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.Another new kid on the block was Carlos Rosario. In the studio, the collection showed plenty of promise. On the runway, however, the charming French-born designer hit a few snags: A mohair and Lycra dress fit poorly, and the bird’s-nest-styled hair and space-age makeup were distracting. Too bad, because there were some great pieces, including the stretch leather jackets, a pinstriped skirt with a panel of mohair and the beaded sheath.
Elsewhere, fashion week included a few imports, such as designers from the Moda Made in Italy showcase. Ines Valentinitsch flaunted his native tailoring skills with frivolity and humor in his slim tuxedo jackets with voluminous, ruffled collars that suggested a court jester (not to mention a certain pair of Dutch designers). And Sonia Speciale’s collection played like an updated Edith Wharton costume drama with full bustle tulle skirts, riding jackets and crisp button-down shirts were more suited to the city than the stables.
Veteran Louis Verdad offered more of the type of pieces his customers love: tight-fitting suits that showed off his high level of craftsmanship. He did branch out and try his hand at some Frida Kahlo-inspired pieces that at times were too literal, and almost looked as if they could serve as costumes for the movie.
Sheri Bodell continued to cater to her rock-goddess fans with sexy after-hours looks full of grommets and chains, but she also offered more feminine looks such as Edwardian-style velvet jackets and tuxedo trousers and flirty chiffon dresses in dusty Easter-egg colors. Meanwhile, Melanie Harvey was in tune with another kind of rock. Her Harveys collection displayed her rockabilly roots with pretty, punky wide-leg pants, ruffled nighties and lacy bed jackets in various shades of pink — think late-Fifties Technicolor. She closed the show with the debut of her Little Black Dress line full of cute, “Breakfast at Tiffany” looks.
Swimwear designer Shay Todd, for his part, presented more than just bikinis with his leisure pieces, from ruched terry cloth pants to sequined caftans. Karanina designers Kara Smith and Nina Firestone went boho, while expanding their staples of tunics and lacy camis into a collection of peasant skirts, gauzy V-neck tops and flattering wrap dresses, all in earthy sunset colors. The boho at Single, on the other hand, was less hippie and more Russian gypsy. Designer Galina Sobolev delivered luxe-looking, brocade jackets; ladylike A-line skirts, and party tops in printed chiffon.Finally, for their debut Bon and Ging collection, sisters Nanette and Grace Sullano sent out capsule of a dozen looks — high-waisted pencil skirts, a cropped wool jacket and lean men’s wear-inspired trousers — that brought to mind a conservative but confident Italian woman in the Forties.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over the top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty