By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
By Dennis Romero
Left to right: Patric Reeves, philanthropist, wears a wool-and-leather jacket by Cosa Nostra (exclusive for Maxfield), tulle-and-yarn neck puff by Ujein, silk taffeta skirt and shoes by Michelle Mason, and vintage hat courtesy of Wendy Ann's House of Hats; Deborah Falconer, singer/songwriter, wears a hand-distressed silk-jersey dress by Bao Tranchi (www.belladonnapress.net) under a silk charmeuse ball skirt by Goretti, suspenders by Corey Parks, leather-and-Swarovski-jet-crystal cuff and bugle-beaded cuff by Michael Schmidt, platinum diamond cross earrings by Ron Hami (www.belladonnapress.net) and boots by Jimmy Choo; Jennifer Gimenez, actress, is in a jersey dress with leather trim by Michelle Mason (from Diavolina), Swarovski crystal stud bracelet by Michael Schmidt and shoes by Gina; Lisa Edelstein, actress, is in an Eduardo Lucero stretch silk-satin origami gown, Michael Schmidt sterling-silver Swarovski-crystal-encrusted scorpion ring and vegan Jimmy Choo couture shoes; TC Conroy, life coach, wears a Michelle Mason rayon-silk dress with copper necklace by Reform for Michelle Mason, sterling-silver Swarovski-crystal-encrusted flower ring by Michael Schmidt, shoes by Gucci and vintage hat courtesy of Wendy Ann's House of Hats.
There's no question that L.A. has style to spare, from red-carpet razzle-dazzle to stoner surf chic and everything in between. More than any place else, the iconoclast rules. We've never been bound to East Coast dictums of what makes for proper dress, nor do we tend to follow the trends idolized by the international fashion pack. In fact, there are nearly as many definitions of what L.A. style is as there are people who live here. With enough confidence and the right attitude, just about anything goes. We asked six fashionistas — two boutique owners, two event producers, a costume designer and a stylist — to share their interpretations of L.A. style. The sole rule: They could only use local designers. Each of our participants offered up a quintessential vision of what it means to live and dress in L.A. — and together they create a complex portrait of the many faces of style in Los Angeles.
proprietor, Aero & Co.
L.A. style is comfortable, functional, whimsical and fun. It isn't intellectual or uptight.Most of all, it's about looking like you're not trying too hard, but looking as fabulous as you can. And it's never wearing a designer head-to-toe. It's knowing how to mix and match designers, as well as new and vintage. The most important factors that influence L.A. style are the SoCal lifestyle, Hollywood (old and new), the huge California sportswear industry, denim, and our year-round climate. It all adds up to casual funky glamour. Unbeknownst to the greater fashion world, L.A. has some amazing young talent emerging. While most of these young labels have very raw products, their creativity and bold desire to express themselves are refreshing. Aero & Co. is committed to supporting the L.A. design scene. L.A. style is our answer to not being taken seriously by the international fashion world. If they don't care about us, why should we care about their rules? We're more casual and carefree. It's not about who's who, it's about who cares. (Photographed by Larry Hirshowitz)
costume designer (Blue Crush,Crazy/Beautiful, and the upcomingHoney)
L.A. style reflects the wild contradictions of L.A. life, both self-absorbed and humanistic. Flavor of the month vs. has-been. Malibu vs. Whittier. Entitlement vs. altruism. Artificially flavored vs. organic. Very apt in a town where the book The Day of the Locust describes L.A. better than L.A. describes itself. Often, you can't tell the difference between a movie set and reality: How we see things is influenced by the constant play of light and shadow. But the façade is fun, and that's part of what makes L.A. such a curious style center — there will be an outfit for whatever role you choose to play, whether it's starlet or politico. L.A.'s a great town to play dress-up in — and sometimes even forget you're growing old. Where else can you wear a tube top when you're 85, and hardly anyone would bat an eye? In L.A., style is all about embracing the superficial and the profound. (Photographed by Dean Chamberlain)
event producers, Rabin Rodgers, Inc. (WWD & A Diamond Is Forever Oscar week event, Absolut Stella McCartney,W Tribute to Vintage Style, Nintendo GameCube launch featuring the Strokes, William Morris Sundance event)
DAVID: L.A. style is fresh — it's coming from a different perspective. Fashion seems to rise organically, incorporating influences from whatever pocket of L.A. you're submerged in. And fashion here is part of everyday life. In a way, L.A. style feels like it's in a new-beginning stage, and that's exciting. It seems like L.A. has gotten more stylish over the past few years. There are more designers living here, more magazines coming here to do stories — the English magazines can't get enough of L.A. It's a new frontier — it's got legs!
BRYAN:So many cultures collide in L.A. It all exists here — L.A. culture is a kaleidoscope of emotional ranges — and you can't isolate fashion. It's tied in to music, midcentury modern architecture, the beach, the weather. It's fueled by simultaneous urban and country experiences. Fashion is so centered on Hollywood. Magazines use actresses instead of models, and there's all the red-carpet coverage. Young designers realize that it's possible to be a success based in L.A. Just get a celebrity to wear your dress, and that could put you in a worldwide arena. (Photographed by Raul Vega)
proprietor, Sirens & Sailors
Being creative and unique in a city of great diversity and mass population is L.A. style. It's very much about the individual. It's a blend of looks fused together by people transplanted here from many different cities, cultures and environments who take their past influences — music, home, family, peers, all the elements that have shaped their upbringing — and tie them all together by grabbing a piece of a current trend and making it their own. Confidence is what unites it all. Comfort is also an aspect of pulling together a look. Being fashion-conscious is almost unavoidable in this city so associated with Hollywood. And with so many destinations for entertainment and play, the opportunities to dress up are endless. The focus of the fashion world has always been directed to other major cities, yet there is much unrecognized talent here. I want to showcase up-and-coming L.A. designers. (Photographed by Anne Fishbein)
I think L.A. style is defined as functional fashion. There is no real sense of day- or nightwear.Because of the mix of people who come to Los Angeles, you are not likely to see anything too conservative during the day or too elegant at night. It's not as outrageous as Tokyo (too bad!), but it allows the freedom that is needed to set new trends. L.A.'s bright, trendy and definitely divided into different sections. You are going to see different looks in Silver Lake as opposed to Melrose and the beach. People do not seem as consumed with big designers as they are with wearing something that either they or a friend made. The casualness is a direct result of the weather and the overall laid-back attitude of California. L.A.'s not couture — it's ready-to-wear mixed with your favorite vintage blouse and your brand-new Adidas Sambas. Now, if we could just contain the midriff thing to the beach and nightclubs, we'd all be better off! (Photographed by Julie Pavlowski)
Left to right: Bianca (Next) is in a stretch wool crepe dress with layers of silk organza, tulle and silk chiffon camouflage-print ruffles by Louis Verdad; a necklace made out of assorted glass beads, sterling silver, turquoise and quartz crystal by Rae Vavra; and shoes by Charles David. Flynn (Elite New York) wears a silk taffeta tucked gown by Eduardo Lucero, amethyst-and-purple-sapphire pendant with black-gold and rock-crystal bracelets with gold toggles by Alexander Designs, Beverly Hills, and her own shoes.
Photographed by Julie Pavlowski at the Norma Talmadge Estate, restored by Xorin Balbes, in Los Feliz
Hair and makeup by Kina Stewart
Meghan Ryan (Wilhelmina) wears an ensemble by Frank and Franco: silk cherry-blossom blouson with string tie, leather waist cincher lined in silk, wool-cashmere pants and her own shoes.
Left to right: Luise Batsch wears a jersey dress by Hayley Starr with hand-painted inset and beads and Beverly Feldman vintage shoes; Emily is in a rayon-polyester dress and cotton sack pants by Grey Ant, and her own shoes; Jenny Shimizu wears a crepe and lamé blouse by Grey Ant, NS denim pants, leather cuff by Lisa LuLu, and her own shoes.
Makeup by Kathy Jeung * Hair by Gina Monaci * Stylist: Steven Price (Cloutier)
Left to right: Actress Jennifer Gimenez wears a silk-satin matador cocktail dress by Eduardo Lucero and shoes by Gina; life coach TC Conroy wears a Bao Tranchi (www.belladonnapress.net) crystal-beaded silk-chiffon bias-cut dress, Michael Schmidt sterling-silver Swarovski-crystal-encrusted skull ring, Gucci shoes, and vintage hat courtesy of Wendy Ann's House of Hats; singer-songwriter Deborah Falconer is in a yarn knit dress by Ujein, boots by Jimmy Choo and vintage hat courtesy of Wendy Ann's House of Hats; actress Lisa Edelstein wears a hematite Swarovski-crystal mesh dress and sterling-silver jet-crystal-encrusted scorpion ring by Michael Schmidt, and vegan couture shoes by Jimmy Choo; philanthropist Patric Reeves is in a silk chiffon ballerina dress by Bao Tranchi, leather jacket with rabbit-fur trim by Cosa Nostra (exclusive for Maxfield), tulle-and-yarn neck puff by Ujein, diamond-and-platinum cross necklace by Ron Hami (www.belladonnapress.net) and shoes by Gina.
Left to right: Dustin Arnold is in a customized polo shirt by Alicia Lawhon, limited-edition cotton pants with silkscreening by Grey Ant, and his own shoes; Stefanie King wears a mesh tank by Brian Lichtenberg, silk linen gauchos by Rami Kashou and vintage '80s boots from Show Pony; Miho Ikeda is in a Caitie et Marcs short-sleeve striped bomber jacket and Nathalie Saphier silk blouse over a Caitie et Marcs silk jersey "Sid and Nancy" shell, Grey Ant cotton jogging pants and her own shoes.
Makeup by Kina Stewart
Left to right: Osamu Nishimura wears a cotton "Om" shirt with cotton pinstripe pants and his own flip-flops; Amanda Rodrigues (Dragon Talent) is in a cotton "Truth Seeker" sweatshirt over a cotton tank top, cotton floral pants and her own shoes.
Makeup by Diana Marbella* Hair by Douglas Little * Stylist: Jasmin Shokrian
Left to right: Joline Towers (Photogenics) wears a pleated silk blouse and gauze hand-dyed T-shirt by Jasmin Shokrian with cotton sack pants by Grey Ant and shoes customized by Jasmin Shokrian; Erinn Williams is in a gathered distressed-rayon keyhole blouse by Rami Kashou over a Catie et Marcs neon silk "Sid and Nancy" shell, Jasmin Shokrian silk jogging pants and Sky shoes (from Diavolina).
Makeup by Paula Jane Hamilton *Hair by Antonio Lobato
Left to right: Fred Guerrero is in a cotton T-shirt, cotton snap shirt and baseball cap by Harteau, studded canvas belt by Magpie Heaven, and his own Levi's and shoes; Amara Wilson wears a velour blouse by Javier, an NS jersey knit skirt with cotton flower, Tashi guitar-pick earrings and her own shoes.