Saturday afternoon I wandered downtown to the CMC to see the Designer Launchpad Runway Show a show presented as part of the Focus tradeshow housed in the CMC. I was ambivalent as to what I might find there, but excited to see my first actual runway show of the season. What I was presented with was a sampling of some the brightest new designers in LA. A superb amount of talent provoking "oohs and ahhs" from my fellow front row-ers.
Pictured above are two looks (of many) that the lovely Maria Janossy of Mariska presented. Maria, a Transylvania transplant to LA certainly presented a modern European woman. Her tailoring was impeccable, the, above pictured, trench coat evokes a certain film noir quality and her work with silk was equally impressive, the palazzo pants, also pictured above, sashayed down the runway much to the delight of everyone around me. Dreamy, elegant, vintage inspired but modern. This was an impressive collection and I look forward to more.
Opening the show was the super sexy 'Love Dragons' custom lingerie and jewelry by Lori Shapiro. A variety of beautiful underwear sauntered before our eyes, looks that would have had the most modest of men (and women for that matter) salivating. I was particularly fond of the more vintage inspired looks…charmeuse tap panties…yes please! Ombre triangle bra…uh huh…yep. A desirable collection in so many more ways than one.
Continuing the 'boudoir' theme came a more modest 'Toute La Nuit' an exquisitely simple but still sexy collection of at home loungewear, that is described best in the designers own words.
"Inspired by a need for feminine, romantic and sophisticated loungewear options, I created Toute la Nuit to give women something exciting for "private time" in which they could also answer the door when the postman rings. 'Bed to Breakfast' is what my friend Lara calls the collection"
As someone who more often than not works from home, and tends to dress for the latter part of the day, and often finds herself scrambling for appropriate clothing for postman whilst yelling "I'm coming! Hang on!" this passage really spoke to me, as did the designs. I particularly loved the robe pictured above beautiful detailing and a gorgeous colour.
Dollimou sent true California girls down the runway with a mix of extreme casual, chic sweatpants and the like and tourist t-shirts (which we wrote about a month or so ago) inspired by designer Alexana Lambros' mothers vintage t-shirts. It was this discovery that prompted Alexana and her graphic designer Kim Kaufman to create Dollimou.
The show prompted a conversation between Laurie (a fellow blogger and stylist) and myself with regard to sweatpants as more than just loungewear, for instance in a bar. It's something I'm still not sure about, but Laurie who had embraced the look herself had only positive things to say about her experience. You may see me out on the town in sweats soon…who knows?!
Gia Lee, a complete newcomer to the Los Angeles scene presented her debut collection to much aplomb. Originally from Queens, NY, Lee's aesthetic belongs in LA. The exotic prints with vintage shapes and modern details such as studwork make these designs unique and truly exciting. I was particularly enamored with the sixties-esque baby doll dresses, with studded and riveted bib collars, in the exotic print pictured above they'd be perfect for a jaunt to Palm Springs. Lovely items that I'll be excited to see more of next season.
The finale of the show was met with much anticipation, Jen Awad, who is fast becoming a Los Angeles mainstay, debuting her first collection only March last year, presented a taste of what is a very exciting collection. Forties heroine meets a futuristic vixen with much success. When the black, forties-esque dress with a beautiful sweetheart neckline (pictured above, third left) swung out I literally gasped as my peers one by one turned to me announcing "that dress is soo you!" and "that would look amazing on you" their pronouncements were awarded with "yes…oh my…I NEED this". The collection was fantastic and I'm only reserving the majority of my gushing as I was privileged to see the collection in it's entirety on Tuesday at Concept so I have a lot more to say, which will come later.
The Designer Launch Pad Runway show surpassed my expectations in presenting these new and up-coming designers leaving me excited for the future of Los Angeles Fashion Week.
By Kelsi Smith