By and  on October 7, 2009

Attention will focus on local talent during this month’s Los Angeles fashion
events. These designers are ready to take chances, but they are practical, as well, aiming for versatility, ease of dressing and value, for both women’s and men’s, ranging from a line of recycled clothing and jewelry to classics with a twist.


Kelly Bergin launched her first collection in Spring 2008 after graduating from Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2007 with a Rachel Pally internship under her belt. Fortified by “sheer naïvete and will power,” Bergin, 26, began with fanciful cocktail dresses and eventually moved to basics. Her pared-down pieces, which can be worn from day to night, “reflect modern life in Los Angeles,” she said. “It’s a blend of urban and bohemian pieces with an ease of wear,” she said of her neutral palette of silk, cotton and wool punctuated with a burst of fuchsia chiffon. Some of her favorite pieces, which range from $38 to $225 wholesale, include wool trousers that lace up the back and a gray silk epaulet jacket. This season, Bergin will introduce a chiffon T-shirt line priced from $89 to $98 retail. Though her line sells in Los Angeles boutiques such as Satine, where Bergin will present her collection next week, she still works out of her parents’ pool house. “I’m going to have to get an office sooner or later, but it’s very L.A.,” she said.


When Andi Ballard started her first collection of Seneca Rising in Spring 2009, it was nothing more than a vanity project. Already the co-owner of the men’s and women’s T-shirt line Rebel Yell — her business partner is her brother Daniel — Ballard wanted colorful clothes that were an antidote to recession-influenced, black designs. “I just wanted clothes that made me happy again, and fortunately, other people liked them, too,” said Ballard, 28, who counts celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie and Jessica Alba as fans. Barneys New York, Curve and Ron Herman picked up the line its first season, and it now sells in about 200 doors. Prices range from $31 to $69 wholesale. Named for the street on which Ballard grew up in McLean, Va., the line comprises mostly tops in a tissue-weight cotton mesh onto which she spray dyes custom vintage-inspired prints in a rainbow of pale hues, such as mint green and cornflower blue. This season, Ballard introduced bottoms in lightweight twill, which Los Angeles audiences will see on the Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion runway. “There is a Seventies flower child aesthetic,” she said. “I don’t have much time to get ready each morning, so I made it easy. You can almost close your eyes and take two pieces and they’ll work together.”

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