Petro Zillia: Designer Nony Tochterman always puts on an entertaining show, and this season’s romp through a Paris disco, complete with an enormous gold disco ball, featured the kind of fun party dresses and tailored suits that epitomize her tongue-in-chic aesthetic. And the utterly campy dancers in glittery HotPants (choreographed by Paula Abdul in a nod to the “Solid Gold” dancers) jump-started the packed house. Standouts in her collection included a custom graphic-print chiffon cut into sexy blouses; wide-legged trousers that still managed to look slimming, and a sparkling gold knit dress perfect for an evening poolside bash. Aside from such looks as the olive-and-gold silk gown, Tochterman managed to retain her wildly quirky point of view throughout the collection.
Hugo Boss: On Tuesday night, Hugo Boss showed its men’s and women’s collections in a beautifully designed lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel complete with plush velvet sofas, Moët champagne and a DJ. The German powerhouse is known for its sharply cut suits and divine tuxedos, and there were certainly plenty of those in evidence, as well as some great outerwear, most notably a black double-breasted wool coat with oversized gold buttons and several chic belted plaid numbers. The women’s collection also featured looks ranging from loosely interpreted Sixties Mod to Seventies “Love Story,” along with some basics.
Saja: Its cool prettiness and nonchalant luxe are the reasons that the four-year-old Saja line is a favorite of “It” girls such as Amber Tamblyn, who arrived at the show late and had to stand as the first look — a beautiful sable-colored velvet blouson jacket over an amber-rose paillette dress — came out. For her fall collection, designer Yoo Lee, whose line is sold in some 200 stores from here to Spain, conjured up a “film-noir heroine stepping into color” — that is, earth and jewel tones. Two of the best styles were a knee-length chartreuse goddess dress and a shrunken, chocolate velvet bolero paired with wide-legged bouclé trousers à la Katharine Hepburn. As always with Saja, there was a touch of bohemian femininity, which was evident in jeweled tops and high heels covered in tiny feathers, which Lee and her team hand-glued themselves.
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Pegah Anvarian: Pegah Anvarian, who’s known for her flouncy, asymmetric jersey dresses and tops, took a more constructed turn for fall. Inspired by winter in New York City, the designer cut many of her looks in heavy herringbone and houndstooth wools, fabrics that provided her V-neck ponchos and tunics with a new shape and structure. The material also worked well in her comfortable-looking jackets. Several tailored suits in basic black and gray had a certain urban sophistication, while her strict use of plum, pink and gray throughout the collection kept the looks clean and consistent. But the show ended on a dressier note with Grecian-inspired chiffon dresses that, while wearable, did not seem to fit into the overall Gothamite theme of sharp, sporty pieces.
Hurley: In a West Hollywood nightclub Tuesday night, the Hurley show began with characteristic high energy. Design director Dan Levine sent out the firm’s usual mix of skin-baring looks and pieces reminiscent of the Eighties — minis and U-neck undershirts styled with cowboy boots; pink-and-black striped off-the-shoulder tops — but he also attempted more fashion-forward looks this season. There were men’s wear-inspired pieces in the form of tailored blazers with pintucked sleeves and cropped trousers that suggested schoolgirls gone bad, but that didn’t stray into Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” territory. Hurley also premiered its new denim line, Prime Cuts, which featured colorful screen-printed surf graphics.
Eduardo Lucero: Designers sometimes strive for originality by juxtaposing startlingly disparate themes or, in the case of Eduardo Lucero, very different female icons. The designer referenced both Marlene Dietrich and Chrissie Hynde for fall. Skintight leather pants and gold grommet-covered tops, for example, were shown alongside glamorous red-carpet gowns. The stronger pieces here were the ruched rust velvet halter gown and the black satin motorcycle jacket.
Kevan Hall: There’s something to be said for a designer who knows his customer. Kevan Hall’s are of the more mature set, who, over the years, have consistently been given finely crafted, sophisticated eveningwear. This season, Hall was inspired by the legendary diva Maria Callas for such looks as iridescent taffeta ballgowns, fully beaded sheaths and a peau de soie cocktail dress. But the best styles in the show came from his line for Michael Pappas Furs, including a slim cocoa Swakara coat and an amethyst-toned Finnish raccoon bolero.