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Kateri Butler & Ron Athey

Introduction

WALK INTO ANTONIO AGUILAR'S HOLLYWOOD APARTMENT AND THE FIRST THING you'll spot are two sewing machines. To get to Maia Sarmanian's kitchen table, which is covered with bolts of cloth, you first have to squeeze by a dressmaker's dummy. Rami Kashoú makes his patterns on a living-room table, and cuts......

Rami Kashoú

RAMI KASHOÚ IS AN ENTHUSIASTIC FASHION ELITIST. "It's not about everybody wearing my clothes," he says. "It's a luxury item for a specific crowd -- followers of fashion." And don't get him started on the knockoff artists. "Yes, they are reaching a group of people who might not be able......

Antonio Aguilar

Photos by Larry Hirshowitz "I LOVE DARTS -- DARTS MAKE THINGS POP OUT," says Antonio Aguilar. "Darts accentuate every angle of the body and create different dimensions. And I love to use contrast, like a dark or bold color, and then you get another dimension with the overlap of the......

Marlene Salcido

Photos by Larry Hirshowitz WHEN MARLENE SALCIDO WAS A LITTLE girl growing up in Montebello, she would use her Playskool sewing machine to make her mother outfits -- a skirt fashioned from a red-and-white vinyl tablecloth stands out. "My poor mom just wore it to be nice, but there's a......

Maia Sarmanian

Photos by Larry Hirshowitz IN 1994, MAIA SARMANIAN GOT A nod from Vogue in an article touting the "new crop of talent" in L.A. She was selling vintage pieces that she'd reshaped into more modern silhouettes at the now-defunct Joywear, an ultrahip boutique on Third Street, and at Patricia Field......

Ismael Gardea

Photos by Larry Hirshowitz IT IS EVIDENT FROM HIS STUDIO WALLS THAT Ismael Gardea is an art groupie. Autographs of Cindy Sherman and Gilbert and George are displayed alongside prints and drawings by local artists Bruce Meade, Silvia Capistran and Artemio Rodriguez -- and a collection of Homies action figures......