Chilling rain and thunderstorms could not keep LA?s fashionable set away from the 9th Annual Fresh Faces of Fashion Show.Hosted by Gen Art, and sponsored by the hot new Blackberry Pearl, the event took place at the large and in charge Barkar Hangar at the Santa Monica airport. The night was emceed by the lovely Garcelle Beauvais and Project Runway?s season two darling, Nick Verreos. Verreos walked the red carpet with a model clad in one of his stunning floor length creations. Also working it on the red carpet was Tamara Mowry, Macy Gray, Shar Jackson, Reggie Miller, CSI Miami?s Sofia Milos and Lost?s Emilie de Ravin, just to name a few.
Gracing the runway were highlights from the collections of emerging local fashion designers, Augustine, Crispin & Basilio, Katy Rodriguez, Anzevino & Florence, Trasteverine, Ziji, Fremont, and Haverhill?s swimwear line with accessory installations by Hollie Ten, Jack Rabbit, L.D Tuttle and Marcello Toshi Creazoni.
What happens when an actress and an architect decide to put their creative bobbles together to create minimalist masterpieces for the everyday woman? Ziji, a word in Tibetan means ?confidence, shining out with dignity? is also the label for designer brainchildren Nansi Aluka and Katerina Gabbro. It was also the perfect word to describe the basic black and shining neutral ensembles Ziji?s models strutted in basic blacks and neutral colors in shining fabrics.
Three?s Company? Fremont designers Devin Carlson, Brittany Pham and Jessica Loria channeled the pleasure loving excess of the late 1960?s and early 1970?s for their line of playful plaids, fearless florals and silken swimwear. We envisioned it as an ideal wardrobe for a hip, young, future WASP?s vacation attire.
Newbie? This may have been the first year Katy Rodriguez had shown a collection for her own label, but a newcomer to the fashion scene she isn?t. In mostly yellow satin with bold violet florals, the billowing silhouettes of her satin like signature pinafores were breathtaking. Cocktail dresses, some with rich purple bubble skirting, were featured in mostly blacks and grays. To sum it up, looking fashionably romantic never seemed so easy.
Augustine designers Mitzi Guidry and Kelly Lynn Jones design more for the professional city woman who wants to be fashionable, yet practical. Adorned with buttons made from coconut, models looked shockingly comfortable strolling down the catwalk in sheer black tights paired under pleated tops and dresses. The can?t go wrong neutrals of the more casual attire carried over to the more hot to trot dresses with surprising peak-a-boo backs.
Let?s hear it for the boys! East Coaster William Anzevino and West Coaster Richard Florence, first combined creative forces back in 2000 for and Andy Warhol Museum project, and have since presented fashion groupies with avant guarde men?s attire. Startling, but wearable in luxe fabrics such as Bamboo and Modal, the modular collection was Star Wars meets Movie Stars with asymmetrical lines.
Last but not least in the night was Crispin & Basilio?s ladylike, yet no-nonsense womanswear debut by Donny Barrios and Trasteverine?s all power black cocktail collection by Michalyn Andrews and Brian Frank.
With so many fresh faces of fashion with unique design elements, there was one common denominator shared from collection to collection: a welcome change from the LA stereotype of the obvious fashionista in plunging necklines. The new kids on the block (or runway) were more about the mysterious LA male or female with alluring, detail oriented attention to the backs of their tops and dresses. Dare I say it? Has it finally happened? The back is the new front.
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Written by Penny Lane Emerson