LOS ANGELES — For four days Hollywood, California, was abuzz with crowds lining up to see the various L.A. Fashion Week shows organized by a new owner in a new location.
Lines stretched down the sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard outside the Lighthouse ArtSpace, where an immersive art show featuring works of Vincent Van Gogh and a show on King Tut had taken place until they were temporarily suspended for the fashion event.
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A few blocks away, talks and panel discussions were organized in the historic Citizen News building, which houses event spaces and the hip new Mother Wolf restaurant.
Everyone was holding their breath to see how a reconfigured L.A. Fashion Week, now under the ownership of N4XT Experiences, would turn out for its Oct. 6 to 9 run. By most accounts, it was a success.
Attendees were particularly taken with the new venue that had a large, cavernous room where images could be projected on the wall showing starry nights or fireworks marking the end of a show.
Models walked down the concrete floor lined with long white benches where fashion followers viewed the creations from brands including AnOnlyChild, Gypsy Sport, Attachments, Revice Denim and Sami Miro Vintage.
On average the shows started about 35 to 45 minutes late with a certain amount of chaos in the air as fashiongoers wondered when they would be seated. Show organizers said the late start times were due to a larger crowd showing up than expected.
One attendee, who asked not to be named, believed the shows weren’t as organized as previous L.A. Fashion Weeks but liked the new location. She thought the new owners were doing well considering this was their first event. “I chalk it up to being new,” she said.
Many fashion followers were pleased with the Hollywood location and the variety of events organized around L.A. Fashion Week.
Those events included a host of panels, fireside chats and master classes talking about various fashion and beauty-related subjects, including how digital closets encourage sustainability and a panel on the future of beauty.
Danielle Lauder, the great-granddaughter of Estée Lauder and a beauty adviser to N4XT Experiences, moderated a “Live Art Meets Luxury” talk with Donald Robertson, an artist who is also senior vice president and creative director for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Robertson drew smudged images of models on a large canvas while answering questions from Lauder about his artistic process and being a creative disruptor.
He recalled that while working with the cosmetics line Smashbox, he marketed the brand by having the company buy an enormous ’60s-era white Cadillac convertible. He had red lips painted all over it and parked it near the Art Basel show in Miami Beach, Florida, to generate buzz and attention for the cosmetics company, which is now an Estée Lauder subsidiary.
“Miley Cyrus crawled on the top of it, and then it ended up in People magazine,” Robertson recalled. “I love stuff like that.”
It was those experiences that pleased fashion-show attendees like Amanda Stinson. “I liked this fashion week better than the one in April,” she said. “Before, there was not that much to do, but the panels were thought provoking.”
The shows were also inclusive of various communities. Rio Uribe, the designer and founder of Gypsy Sport, created an edgy, gender-bending show with male models wearing dresses, zaftig female models wearing skimpy dresses and Zoot suit-like creations that reminded the L.A. designer of his Latino roots.
“We’re all about celebrating community. In Los Angeles, there is so much Latino and queer community, and I just wanted to give them a chance,” said the designer, who moved his company back to Los Angeles from New York in 2019 and has shown at New York Fashion Week and showed last year during L.A. Fashion Week held at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
His collection included lots of sequins seen in minidresses and miniskirts with matching skimpy tops. Plaid was also a popular fabric used in dresses with lace trim and pleated and billowy skirts. Spaghetti-strapped dresses with a lingerie look were also popular.
Uribe said this L.A. Fashion Week felt different from others. He said there was more buzz about it. “Maybe it is the venue, but I felt more people were talking about it,” he said.
He was amazed when he was standing in line at a Koreatown post office in Los Angeles and heard someone talking about the show and asking about getting tickets. “I was like, oh my God, that is amazing,” he said.
L.A. Fashion Week was also the event where Moss Adams LLP chose to present its annual MAFI Award to one outstanding L.A. designer who epitomizes innovation. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the award had been on hiatus since 2019.
The award was given to Revice Denim for its sustainability efforts using deadstock, upcycled and organic cotton fabrics, its commitment to diversity in the workplace and domestic production done primarily in downtown Los Angeles. “They produce beautiful vintage, iconic pieces, use sustainable fabrics and have a big commitment to a diverse workforce, which checked all the boxes for us,” said Martin Hughes, the apparel national practice leader for Moss Adams, a global accounting and consulting firm.
Shai Sudry, the founder of Revice Denim, said his company takes its inspiration from Los Angeles. His spring 2023 collection centered around Hollywood movies over the ages. “The concept for the show was a Hollywood revival incorporating six different movie genres,” he said.
The collection, shown on Saturday, encompassed patchwork jumpsuits, matching sets, low-rise denim silhouettes, baggie jeans, mini shorts, dresses, micro tops and vegan leather pants and tops.
The array of shows left fashion goers pleased that L.A. Fashion Week was back in the swing of things after an on-again-off-again period due to the pandemic. “I felt these were real shows,” said Mitch Ramey, who attended the Gypsy Sport show. “I hope they make something of it.”
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