From runway show front rows to clubs to art parties, the “all-black” ensemble is a style staple. On stage, it never ceases to command attention and evoke an enigmatic image. So it was no surprise that one of LA's best known rockstar designers, Henry Duarte, would do all dark duds at his LA Fashion Week presentation last night at Ace Gallery. And what better way to showcase rocker style than on sweating, singing, slinging musicians as they play live? The Meek and The Black Ryder were the (unwitting?) “models” and their droney sounds were perfectly suited for the vibe Duarte was creating.
Duarte is perhaps best known for detailed denim pieces, specifically his signature jeans designs worn by rockstars famous and underground alike. His aesthetic has always been unabashedly retro yet his stuff felt modern too, with everyone from Smashing Pumpkins to Sheryl Crow to Metallica donning Duarte duds.
He's seemingly moved in a more relaxed, slightly minimalist direction (based on what the bands were wearing last night) but it still had a boho feel and was undeniably cool.
Some of the band members may have been a little too cool, though.
We dug The Meek's moody Jesus & Mary Chain-ish sound, especially the vocal exchange between husband leaders Jeff and Amy Lee, but the band's guitar player, Gregg Foreman (The Delta 72, Cat Power), made like he was unaware that this performance was for a fashion thing (even though, he was wearing designer duds, working some serious Keith Richards hair and hopping around the stage like he wanted the attention). He gave us his back whenever we tried to snap pics, and we saw him berate and shove the lens of another noted LA photog away. Nice way to get press (and maybe some cool images?) for your band, dude.
Lucky for him, The Meek are not weak. They've got the gloomy goods to back up the badass attitude. The Black Ryder, which features two beguiling females and a more amiable riff man, offered nearly as much droney goodness later, minus the mean.
Both bands should be on your radar if you like the Jesus & Mary Chain, Love & Rockets, The Raveonettes, The Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, et al.
Thanks for turning us on to these two – and turning up the volume on Fashion Week- Mr. Duarte.
Read about more Concept FW LA Fashion Week events here.
Follow Lina Lecaro on Twitter @L_in_A