Beautiful people tend to appear at Skingraft Designs and Elmer Ave. events

Story and Photos by Kathleen Gasperini

Just when fashion mags like WWD report on the closing of a series of high-end retail stores from the famed Robertson area of LA, up pops one of the more interesting and beautiful new boutiques/showrooms in downtown Los Angeles located in the Old Bank District from two brands, Skingraft Designs and Elmer Ave. As per their reputations, the private opening on April 29th attracted a crowd of designers, steampunk hipsters, urban cowboys, indie press, and a variety of avant-garde artists and musicians.

Featuring half the store with Elmer Ave.’s signature deconstructed, rocker-vibe men’s jackets, pants, and vests, and the other half with Skingrafts’ leather coats, dresses, riding blouses, and corset pieces, the two were made to open up such a place together. African taxidermy adorned with long harness necklaces, plus patterns left up from sketches from the designers’ work along with inspirational images, and various leather accessories transformed the concept of showroom and boutique into a must-see attraction.

Katie Kay, one of the trio of Skingraft and hostess for the opening party

Lucky for us, Label Networks is located across the street from the Skingraft/Elmer Boutique and we can tell you that in the last 3 weeks it’s been open (and the week prior during set-up) scores of people walk by the storefront display windows and stop or take a picture. It’s also quickly become a destination for artists and fans during downtown LA’s Thursday monthly artwalks, as creative types look to discover interesting art, architecture, and people attracted to things that are slightly different. The showroom, like the apparel collections each lend themselves to balancing something that’s familiar in a retro-era type of way, and yet very modern, apocalyptic and mysterious, reminding us of what more may be possible if provided the vision of looking through things from a different perspective -even into the future.

Located right next to Blends, the famed sneaker boutique, the notorious “4th Street Gap” often highlighted in hardcore skateboard flicks, and the former location of the Comme des Garcons pop-up store, Skingraft and Elmer Ave. make an ideal fit within the growing popularity and vibe that’s transforming downtown Los Angeles.

Location: 125 W. 4th St. #102, Los Angeles 90013; 213-626-2662

Erika Hanson from Pure Consulting, the p.r. firm for the event, wearing Skingraft riding blouse and leather coat

The back of Erika%uFFFDs leather coat by Skingraft

Party DJ%uFFFDs for the event included S.I.S. and Patrick Melcher

African taxidermy with long harness necklaces adorn the Skingraft and Elmer Ave. boutique and showroom

The famed red dress by Skingraft

Equestrian motifs adorn the showroom/boutique and tie in both retro Wild West cowboy themes with an English-posh/East-coast showjumping circuit vibe

One of Skingrafts amazing metallic grey long coats with Found Fables graphics on the back

The details with the Found Fables story in the back of this piece is amazing.

Fans and friends of Skingraft and Elmer, with an olive cocktail dress in the background

White wedding. Or simply a beautiful dress, with pattern drawing from the designers from Skingraft.

More inspiration images and out-takes from photo shoots that adorn the boutique and showroom

Elmer Ave. jackets and crowd from the opening night

Feathers and corsets in the window display of the boutique on opening night

Blurry, but the evening ended in typical Skingraft and Elmer Ave. style with a dance troupe performing on 4th Street in downtown LA. Even traffic stopped.