Another Los Angeles Fashion Week has wrapped.
This story first appeared in the March 18, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The overall assessment: incremental improvement. Not only were events confined to an actual week (March 9 to 15, preceding this week’s fashion market) but the range of lines included a few promising newcomers. Style Fashion Week, a five-day event with almost 30 shows, had the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti. “[The event] showcases a $13 billion industry that employs 100,000 people in the L.A. area, exports trends, designs and products to every corner of the world,” he said.
There were a handful of buyers and celebrities in attendance, including Christina Milian, Tamar Braxton, Joanna Krupa, Bridget Marquardt and Gretchen Rossi, plus regional newspapers and a few weeklies, but the audience was mostly comprised of designers’ friends, family and corporate sponsors such as L’Oréal Paris, Ford and UPS. Check-in was hassle-free, but those who arrived on time faced an average hour-long delay for each show.
What came down the runways ranged from men’s underwear to women’s evening gowns. In an effort to be inclusive, the mix at Style Fashion Week included swimwear, bridal, kids and plus-size lines, but the roster would have benefited from better curation and stronger editing (read: fewer looks) in each show.
The one-day Los Angeles Fashion Council and Concept Los Angeles events, showcasing 10 and 12 lines, respectively, did improve their curation this season. Returning line Stella Proseyn and newcomer Colton Dane were among the women’s wear standouts at LAFC, while Turkish eveningwear designer Özgür Masur brought a new degree of sophistication to the Concept runway.
Max Noce, owner of Orphic boutique in West Hollywood, attended Style and Concept Los Angeles events to support two of his lines, Ina Soltani and Jen Awad, respectively. “Jen’s collection was beautiful, and Ina’s collection has a very strong presence, edgy but at the same time very commercial and sellable,” he said.
Garcetti endorsed Style Fashion Week, pledging, “We won’t stop until L.A. is the fashion capital of the world.”
That means the city’s show organizers still have some work to do.