde approach with an emphasis on exaggerated shoulders.

Fittingly closing the evening was DINA BAR-EL’s evening creations.   The DINA BAR-EL collection of cocktail dresses and gowns lived up to the obligatory glamour necessary in a town where the red carpet rules.  Although there were a few pieces that relied on sequins and embellishment for their allure, the majority of the collection focused on sleek almost art deco lines reminiscent of 1930’s Hollywood.   Designed to show off the body to its best advantage, DINA BAR-EL also proved that she is not afraid of color, offering bright emerald green, royal blue, fuschia and a luscious mango.  Of course there were also blacks, pewters, animal prints and lace, rounding out a collection that we will most definitely be seeing at award shows and premiers.
Despite being such a mixed bag of design companies, there was a nice flow to the show and each line seemed to compliment the next.   Stay tuned for the 2 mens collections that were presented!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Toni Francesc Partners with NET-TRENDY.COM!


Only a month ago, I reported on the Fall 2011 Collection from Spanish designer Toni Francesc.  The video of the show, including an interview with the designer himself, prompted numerous inquiries as to where the designs could be purchased.
Unfortunately, when I was asked this question, the answer was not so easy.  It is oftentimes difficult in the US to find innovative foreign designers in retail stores, leaving the purchases to the lucky few who can snag items while traveling abroad.  However, as the internet marketplace expands, so do our options!

Toni Francesc has recently announced that beginning with his Spring 2011 collection, his designs will be available on NET-TRENDY.COM.  NET-TRENDY.COM promotes fashion sales of designs exclusively Made in Spain, while collaborating with acclaimed designers and emerging designers to offer seasonal designs from their collections with guaranteed worldwide distribution!
From now on, wearing clothes created by Toni Francesc will be within reach of a few clicks.
Check out NET-TRENDY.COM to see Toni Francesc’s Spring 2011 offerings and bookmark them for when Fall 2011 becomes available!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Help Japan's Fashion Industry!

Tragedy can strike any of us at anytime!  The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan is so overwhelming that it is almost incomprehensible.  The road to recovery is going to be long as Japan cleans up, rebuilds and tries to return to normalcy.
While generous donations pour in from all over the world to help with the immediate needs of the country, the long term rebuilding of lives is just as important.  Keeping businesses operating is crucial to their survival and the future of all of Japan.
The Fashion Industry in Japan has been especially hard hit.  Due to the earthquake, Japan Fashion Week had to be canceled, leaving the country’s designers without the means to present their collections. The designers of Japan rely on international attention and orders for their survival.
Please click on the banner above to see the Web Collections from Japan and pass it on to everyone you know!  We can make a difference!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: L.A. Fashion Weekend 2011 Part 1

After covering Fashion Week in New York and Paris, Fashion Week in LA is always a bit of a surprise.  A 7 year run with a Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios brought the type of fashion presentations that we are used to in other fashion arenas around the world, but when Mercedes Benz decided not to continue on in LA, Fashion Week lost its center and LA has been evolving and trying to find its way ever since.  The fashion show venues have moved about and usually align themselves with other art presentations, almost as if the LA crowd is too ADD to focus on fashion alone.  But then again, maybe that is what it is all about, showing fashion as art.

Mikey Koffman , founder of The Gallery Los Angeles and star of The Real L Word, had been influential to the production of Mercedes Fashion Week Los Angeles and continues to champion LA Fashion with the founding of L.A. Fashion Weekend at the Sunset Gower Studios.  Her commitment to the LA Fashion scene is impressive and L.A. Fashion Weekend has become one of the key venues that make LA Fashion Week work.

This was my second season covering events at L.A. Fashion Weekend and I must say that I have been impressed with the caliber and professionalism of the presentations.  It seems that almost all LA Fashion events have a quirky side to them and for L.A. Fashion Weekend it is the assemblage of multiple design houses in one show.  Although the concept of having a show that combined lingerie, handbags, men’s urban wear and red carpet gowns seemed a bit outlandish, Ms. Koffman managed to bring them together in an eclectic way that made for an enjoyable show.  As the show was so diverse, I will cover the show in two segments: 1 for menswear and 1 for womenswear.
So be prepared! Next up L.A. Fashion Weekend Womenswear!