This being Los Angeles, the appearance of skin-baring evening dresses on the runways is par for the course. Datari Austin, in his third showing at Los Angeles Fashion Week, sent out a another such collection of frocks in sheer, fringed, cutout and uber-high slit variations.

Fit was an issue for many of the looks — an ice-blue, cutout sheath dress in particular could have benefited from some extra tailoring. Column dresses decked out in swinging fringe were more successful, their movement providing energy while not requiring a precise fit. The bohemian vibe of an ilium-revealing, cutout-shouldered white gown that appeared in the middle of the show seemed to be at odds with the rest of the collection, which was more straight-edged and sleek — but everything was designed with sex appeal at the forefront. (The designer had his mother, who was fresh from a breakup, in mind when sketching the collection.)

Though it would be easy to imagine the twentysomething members of Fifth Harmony showing up at the MTV Video Music Awards in coordinating Datari Austin looks, it was 58-year-old and eternally beautiful Angela Bassett who, backstage afterward, said she’d like to wear the white column gown with waist-length white fringe. What about it was so appealing? “All that movement!”

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