LOS ANGELES — On the other end of town in Silver Lake — and a world away from the official fashion week program — the Champagne Catwalk is showcasing the city’s fledgling, mostly edgy and arty designers over bubbly and brunch at the kitschy flamenco landmark, El Cid.
The ongoing Saturday series launched with fashion week here, kicking off with Wooden Moustache Couture and jewelry artist Miki Aso on March 27, and presenting a double feature of Show Pony and Madley last Saturday.
They share a sense of humor in their reconstructed clothes: Wooden Moustache cut a complete business suit into a jumpsuit and mixes the patchwork of Kasik Wong with a sense of Holly Hobbie prints; Show Pony, the cult line and Echo Park shop of Kime Buzzelli and Niki Livington, still resurrects “lonely fabrics” and sequins into circus-girl wear — but several simpler styles were actually created for mass production, and Madley reprised its Gen Art show of whimsical hand-dyed crochet and lace looks from earlier in the week.
If it all comes off a bit grass-roots in production, that’s perfectly fine for founder Laurie Pike, who initiated the series as part of her editor in chief role at LA.com, the online city guide that went up this month.
Pike is known here for tirelessly championing local design talent through such events, as well as her now-defunct magazine Glue. She patterned the Champagne Catwalk after the fashion brunches at Marion’s in New York, still running after 12 years. “I knew there were these great, young designers here who aren’t showing, whether it’s because of money or manpower or both, and they just had to have something.” To that end, LA.com underwrites the event and takes care of such incidentals as gift bags and music.
So far, El Cid’s patio runs to capacity with more than 125 brunchers. This Saturday’s brunch spotlights Prospect 44, followed on April 17 with We Are Lucid Dreaming.
— Rose Apodaca Jones