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Waiting for Central Time

LOS ANGELES — As fashion week here comes to an end with a few last events through Saturday, many in the industry are already examining the shows and related activities that took place since it all began last Friday with an eye on how to present...

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LOS ANGELES — As fashion week here comes to an end with a few last events through Saturday, many in the industry are already examining the shows and related activities that took place since it all began last Friday with an eye on how to present fall 2003 next April — particularly now that 7th on Sixth is L.A.-bound.

As reported Tuesday, the IMG subsidiary will stage Mercedes-Benz Shows in L.A., April 1-4, at the Downtown Standard. Los Angeles Market Week runs April 4-8.

The promise of a centralized location already had the throngs of show attendees buzzing: the far-reaching distances of many of the shows these last five days, too many of which overlapped, meant zig- zagging throughout the city and clocking upwards of 250 miles.

“Unfortunately, I missed some of the shows,” stylist and costume designer Arianne Phillips said. “It’s very frustrating because you want to show up and you end up in traffic or lost trying to find some out-of-the-way warehouse.”

A case in point was Saturday’s late-night race from Jeremy Scott downtown to David Cardona 10 miles away. Scott’s show, a reprise of what he showed in New York, attracted 1,200 guests and turned into such a mad happening that half of them were literally shut out of the Geffen Contemporary Museum space when the wall gates were unceremoniously shut at show time.

Meanwhile, Janet Jackson, Kelly Lynch and dozens of other well-heeled Cardona clients patiently waited inside a Hancock Park home for buyers, stylists and editors to arrive for the show, which finally could start at 11 p.m.

Formalizing the shows, said Jackson, will “change L.A. I figure between New York and L.A. I’m going to catch one show or another.”

The celebrity quotient, of course, is a key reason why shows are held here at all. Where the famous are, so go the media. Designers, much more established and well known, in other cities have figured that out. But it remains a way for a relatively little known designer to score international publicity.

Having Mick Jagger, Ron Wood and even Charlie Watts at Sunday night’s launch of Rolling Stone Rockware’s collaboration with locally-based Chrome Hearts and London brands Agent Provocateur and Buddhist Punk ensured the global media would be there in force. The event timing couldn’t have been better, admitted Agent Provocateur partner Serena Rees, with the city’s fashion week coinciding with the Stones’ Los Angeles concert dates.

Also capitalizing on fashion week was Frederick’s of Hollywood. The lingerie company, which expects to emerge from Chapter 11 by yearend, according to president and ceo Linda LoRe, unveiled a modernized collection aimed at the 18- 35-year-old set, as well as a new denim line of low-rise jeans and miniskirts.

Among the crowd sardine-packed into Hollywood supper club Falcon Tuesday night was Paris Hilton, Tara Reid and new It girl Shannyn Sossamon, who opted out of a runway-side seat for the DJ booth (what she was doing before she took up acting).

“Hollywood is definitely going to be a part of what we do here,” conceded 7th on Sixth executive director Fern Mallis over the weekend.

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