Well, they weren't exactly the Oscars, but the red carpet was rolled out for the first ever LA Fashion Awards Friday night just the same. (And I've just recovered enough from the after-parties to write about it.)

First I'd like to say the Los Angeles Times got fashion week wrong (more on that later), here's what they said about the ceremony:

“At L.A. Fashion Week, which wrapped up Friday with the first L.A. Fashion Awards, the front row isn't filled with masthead queens like Vogue's Anna Wintour, or socialites of the Aerin Lauder breed. Instead, there are reality show stars, stylists, model groupies and Hollywood rich kids.”

I sat in the front row (I wonder what category they thought I was in…I secretly hope” Hollywood rich kid” ) personally I think I'm more of masthead princess, but I don't expect a correction.

The ceremony was held at the Orpheum Theater downtown and started over an hour late because, well, because of the open bar. Free margaritas and vodka drinks loosened up the mostly black-clad crowd and they just didn't want to sit down.

As my fellow council member pointed out, before the Awards, I chatted with socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, who brings new meaning to the term “cat lady,” and “plastic surgery.” I asked her if she lived in LA now, she replied, “I live where ever I want. Paris, New York, where ever I feel like. I don't know if I could ever live in LA all the time though.” She pulled me close to her. “Where do you live?” she asked. “Venice, ” I replied. I'm not sure if she knew I meant Venice, California, but her eyes, buried underneath the sculpted cheekbones, lit up. “I'd like to live there!” she said and smiled. I guess it was a smile. It was hard to tell to be honest. We kind of look alike,  and yes, that's slightly disconcerting to me.

The crowd finally took their seats after many flashing of the lights later. 

Sitting behind me was Petro Zillia designer Nony Tochterman's daughter Romie, 8. She was wearing a pink knit shrug, crinoline skirt, rainbow earrings and a smashed teacup ring, from the Alice In Wonderland-themed show the night before, that she was proud to show off. “My mommy's winning an award tonight,” she told me. Her father (and Nony's husband/business partner) corrected her, “she's nominated,” he said, gently stressing the distinction.

Tochterman (with the pink hair) was nominated for a MAFI (Moss Abrams Fashion Innovator) award. She was up against Louis Verdad. I felt torn.I liked both designers,  but not wanting to crush a little girl's dream, I was rooting for Nony. When Tochterman's name was called, her daughter tapped me on the shoulder and said, “see I told you. My dad doesn't know everything.” She was beaming.

Nony, who grew up in Tel Aviv,  got the name Petro Zillia for her clothing line after her husband suggested the Hebrew word for parsley sounded like a person's name. When she accepted her award, she said “We have to remember, I have to remind myself sometimes too, this should be fun. It's only fashion.”

Trina Turk received a “Fashion Achievement Award.”

And Rosemary Brantley, teacher at Otis Art College received a “Fashion Inspiration Award.” I thought it was pretty cool that the fashion industry chose to give props out to a teacher. Maybe if we rewarded all teachers like this the education system in this country would be a helluva lot better… Rosemary was inspiring, telling us in a taped interview that it doesn't matter what you're born into, through hard work and “busting your ass” you can achieve success in the fashion industry.

After the award ceremony, my cohorts and I went next door to the after party, where a few of the male models from the show were hanging out drinking, we joined them. And the rest is for me to know and you to find out..

Posted by Linda Immediato

LA Weekly