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Going in Style

There were no groundbreaking fashion revelations at the two dozen-plus Spring 2003 L.A. Fashion Week shows this past week -- although audience members sported ensembles that proved once again L.A. style is endlessly inventive: flygirls-gone-'80s-Euroflash trash, fabulously fey high-plains drifters, neo-hippie vintage-glam punkers. On the runway, Jared Gold presented a more mainstream version of his punk Victoriana (his new backing has resulted in new salability). Alicia Lawhon continued her deconstructed/reconstructed vintage work in a pastel '50s doo-wop theme. Richard Tyler's secondary tyler line lounged at one end of the spectrum in slinky unstructured dresses and low-slung white pants, while MartinMARTIN brooded on the other end in deconstructed black statement gowns. Freddie Rojas' sportswear for Private was a blender of athletic, Flashdance and treated-jeans looks, while David Cardona would have driven vegetarian Stella McCartney bonkers with his tricked-out leather collection. Nikolaki's first solo show, designed by Nick Verreos and David Paul, was a Moroccan-inspired trip of diagonally cut dresses in silk charmeuse with unusual necklines showing off the clavicle and shoulder, while Eduardo Lucero offered up pretty peekaboo sophistication. And, with a curious take on larger world events, both Nikolaki and Jeremy Scott showed burkas paired with supersexy outfits.

But ultimately, the buzz among the gift bag-clutching fashionistas wasn't about a new silhouette or hemline -- though Louis Verdad, Antonio Aguilar and Corin Madley at Gen Art's group show inspired ones-to-watch chatter -- it was about the injuries (to the body and to the ego) suffered at the check-in crush to get into Jeremy Scott's show. At this L.A. Fashion Week, the real show was off the runway -- and off-the-hook.

JEREMY SCOTT

The fashionistas were atwitter at Jeremy Scott's show at MOCA, his first since relocating to Los Angeles. The scale, models, lighting and terrifying crush at the door gave it all the glamour -- and frenzy -- of a New York show. The clothes were another matter. Maybe the Kansas-by-way-of-Paris Scott is globetrotting in search of women who will actually wear his stewardesses-in-space micro minidresses, sherbet-colored swimsuits accessorized with beaded stripes of shredded fabric, and gowns with an animal-kingdom theme, such as feathery birds or scaly reptiles. (Photos by Stacy Kranitz)

Nikko Kefalas, stylist (left)

I'm wearing an Alexander McQueen jacket, a Dolce & Gabbana shirt and cravat, Yves St. Laurent pants and Vivienne Westwood shoes. God, I'm such a label queen. She told me I look like a pimp.

Why this outfit to this show?

When I think of Jeremy Scott I think of color, something sneaky, very modern . . . and still a little bit cheap.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I'd change mine! I'd take off my shirt and wrap it around one arm.

What defines the L.A. look?

It's all about plastic surgery, darling. Actually, it's a mix of vintage and modern ready-to-wear.

Joanne Gair, makeup artist

This is all vintage. I got the jacket in Vienna.

Why this outfit to this show?

This is me!

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

No one would ever find it.

What defines the L.A. look?

It's loose. It has a lot more comfort than other cities.

Naama Givoni, assistant to fashion designer Corin Madley

I'm wearing a new designer named Madley.

Why this outfit to this show?

I thought it was a lot of fun. It's a cool version of dressing up like a doll.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would get embarrassed, laugh and brush it off. Then I'd be like, "Where'd you get that? It's an original!"

What defines the L.A. look?

It's all about accessories, because you're always in a T-shirt and jeans. So it's all about what scarf or shoes or pullover you wear with it, or what vintage T-shirt you chose.

Emma Trask, fashion stylist

The suit is Future Ozbek, the earrings are Nicole Romano and the shoes are vintage.

Why this outfit to this show?

Jeremy's a little quirky and so is this outfit.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I know they won't because I bought this a long time ago.

What defines the L.A. look?

Generally it's more casual, but the fashionistas are a little more theatrical than in other cities. They wear more hats, and it's more over the top.

Mari Murao, artist

The sweater is by an L.A. designer named Angelo Figus, the skirt is LoyandFord and the boots are my mom's from the '60s.

 

Why this outfit to this show?

Jeremy is a really artistic designer, so I decided to wear something arty. L.A. can be conservative, and it's not always that you get an occasion to dress up.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would laugh.

What defines the L.A. look?

Too casual and too sexy. People need to think more in terms of art.

Christof Certik, musician and sales representative for fashion designer Henry Duarte (left)

This is vintage North Beach Leather from the early '70s, and the bag is a flea-market find.

Why this outfit to this show?

It's all I had that was clean.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would give them a great big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Maybe on the lips if it was a woman.

What defines the L.A. look?

I don't think there is an L.A. look. There's so much going on in fashion that everyone's pretty much lost.

George Paul Beahan, DJ and student

I'm in Henry Duarte pants and a vintage Indian shirt.

Why this outfit to this show?

I couldn't find anything else.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I'd give him a high-five.

What defines the L.A. look?

Imagination and guts.

GEN ART

Gen Art, the multicity arts foundation that mothers emerging artists, sometimes celebrates the kind of talent only a mother could love. There were a few terrible misses in the roundup of eight new L.A. designers at the Mayan, but when it hit -- as it did with Antonio Aguilar's geometric deconstruction and Louis Verdad's grand Palm Beach-meets-Paris ensembles -- you got that frisson of witnessing a fashion arrival.

Coco Nagayasu, sales rep for a Japanese line called Ballroom (left)

The jacket is Junya Watanabe, the skirt is Ballroom and the coin purse is from a store in Tokyo.

Why this outfit to this show?

I wanted to wear a skirt and be feminine. Usually I wear pants.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I'd ask, "Who are you?"

What defines the L.A. look?

It's a very casual look, sexy and hip -- but very straight compared to Tokyo.

Mikkie Yasue, also a sales rep for Ballroom

I made the skirt. The scarf is from the flea market, the shawl is from Ballroom, and I bought the jacket somewhere in Tokyo.

Why this outfit to this show?

I wanted to wear the skirt, so it all started with that.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would ask someone to take our picture together.

What defines the L.A. look?

Casual but trendy. And showing more skin than in other cities.

Fatima Robinson, choreographer, and son Xuly

The jacket is vintage. I got the head scarf in Africa. The pants are from the Gap, and I cut them off. And the shoes are Vivienne Westwood.

Why this outfit to this show?

I put on whatever I see.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I'd hug them and say, "Where have you been all my life?"

What defines the L.A. look?

I can't say. I travel the world, and I pick up stuff everywhere, so my look is individual.

Penny Nixon, fabric designer

The coat is from Anthropologie, I bought the cashmere sweaters in Milan two weeks ago, the bag is from Fiorucci, the skirt is Brooks Brothers, and the shoes are Nine West.

Why this outfit to this show?

Well, I was going to wear jeans and a suede shirt, but then my boyfriend said, “I’m going to wear jeans and a suede shirt, don’t wear the same thing.”

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I’d probably laugh and say, “You’ve got great taste.”

What defines the L.A. look?

It’s carefree in that you can wear casual clothes at work — you don’t have to worry about it.

J.D. Roeser, stylist

I'm wearing an old Diesel shirt -- I cut off the sleeves. The obi is made of fabric from a leftover Halloween costume. The jeans are vintage; I've had them 10 years. And the boots are vintage. I wear them for height because I have a height complex.

 

Why this outfit to this show?

Tonight I'm gonna give it. Because last night I went to some shows and I was dressed down, and it made me feel bad.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I'd compliment them, say, "Love ya" -- and then I'd spill my drink on them.

What defines the L.A. look?

Denim and flip-flops. In New York you never used to see people wearing that, and now they do -- but it started here.

EDUARDO LUCERO

Call him Eduardo Scissorhands: Eduardo Lucero keeps coming up with new ways to slice up a slinky gown. There were slits, cutouts and peekaboo lace all over his elegant collection of islands-influenced dresses and pantsuits. The audience at Smashbox seemed palpably relieved that they weren't subjected to yet another trip down memory lane, but rather experienced a vixenish voyage through sex-it-up chic.

Kate Merrill, actress (

I'm in a vintage suit from the National Council of Jewish Women thrift store, and Kenneth Cole shoes.

Why this outfit to this show?

I wanted to match Eduardo's show. There's lots of orange and brown and safari colors in it.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I'd say, "Good for you, being able to find that!"

What defines the L.A. look?

It's so eclectic. Anything goes -- it's not so conservative.

Ginnina D'Orazio, publicist

I'm wearing a Sterling Capricio coat, and the necklace is by the Liquid Diamond Collection.

Why this outfit to this show?

I wear this a lot of places because it's elegant, chic and comfortable.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I wouldn't feel bad. I'd say, "Where'd you purchase that coat?"

What defines the L.A. look?

T-shirt, jeans and flip-flops.

Emily Current, stylist for a company called Maude (left)

The skirt and purse are vintage. The top -- I have no idea. The shoes are Frederick's of Hollywood.

Why this outfit to this show?

I wanted to be warm on top and be one-of-a-kind. I know Eduardo's fancy, and I didn't want to be so fancy-schmancy.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would think it was my soul sister and get her number.

What defines the L.A. look?

Individual and comfortable.

Meritt Elliott, also a stylist for Maude

I'm wearing all vintage.

Why this outfit to this show?

I have to be directional. Today it's punk. Yesterday it wasn't.

What would you do if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would die. I'd slit my wrists and bleed to death.

What defines the L.A. look?

High-low dressing. There's always an element of casual, like a denim jacket over a beading gown.

Claudia Castellanos, manager at Mercedes-Benz

I'm wearing Joe's Jeans, and the purse and top are from Italy. The vest, shoes and hat are all vintage, from Melrose.

Why this outfit to this show?

This is the way I am. I dress like this every day.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would keep my head up because I'm fierce.

What defines the L.A. look?

Diversity. You're not afraid to be who you are.

Dolf Castillo, designer for Cantu & Castillo

My outfit is all Cantu & Castillo. Except the hat -- it's from Neiman-Marcus.

Why this outfit to this show?

It's one of the latest pieces I'm working on. I need to be seen out with my wares.

What if someone else showed up wearing the exact same outfit?

I would embrace them.

What defines the L.A. look?

Elegant, quality, craftsmanship and design.


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