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FASHION NIRVANA?

LA Fashion week is in full swing, and though it's too early to make judgments about the season as a whole, some definite trends are already emerging.

Hello again grunge! Yes, the plaid flannel is flapping in the breeze once again, along with Chris Cornell hair, motorcycle boots, Indiana Jones-style jackets, Courtney Love red/orange lipstick, and shredded denim and tights- at least what we saw at Orthodox and Whitley Kros, who showed at Smashbox Sunday.

Orthodox's wearable but drab collection had tons of jackets, skinny jeans (still not over apparently) and felty suits for men and women. The 90's statements were apparent but not overt, that is until the final models sauntered out- a male and female in what looked like dip-dyed felt jackets. The female had on biker boots with a black petticoat worn as a skirt. E Gads. Is the whole cycle boot with dresses thing coming back? We burned all our pics wearing that combo.

FASHION NIRVANA?

Whitley Kros looks from Mercedes Benz fashion week

Kros, the brainchild of Marissa Ribisi and Sophia Coloma (formerly of Satine boutique) meshed 70's and 80's accents with their 90's vibe. Big, floppy hats, loud, pseudo-Navajo prints, checker board, and tons of gray plaid flannel... it all made for a cacophonous mix of statements that worked in an ironic, Cory-Kennedy-shot-by-Cobrasnake kinda way. Which means mid-20's aged hipsters will love it and buy it. But those who've been diggin' through the thrift store bins for a while (like moi) know the look can easily be duplicated pairing multi-era'd pieces from Le Goodwill.

Still, the famous front row (almost all Scientology superstars...no not Tom or John) coupled with music selections by Ribisi's hubby Beck (Sheena Easton!) made even the pieces we hated seem cool and unique.

FASHION NIRVANA?

Julia Clancey collection from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Julia Clancey offered our favorite collection thus far. Her gorgeous jet beaded head and neck pieces, paired with taffeta, silk and satin dresses in crisp white, liquidy black and vibrant reds and purples were all disgustingly sexy. Clancey's stuff is feminine but it has loads of attitude, something most apparent by her statement-making into: a model wearing a giant sign that read "Haute Haters Is Thus Customary?" -meant as a Fuck You to US Customs who held her transport of dresses from the UK.

Attitude and artiness. These are the two things that can and should set LA Fashion week apart from New York. GenArt's presentation sure had loads of it. Their Friday show spotlighted up and comers Le Sang des Betes by Trang Chau, JMary and Jesse Kamm, using vignettes that elevated the looks (ranging from sharp and architectual, to exotic and relaxed, to billowy and straight-up pretty) in museum-like displays.

FASHION NIRVANA?

Le Sang des Betes by Trang Chau at GenArt

The fact that Botox sponsored the thing (as a cure for excessive sweating!) was kind of weird, and though we kinda called this point out in our piece in the paper this Thursday, after further contemplation we figured out why to most, it was no big deal. Everybody uses the stuff these days. The pressure to look good has never been so intense and even those of us who haven't been needled can't say matter of factly that we'll never do it. Who wants to be a hypocrite?

LA has so much more going for it than 50-year-olds who look like 20-year-olds though. Bleached blondes, big boobs, and the general made-for-TV brand of sex appeal isn't the ideal for a lot of us. Looks like we're gonna get at least some of it at Smashbox in the next few days though. Today we head out to see both Lauren Conrad from The Hills' collection and Nikki Hilton's latest, and Thursday Pussycat Dolls' Robin Antin unveils her lingerie line.

See more pics at in our slideshow from GenArt here and look for a Smashbox slideshow tomorrow.

See full review of Friday's GenArt presentation and the first day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox in this Thursday's paper.