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Los Angeles is unto itself; there is no place else like it in the world.  The very name of the city conjures up images of  creativity and make-believe, palm trees and surf boards, Rodeo Drive and Rolls Royce luxury, diamonds, chic casual wear, glitzy accessories, aged women (and men!) with too many face-lifts, and gorgeous young girls (and guys) with sun-bleached hair and to-die-for skin tans. 


Los Angeles is a town made for fashion, and that is just what the recent Fashion Week extravaganza tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to convey.  Competing with capital cities around the world, from New York to Mumbai, India, LA’s runway presentations lacked the kind of energy the town is known for. Buyers were often tepid.  Celebrities didn’t show up to promote the events. And, in addition, a break up in the partnership between the main show producers didn’t help things any. 


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Still, there is reason for optimism as one show official said, “L.A. is a world class city… it’s a crossroads for a lot of people and cultures….Whenever I’m overseas, people ask me, ‘What about L.A.?’ ”                


—And that’s exactly it. What about L.A.?  Troubled, maybe.  Down and out?  Anything but…! 


Just look at some of the designs put forth by designers here in recent weeks: toughed-up denim; wild dresses; airy, floating chiffon head dresses; startling prints; and big, blooming prints galore.  There were lots of new-form casual, lots of embellishment, lots of edgy and sleek designs next to eco-friendly styles and pretty-girl romantic looks.


The jewelry field was set ablaze by beautiful tiaras enjoying a truly queenly message. Scarves showed their versatility, used in dozens of different ways.  Handbags were characteristically huge and overwhelmed with embellishment.  Big pins gave California casual a different, dressier look.


Shorts were super-short, often with uneven hemlines, just like their first-cousin mini-skirts.  Belts came on strong, defining waistlines and helping to bring the body form back to its more normal place.  Shapes draped over shapes a la Grecian wear.  Necklaces picked up special attention, many very long and swingy.


British punk plaids were hot, and graphic t-shirts retained their strong popularity.  Some architectural designs came on strong, along with minimalism for the new era, not too pared-down, not too dark and depressing.  Goth with an L.A. pop was big.  Sexy outfits, from strapless rompers to peek-a-boo low-cut blouses maintained the city’s reputation for essential plastic surgery enhancement. 


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All in all, it was exciting, new, and very California-dreaming with a fashion twist, despite some negative publicity. Take our word for it; L.A. is still a hot place to keep your eye on!


Hair was mostly long at the L.A. shows, with plenty of hair accessories, from headbands to clips.  Christian Audigier outfitted his very long haired model with a traditional rhinestone tiara worn over tight red leggings and a red and white print sleeveless top.  Michel Berandi offered a ghoulish look with very Goth black dresses and hairy fringe scarves. 


The Goth look put forth in L.A. this year stayed true to the story line.  To recreate images that also work, try skulls and crossbones, bondage looks (i.e., plenty of sharp black beads and leather), and belts.  You can also work with biker looks here, the two stories often go well together.


Samora worked with a girlish, flirty look, featuring, among others, a lightweight floral print mini skirt with a white tunic. An exciting featured item:  fingerless white lace gloves.  Eco-Ganik was strong on multi-strand colored bead necklaces over organic fabric jumpsuits.  And Lotusgrace showed a full skirted dark blue dress that Audrey Hepburn would have adored.  The only thing missing:  A strand of lovely white pearls.


Glass jewelry hit a high note in L.A., in beautiful necklaces and handsome, delicate glass ring earrings. The Audrey Hepburn effect, seen in dresses with fitted bodices and balloon skirts, put emphasis on traditional jewelry, very pretty, even delicate.  Think hearts, pearls, gold chains.  However (and this is a big HOWEVER), to keep the idea true to the movie-world capital, we do suggest you jazz up the delicate with no small amount of glitz.  And glamour.  And shine. 


This is, after all, LOS ANGELES, and subtle is not its middle name.   Terrific?  That’s more like it!  

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, November 6th, 2008

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