GenArt traditionally starts off the LA Fashion Week events by hosting their show on the first Friday kick-off”, usually choosing a fresh location that sets the mood of what to expect during the next week. On Friday night March 7th for their 5th Anniversary of the “The New Garde” show, GenArt had again chosen a surprising location -The Hotel Park Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. Park Plaza was among the top hotels, similar to the old Ambassador (notorious for the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy), where Hollywood industry majors hobnobbed with politicians during an extremely glamorous era of downtown Los Angeles. Their location choice is gives a nod to the LA movement that centers on the emerging revival of downtown as the key cultural and social location of this massive city. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, hosted by Smashbox Studios located on the Westside of Los Angeles in Santa Monica, has been challenged in recent years by the resurgence of downtown as seen with the location of BoxEight fashion week events hosted downtown in the past, and this week at the revitalized Los Angeles Theater on Broadway.
Featuring incredible architectural structure, intricately carved high wooden beams, massive chandeliers, cathedral ceilings,staircases, and separate wide rooms each with old mahogany bars and seating, the glamour of the old-LA hotel made for the perfect background for the New Garde of hot women designers coming out of the city. As we’ve noted before, Los Angeles has become the new hotspot location for street and contemporary fashion, as well as emerging indie artists and musicians. However it also features an amazing depth of talented women’s ready-to-wear designers as seen with the selection at the show, featuring Jesse Kamm, JMARY, and le sang des betes by Trang Chau. Each designer featured their Fall 2008 collections on models in large-scale vignettes conceptualized by each designer and produced by renowned set designer Keith Greco.
Le sang des betes by Trang Chau featured her collection “Aborigine” with a mix of color palettes including grey, black, white, and azure blue. Models with sharp-angled hairstyles gave a modern yet 40′s classic style mixed with futuristic themes to the collection as represented by over-sized grey denim vests, slate wool and charcoal tones mixed with silk jumpers, slate wool dresses, and a large dose of ink black denim in jumpsuits, jumpers, high-waisted pants, and jackets. Highlights included a blue and white dotted denim sweetheart dress with curved princess seams, and a neutral white denim jacket with detachable front cowl and circle side vents. She also featured a reversible azure blue wool and black cotton bolero jacket and azure blue wool dress with parabolic side pockets and 13 panel bodice which had photographers shooting like crazy.
JMARY’s collection featured classic coats and long quilted jackets, along with dresses, full skirts, and tops. Key pieces included classic-styled coats with tie belts and folded collars, grey-wool double-knits, cropped quilted jackets, and pleated front cocktail dresses in black wool.
Under a safari tent, Jesse Hamm featured her “Into the Bush” collection for Fall 2008 with patterned wrap dresses that could be worn by many adventurous women either out on the town, or in a casual setting with boots. Paired with models wearing Indiana Jones hats or props such as walking sticks and wooden tables, the installation provided a safari feeling. Key pieces included a chalk gauze tortoise shell yoke-front top hand printed, black bird track wrap dress, flax tree ring printed dress, and the aubergines outback flightsuit.
Stay tuned for more from LA Fashion Week at Label Networks over the next few days.