Paulina Lopez, Michael Venedicto, Anh Volcek, Cynthia Ruiz, Daisy Gonzalez, Jeff Warrington & Myself (photo by Melissa Manning of the Look Partnership)
Jersey Dress with Feather detailing by Anh Volcek of L'Une (photo by Melissa Manning of the Look Partnership)
Anh Volcek being interviewed by Jared of Crimes of Fashion
Daisy Gonzalez and a model wearing one of her elegant looks (photo by Melissa Manning of the Look Partnership)
Daisy Gonzalez interviewed by Farah of Terra
Extremely feminine design from Paulina Lopez whose collection was inspired by the rainbow (photo by Melissa Manning of the Look Partnership)
Paulina Lopez interviewed by Audrey Magazine
The story as to how BC-911 arose is a fairly long one, with many twists and turns. It all began in the last week of LA Fashion "week" when press releases announcing the cancellation of the "Official LA Fashion Week" popped into inboxes. The founder, Susan Costa of WCM, claimed city conspiracy, quoting the Mayor in her press release and stating that the LAFD would not issue the correct permits to let the show go on.
For those of us who are Los Angeles Fashion Week savvy, the week felt doomed from the start, press releases announcing "Los Angleles Offical Fashion Week" began arriving around July, and the miss-spellings were only the start of it. By the time WCM's fashion week was nearing I had mostly forgotten about it and having already attended weeks of shows, I had no intention of attending these.
When the cancellation notice arrived it came as little surprise, and I was honestly somewhat amused, my amusement ended abruptly when I learned of the stranded designers who had flown in from all over the world (quite literally) to show and at great cost (it cost one designer $25K to show and fly from Germany)
The City of Los Angeles called us (us being Fashion Los Angeles) to see if there was anything we could do in helping the displaced designers find an alternative venue to show in. Knowing the venue next door to us was currently set up for the Skingraft shows we were due to attend that night, we dropped everything and went to speak with the building owner. The building owner agreed to rent us the space – with the complete set-up, for one day, the next day, for $5K.
At this point we had several designers on board, including Anh Volcek, who waited patiently with us, while we tried to help her. Anh and her publicist had attempted to call Susan Costa throughout the day to see about getting their money back, but had no luck, call were answered, and when the going got tough, Costa would hang up.
In my infinite wisdom (please note the sarcasm) I attempted to call Costa myself, and was able to talk to her. I offered my help and a solution, one that could not unfortunately help all 18 designers show but would aid a lot of them and explained the cost, noting that this money was not for me, it was for the space and that I was not looking for any compensation, and nor was Fashion Los Angeles.
The reaction was nasty. I was accused of being greedy, looking for a handout, conspiring with someone called 'Melissa' (I had no idea who she was talking about) she told me if the designers were to show with us they would forfeit their money. I was also told that she was in constant contact with Cynthia Ruiz at the City (confirmed as untrue) and constant contact with the designers (also confirmed as untrue.) When I asked her why she was hanging up on the designers if she really intended to work this out, I was told that she would never hang up on anyone only to be hung up on myself 2 minutes later.
Long story short, or not really, the event could not go ahead due to the lack of funds and co-operation from Susan Costa and I missed the Skingraft show! It was also discovered later that the property in which she wish to produce the event was never zoned for events and that the LAFD had told her two weeks (!) prior to the event that she was not permitted to use it!
Anyway, on to the positive that arose. Lacking funds and time we felt the best way to help at least some of these designers show was to pull together an emergency Bloggers' Café, a Two Point Oh LA and Fashion Los Angeles collaborative program in which we showcase designers and brands to the illustrious bloggers of Two Point Oh LA. Three designers agreed to show, Paulina Lopez, hailing all the way from Mexico City, Anh Volcek of L'Une and Daisy Gonzalez.
Make-up artists, hair stylists, models, bloggers, press and photographers all rallied round to help the designers and the event itself was a huge success. We felt extremely proud to have pulled together as a community, in under 48 hours, to really show the fashion world what LA is truly made of – the good stuff.
The results are pictured above, and it's important for me to note the following who helped make it happen, albeit somewhat late!
Cynthia M. Ruiz — President, Board of Public Works, City of Los Angeles
Event Photographer: Melissa Manning – http://www.thelookpartnership.com
Models: Global One — www.globaloneltd.com
Hair/Make-up: Amber Ayala, Diana Lomelin, Eric Devezin & Meredith Murdock.
Sponsors: CONTRA by Bonny Doon, One Coconut Water & Border Grill Restaurant
Thanks again to all that showed up to offer the designers your support, it was much appreciated and certainly gave me a warm fuzzy feeling!