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Les Deux- one of Hollywood’s famous hotspots and celebrity hangouts was the venue for the Lauren-Elaine fashion show, which also featured handbags by Lust4Lux. Now, knowing Lauren from a previous event (see David Kahn/Lauren-Elaine @ Escondido Fashion Week), I wanted to attend and support her.
I arrived at the “infamous” club, tucked away off to the side of a parking lot off Las Palmas. Like every other Hollywood club, there were hoards of young hipsters and wannabe actors waiting to get into the club.
After receiving my PRESS pass, the velvet rope opened and I was let in to the small red carpeted area still outside the club. Several minutes and a few rude bouncers later, I was finally in. I went up to the VIP room and ran into Lauren. She was busy with getting ready for the show, but was still able to exchange “hellos” and whatnots before having to head downstairs. Later, I found a great spot on the balcony to stand and be able to catch a different angle of the show with my camera.
Lauren was showing her “Siren” Collection. A mix of day and evening dresses that were inspired by the Ancient Greek mythology and the ‘sirens’ of the 1950’s (Grace Kelly). My personal favorite was the Apollo Gown, a strapless floor-length gown with bold oranges, yellows and pinks. Two other dresses caught my eye, the “Aphrodite” and the “Nightingale”. Both are floor-length and sleeveless. But the elegant draping and the strong attention to detail are timeless.
Nevertheless, despite Les Deux’s inadequate services, the show was a smashing success. I enjoyed the energy from the models, the crowd and the designer herself, Lauren-Elaine Edleson. For ordering and more info: please go to http://www.lauren-elainedesigns.com or designs@Lauren-ElaineDesigns.com.
Special Thanks: Lauren’s PR: Stacey; Lauren, Lust4Lux Handbags, J’s Luxury Beemer Taxi Service, Sean and Jess from Falling Whistles.
Yep, it’s that time of the year again…Shoppers converged to the thirteenth floor penthouse of the California Market Center for the Spring Edition of Unique Los Angeles- the independent designer gift show. This year, over 7,000 people shopped the 270 vendors, including familiar ones from December’s show. Ecobooma, specializing in Earth-friendly tees and totes, their partner company, Jenkins Jellies, known for their decadent organic homemade jellies, the creative wire-wrapped jewelry from Namaste Creations. Their website is officially up and running, go to http://www.namastecreations.com, Tucker Paisley, who were showing their new purse line and floral print dresses that would be perfect for a day out at the OC beach cities, Rojas, designer Freddie Rojas had plaid bustier dresses that made me want to scream, “I’m mad for plaid!” Another key piece is the knee-length leggings with fringe running down the sides of the legs. Lastly, my friend, Liz Abbott of Leatherette Hearts, showed me a recent piece from her collection… the Michael Jackson (or MJ for short) shirt. She had screen printed his mug shot as a repeated pattern. Very chic! **For contact info on these companies, please refer back to the first UNIQUE LOS ANGELES blog**
Ok and moving on to the newbies of this year’s Unique (or maybe they were there last year but I just didn’t see them.) I would like to start out with Dust & Co, an all women owned company created by Jill Stevens. She designs jewelry and totes that are eco-friendly. Her amazing necklaces made with vintage car emblems immediately caught my eye, cause I am also on the lookout for new or vintage BMW emblems myself. I made my way further into her booth and discovered a treasure-trove of vintage goodness. Necklaces, earrings, cufflinks that were made from optical lenses, watch parts from the 1800’s/Art Deco/ Mid-Century periods and vintage keys. I would also like to mention one of her totes with the saying, “Fuck You and Your Prius”… such a riot…now if only she can make one with “Fuck You and Your BMW (or Beemer)” Her collection can be found at www.dustdesignco.com.
Weeks before the show, I had learned that Maria Peralta from Devious Damzels, would be showing her line at Unique. You may know her from Project Ethos Fame in my Ethos write-up. She had also shown at December’s show. Maria was ecstatic to once again be apart of Unique…She feels that it’s like being apart of the LA community and she enjoys sharing the creative space with other artists, such as Dim Mak. Her love of neon really showed in her collection. She had an updated version of the LA shirt and had her signature piece, the fuschia “Miss Rockwell” pin-up (for the inner burlesque star in you.) She also had a sample for clients to view the latest treatment to her line, flocking and is also introducing her men’s line, due out by the end of the year. The price points for her shirts run from $25- 50. For more information, go to www.deviousdamzels.com.
Sharing the space with Maria is her friend, Daisy Romero, jewelry designer and photographer. Daisy owns El Cholo’s Kid by LA Daisy, a jewelry company based on religious imagery and the Mexican culture. The name, “El Cholo’s Kid” derived from when Daisy’s father was young. He was nicknamed, “El Cholo.” When Daisy went back to Mexico, the neighborhood kids would say, “Hey, it’s El Cholo’s Kid!” And voila….the rest they say…is history. Her pieces range from religious like the necklaces with small rosary boxes and pictures of Jesus and Mary on the front to the kitschy, like the neon headbands with dancing skeletons, some with skirts and others with ponchos and sombreros and lastly, barrettes with Mariache figurines. Daisy finds her pieces whenever she travels to Mexico and then brings them home to LA, sits at her kitchen table and puts them together. Her pieces of gawdy “ghettoness” are ranged from $5- 30, which I think is well worth it to add some ‘flare’ to a plain, dawdy outfit. To shop her line or check out her photography, go to www.ladaisy.com or email@example.com.
As I was perusing though the booths, my eyes landed upon a sleeveless dress with the skirt made from a wool scarf from a flea market. I just had to approach the designer. The company is Sea Pony, owned by Fati Beloved. Beloved has been designing for fifteen years and creates everything from scratch. Since she drapes, her fabrics of choice are silks and satins, but also likes to challenge herself by using difficult fabrics as well. She finds inspiration through her friends behaviors and personalities. And also by doing custom designs for people. It’s interesting the ideas people come up with without any knowledge of garment construction that Fati, with her design knowledge has to interprete into a functional garment. She also does bridal. Her bow ties are $5, scoodies (scarf with a hoodie) are $40-50, jackets and skirts are $60-80, and dresses are $80-150. Contact Fati at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I stopped at another booth and admired fun handmade clutches, bracelets, headbands and necklaces. The designer peeked her head out and introduced herself as Wendy Gooie from FM Clothing. All her accessories are made from recycled fabrics from her line. The necklaces are made from silk, mesh and cotton and them, along with the leather hats were worn by MIA during her performance at Coachella. Other celebrities that have worn her line include Lindsay Lohan, who has been spotted wearing her signature headband and Rhianna, who has worn her leather hats. Signature pieces from her clothing line are a deep-v tunic and leather shorts. She owns a showroom at the LA Apparel Mart and her accessories range from $ 5-55 and $34-110 for clothing.
Browsing through the eco-friendly part of Unique, I came across wallets made from the “Caution” tape and fortunately, the designer was on hand to talk to. He is Ryan of Dip It Designs. He uses the “caution” tape and pom-pom pieces for wallets. And he uses the soy milk packs from Trader Joe’s to make wallets, coin purses, keychains, etc that go for $3- 25. His key piece is a bowl made from a recycled record and goes for $30. For more ‘dipiliciousness’, go to www.doubledipped.etsy.com.
Another accessories booth I found that had ‘unique’ products was Elisa Gonsalves Designs. Elisa has been in business for six years. Her inventory included beautiful long necklaces, chunky wire-wrapped rings, and headbands with feathers on the side. She does a lot of traveling and picks up her random key-pieces for her accessories, and also finds inspiration in the clutter in her room. Her pieces range from $20-300 depending on how detailed it is. She is trying to make the products more affordable to people, due to the economy. Her collection is available online at www.elisagonsalves.com.
Sharing the booth with Elisa is her friend Virginia, of De La Luna Designs. “De La Luna” means “of the moon” in Spanish and is a company based on culture and life. She uses recycled purses, luggage, wallets and flasks and applies the applications on the fabrics. When she makes her products, which she likes to refer to as artistically useful products; she thinks about individualizing people. For more information, go to www.delalunadesigns.com.
Some other booths I found had interesting products include, Voz Clothing & Art by Jackie Sepulveda. She gets vintage and/or gently-used purses and bags and paints intricate designs on them. She also was selling rings and other jewelry with graffiti printed on them. Go to www.vozclothingandart.com. I stopped by 7Lightningbolt’s booth and LOVED their handmade cuff bracelets and my friend from Chicago loved the scarves. Their collection is available at www.7lightningbolt.com. I found a company that sold wallets, card holders, condom cases, etc that are made from laminated paper (with fun prints, like a map of LA with Culver City circled) which is then sewn with clear vinyl. The designer is Jamila Tazewell and her company is 11:11 Enterprises. For more info, check out www.eleveneleven.net. Where can you find Chanel earrings with hotdog charms? Or a beautiful cascade necklace made from rings? Jen Martin Jewelry! She has a shop at www.radness.etsy.com. Marlene and I picked up fun, yet small heart-shaped sunglasses, plastic toy dinosaurs, lollipops and posters at the Dim Mak (by DJ Steve Aoki) booth. We were also salivating over the yummy cupcakes they had sitting and luring people to the booth with their yummyness. I want to give a special shout-out to one of the sales reps, Melissa, who answering a few questions and also was responsible for deconstructing a few of the tees. Check out www.dimmak.com! The Weekend Store (who vended at Felt Club) was there. Designer Adjowah Brodie was on hand to inform me that, along with the vintage typewriter key charms, earrings, necklaces and bracelets decorated from watch parts; she had new necklaces with prints made from bird pictures from 1940’s books. Visit www.theweekendstore.com for more details. Lastly, thanks to Marlene’s keen eye, we saw a belt with a Victorian hands buckle. It was definitely a one-of-a-kind item that I’ve never seen before. You can read more about the company, Kim White Handbags at www.kimwhitehandbags.com.
Congratulations Sonja Rasula on another show well done!! Thank you again to all the volunteers and sponsors! And thank you Marlene Halper, it was great seeing you! Glad you had a fantastic time!!
The dynamic duo- Joseph Rene and Parris Harris have done it again, this time, they rocked it out ’80’s style at Club Menage in the heart of Old Town Pasadena.
It was there that the models sashayed down the runway to beats like MJ’s “Beat It” and Dramarama’s “Anything”. The first portion of the show was dedicated to Salon Sessions and featured three models strickin-a-pose as celebrity stylist Joseph Rene and the owners of Salon Sessions, Neeko and Samvel stood on the brightly lit boxes and fussed with their hair.
The clothing that was provided by Trendy Rags, Parris Harris’s line, “Punk Mail” and Yoga Army added extra splashes of color to the club’s rockin ambiance.
I spoke with the designers Sandy Wee and Sebastian St. George of Yoga Army, which is located in near-by Temple City, CA. They are an American made apparel company, specializing in mixing hard and soft elements, such as jersies and leathers or silks and laces. It was interesting when Sandy was explaining that even with the rough economy, designers sometimes have it so tough that they are going back to the Grassroots Movement (door-to-door). And that the tradeshows still aren’t cutting the costs to make it easier. They are either the same or have risen because the labor unions are pushing them for higher prices.
The pair, along with Parris Harris are involved in the Ford Fiesta Movement. They were among the special one hundred people chosen to test-drive the 2011 Ford Fiesta for six months, while also completing different missions. When I met the Yoga Army team, they had just received the car. For more information on the Ford Fiest Movement, go to www.phasionarmy.com or www.fiestamovement.com/agents/view/84.
Ms. Wee and Mr. St. George have known Parris Harris for a long time and they are proud to be apart of the ’80’s Rocker Show and to support Parris and Joseph Rene.
Yes, the 80’s did indeed come back that night in a dazzling spectacle of energy, wild hair (including neon netting in a couple styles) and thankfully without the shoulder pads! Bravo!
SPECIAL THANKS: Joseph Rene (www.josephrenesalon.com) , Parris Harris (www.phashionarmy.com) , Salon Sessions (www.salonsessions.com) , Club Menage (54 E. Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena, http://www.clubmenage.net , the models, hair and make-up, Jose’s Luxury Taxi Service, Trendy Rags (www.trendyrags.com) , Yoga Army (www.yogaarmy.com) and Felix Salzman of LookBookLA!
The weather was perfect for the drive down to Escondido, CA; where the second annual Escondido Fashion Week was held at the California Center for the Arts.
I went to support my friend, Parris Harris, who was coordinating that evening’s Red Carpet Finale, featuring David Kahn Jeanswear and Lauren-Elaine Designs.
The evening started with words from Debra Rosen, CEO of Escondido’s Downtown Business Association; followed by Angelo Damante of Mercedes-Benz of Escondido and Channel 8’s Barbara Lee Edwards. Then, dancers from Georgia’s School of Dance took the stage with a jazz number (they also danced in between the fashion shows and after.)
The first fashion show was David Kahn Jeanswear. The models showcased the latest of his S/S ’09 line- crops, capris, shorts, skinny legged jeans, and skinny crops that were properly accessorized with tanks and tops sporting the David Kahn logo and scarves, hats and jewelry that was provided by Bacio Boutique. The second part of Kahn’s runway show consisted of the menswear line. And I must say…the men really knew how to show off a pair of classic jeans! Most of the male models strutted down the runway with the serious attitudes; also with David Kahn tees and hoodies. One model though, tore off his tank and thrust it into the giddy audience.
Kahn recently launched his menswear collection. He focuses on the European and American fits and straight and boot cuts. Like his womens line, he also uses Italian denim. For more on David Kahn Jeans, visit www.davidkahnjeanswear.com.
The closing show of the evening was Lauren-Elaine Designs. Her collection (and second full collection) was titled, “Siren Collection”, a dress line inspired by the mythical sirens from Ancient Greek Mythology and the ‘sirens’ of the 50’s (Grace Kelly). The models strolled the runway in ‘goddess’ gowns and dresses with 50’s full-skirted silhouettes.
I had a chance to catch up with the designer of LED, Lauren-Elaine Edleson, who started in the industry as a model, but turned designer when she was in college. She loves working with colorful prints in fine cotton blends, silks and silk chiffons. She has a passion for hand-dying fabrics and taffeta cocktail dresses. She hopes to manufacture more garments with “green” and organic fabrics in the near future. However, several of her sundresses are already made from organic cotton. Her label is still somewhat new, having been launched in March 2008, during LA Fashion Week. For more on LED, go to www.lauren-elainedesigns.com.
I would like to extend special thanks to Parris Harris, for informing me of this amazing event and my first fashion event outside the LA area. To Debra Rosen, Kory DeMeulenaere (GM of Courtyard by Marriott- Rancho Bernardo), Danielle Aeling, events manager at DBA. She and a fantastic team of people planned this event for eleven months and despite the economy, still managed to get the designers and had an incredible amount of people in attendance. Lauren from Bacio Boutique (121 E. Grand Avenue in Escondido (760)743-4800), Georgia’s School of Dance, the hair and make-up teams and the woman behind the models, Maurinda Andre of MODA models. Ms. Andre herself started modeling in 1997 and has worked her way up. Afer a stint at Model and Talent Management, she called Debra Rosen and told her of a new business venture. Rosen then gave her one and a half months to get her business started and then told her about Fashion Week 2009. Andre chose to name her new business, MODA, because it was her professional model name and that she has her own personal style. She says she doesn’t follow the trends, she expresses through them. You can reach MODA at (619)618-5990.
* ” Project Ethos bridges the gap between Indie and Mainstream worlds and provides opportunities for previous unrecognized talent.” *
This year, I had the opportunity to attend the bi-annual event, Project Ethos, held at the Vanguard in Hollywood. The theme was “Culture Shock”. The charity partner for the event was ‘Raising Malawi, who’s goal is to end the extreme poverty that Malawi’s two million orphans and other children have to suffer from. The red carpet event boasted eight designers, eleven artists, three bands, two DJs and fifty-six models.
After a colorful dance by Groovaholix, who were keeping to the “Culture Shock” theme, wore tanks that represented different cultures around the world…the seven-designer fashion show started.
AGAPE- A feminine contemporary line, designed by Danyela Jelovac had draped dresses and seperates that had a European flair but a hint of American modernity. The muted colors were perfectly styled with purple tights that went over the heel, which reminded me of a somewhat “mod” style. You can email Danyela at email@example.com.
MIDNIGHTMARE- The dynamic duo Judy, Donna and Phong Hong are the creative geniuses behind this contemporary line that was inpspired by the mysterious shadows that are formed at night. All the designs on their tees are original hand-drawn illustrations. I LOVED the vest and skirt seperates that were made from feathers! Their designs will be available in their online store and some boutiques. Their site is www.midnightmare.com.
MIMEKI- This is a handbag line created by Rochelle Thwaites. Mimeki means, “I made it,” in Jamaican. Her line has a following that features celebrities and other fashionistas alike. At one point during her show, two models walked out, instead of wearing clothing, their bodies were beautifully painted. It created a “WOW-factor” with the audience. Her website www.mimeki.com is currently under construction.
COWGIRL HEAVEN- Fun and flirty party dresses that are designed by Houstina Summers, were inspired by ribbons and bows, also Barbie meets 50’s Pin-up. Check her out at www.cowgirlheaven.foliosnap.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAVSH- Alfred Lape is the creative visionary for this line. He has had no formal education in the fashion industry and is responsible for the patternmaking, sewing, the rest of the design process, as well as the business aspect. He showed very sophisticated shirts, jackets and pants during the show. Every piece of Lape’s collection is sewn with love and care. For more information, go to www.lavshlv.com.
LUXCHER- This contemporary line designed by Naoko Yoshihara takes its name from two French words, “lux”- “luxury” and “cher”- “beloved”. All her clothes that were on the runway that evening were very feminine and sophisticated and could easily take a woman from day to evening. Her email is email@example.com.
THE OTHER DUCK- Created by Cheryl Koo, and was derived from the “Ugly Duckling” story. Her line is for those who are the non-conformists, the people are aren’t afraid to stand-out…the outcasts…if you will. Every piece she makes has a message behind it, which is also her personal life message. The models had make-up that represented black masks around their eyes…the dark make-up with the dark clothing was very goth-like. There was a slight twist behind the coats…the lining had color…bright and fun. One of the models also came out in a strapless sheer gown and doing ballet. I do love it when models add a little something extra other than just ‘walking’. Cheryl’s hip site can be found at www.theotherduck.com.
DEVIOUS-DAMZELS- Designer Maria Peralta was inspired by the silhouettes of the 80’s- shoulder pads, dolman sleeves and glitz; along with the art of East LA culture. Her tees had graphics that were edgy and explosive. Her website www.deviousdamzels.com is under construction at the present, but in the meantime, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPONSORS: Sexy Hair, Jody Domingue, LookBookLA, Sean Healy Presents, BDPR, Covenant House California, 99% Entertainment, Raising Malawi, M2 Event Design, My Studio, Beta Records, Not Rated Productions, Jin and Quinn Productions, Felulu Cosmetics, Agent Training Network, Groovaholix, Paul Mitchell: The School, Illuminate Collective.
Special Thanks: Brianne Bear; Jason Peskin;Erica Carbajal; Monica Ruiseco;my fellow Ethos girls: Kristen, Claudia and Janice and the rest of TEAM ETHOS; Jody Domingue Photography, Ryan Jones, Parris Harris, Felix Salzman (LookBookLA)… For more information on Project Ethos, go to www.projectethos.com.
It seems that 20 year old designer Jazmine Whitley has done it again! The Li Cari show ended the BoxEight Fashion Week on the 15th at the famous Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway with not an empty seat in the house and not to mention the media frenzy. Before the show, my friend Hannah and I mingled with friends and met new ones in the imacculate six-story lobby of the theatre. A few minutes before the show was to start, we made out way into the theatre to scope out seats. Due to the seats being so far back, I had to move up to the center aisle and stand with the rest of the media. Ok, I mentioned that I had to STAND…well in five inch heels that is… and the show went for fifteen minutes…YOU do the math.
Promptly at 10pm, BoxEight founder Peter Gurnz came onstage and gave a brief history on BoxEight’s influence at Fashion Week and then he introduced his team. Then, the show began.
Jazmine’s inspiration for her collection was back-to-basics. The silhouettes were classic and had a ‘Jackie-O’ look. She “wanted to convey a sense of the basics and nature.” She is also aware of our country’s tough times and wants people who wear Li Cari to have a peaceful mindset, which starts when they go to their closets to pick out something to wear in the morning. There was another designer that shared the spotlight that night. She is Lynn Curtin, founder of men’s and women’s Cuff Luvv Collections. You also may have recognized her in the last season of Real Housewives of Orange County fame. Her rocker inspired cuffs for the show worked well with Li Cari’s classic style.
Lynn started the company a little over three years ago, however she’s been designing most of her life. She was tired of giving her friends the same gifts over and over again, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. Now, her cuffs are sold at Fred Segal and other small boutiques around the OC area, including Duo, in Laguna Beach which on every first Thursday of the month, they host a small party. Even Stephan Tyler was given one of her cuffs. She has a new cuff coming out, which is more economical and is about an inch wide, but still with the iron cross and studs and will sell for $99. It takes around an hour from design to finish, though depending on the leathers. She is in the process of getting a manufacturer, due to getting more involved with the higher-end retail shops. You can currently read about Cuff Luvv in this month’s issue of Orange Coast Magazine on page 26 and shop her collections at www.shoplynncurtindesigns.com.
Special thanks to: Hannah David, Jose’s “Luxury Taxi Service”, and Susan Costa of WCM.