LOS ANGELES — As Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios came to a close, a few promising newcomers projected confidence, while the more experienced offered retail-worthy looks that were true to their signatures.
Jenni Kayne was a standout this week. The designer’s celebrity-filled front row on Friday night included Ione Skye, Michael Keaton, Rachel Bilson, Lake Bell, Natasha Wagner and Anthony Kiedis. After several less-than-stellar seasons, the 22-year-old Kayne turned a corner for fall, displaying maturity and focus. She juxtaposed hard and soft, masculine and feminine, in heavy velvet and tweed coats mixed with romantic silk chiffon and charmeuse blouses. A drawstring panel that can serve either as a top or a skirt — a Kayne staple — looked beautiful in a long, sequined version sashed at the hips.
Michelle Mason also turned out a wearable and well-conceived collection with her secondary line, Mason. She mixed her signature Edwardian elements — blazers, full skirts — with sexier fare in the form of jersey dresses, super-skinny corduroy jeans and knit vests and sweaters. The show also marked the return of her edgy footwear, including knee-high leather boots and pumps with wooden wedge heels. Her former boss and mentor Richard Tyler was so inspired by the presentation, he vowed he would be back on the L.A. runway for next season.
Meanwhile, hunting was a favored theme for fall. Magda Berliner did it in her characteristic pixieish way — with dainty, tiered chain-mail dresses, lacy embroidered cotton and crochet blouses and a skinny suit. Her deerskin jackets and vests were a clear crowd favorite with their curly lamb fur, left unruly in some parts and worn off to reveal the skin in others. Grey Ant’s Grant Krajecki also went into the woods, but his take, of course, was campy. The designer poked fun at star-studded front rows by seating a handful of great look-alikes: Dolly Parton, Divine, Boy George, Cher and, even Michael Jackson, who kept yelling, “I love you,” to the crowd. These shenanigans never distracted from a quirky yet salable lineup of plaid shirts, high-waisted denim jeans and several of Krajecki’s signature jumpsuits and hooded mini dresses. And for his sophomore showing, Juan Carlos Obando also had a huntress in mind, albeit a subtler one. It came through in the detailing such as the fine pleats in a corset gown that suggested body armor and a stiff, felted coat tightly nipped in at the waist that would fit in well with Robin Hood’s troupe.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)