The city has become a fashion trendsetter and wants to build on that reputation.
The ninth season of Mercedes-Benz fashion week at Smashbox Studios last week provided ample evidence that Los Angeles has arrived as a fashion destination.
Sean "Diddy" Combs and Quincy Jones sat in the front row at the Pussycat Dolls show, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was the host for a Council of Fashion Designers of America event at his official residence and starlets went party- and premiere-hopping as flashbulbs popped.
"L.A. is a world-class city; like New York, it's a crossroads for a lot of people and cultures and having the movie industry in the backyard opens up a lot of opportunities," said IMG's Fern Mallis, who brought Mercedes-Benz fashion week to the city in 2002. "It's a very global world now. Whenever I'm overseas, people ask me, 'What about L.A.?'"
Los Angeles Fashion Week has grown as the city has reached a critical mass at retail — including hot spots Melrose Avenue, Melrose Place and Robertson Boulevard, as well as Rodeo Drive — in the financial sector and in the media. While IMG and Smashbox have the business model and production nailed down, both acknowledge that strides could be made to raise the quality of the product showcased, and to further integrate the Culver City event with the rest of the city.
The Smashbox tent graphics this year mimicked the gates of the old Warner Bros. Studio, indicating that stars can be born on the runway, or at least a red-carpet look or two. While fresh local talent such as Suh-Than and Orthodox were highlighted among the 22 shows, there were also lines from London and Mumbai (Julia Clancey and Falguni & Shane, respectively) that had editors from Vogue, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and Elle tuning in. Though she didn't attend shows, Anna Wintour was in town last week to meet with designers Juan Carlos Obando, J Mary and Liseanne Frankfurt, among others, and hosted a dinner in honor of Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière, who was in town to open his store on Melrose.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast