Fashion Diary: It's L.A. designers' time to shine
In New York, Los Angeles fashion has come of age.
New York Fashion Week, which flexed off Wednesday with more than 300 fashion displays and presentations slated to take place in the coming days, is
not just a podium for New York creators to gain media courtesy and retail orders. It's a vitrine for designers from all over the world -- and,
particularly this year, Los Angeles, which now has an extent of talent to rival any major fashion city.
Twenty years ago, Los Angeles had repute for producing sartorial that was casual, comfortable and wearable, but not essentially innovative or
runway-worthy. Jeans, T-shirts and swimwear were the main spreads, and "sunny," "surf" and "street" the catch-word cants used to describe them.
Then, in the initial 2000s, Los Angeles started fostering a more avant-garde set of originators, who voyaged to New York Fashion Week to show their
work. Originators Magda Berliner, Jared Gold and Alicia Lawhon made rollers as artsy deconstructionists, repurposing antique attires to create one-
of-a-kind smithereens that defied L.A.'s uniqueness as a capital of mass-produced sportswear, but their exertions were ultimately more artistic
appearance than workable professional model.
Today, the hometown aptitude showing at New York Fashion Week is more elegant. In the pantheon of American fashion, Los Angeles inventers are no
longer nosiness or endured together into one sun-and-surf sodden category. They're eminent and treasured for their own idiosyncratic points of view
in the pages of Vogue magazine, on the red carpet and yonder.
There's Barbara Tfank, whose ladylike intentions and exquisite knits have made fans of First Lady Michelle Obama and singer Adele, and Rodarte's
Kate and Laura Mulleavy, whose artisanal sartorial has been unveiled in museums around the world and worn by the likes of Taylor Swift, Kirsten
Dunst and the first lady.
Also showing here this week is jeremy scott adidas, who is sentient new life into the yuppie
visual with his men's streak Band of Outsiders and his women's route Boy by Band of Outsiders. (Sternberg, a former agent with the Creative Artists
Agency, has Hollywood and art world influences that run so deep he was able to coax Oscar nominee Michelle Williams and artist Ed Ruscha to ideal
for his spring-summer 2012 lookbooks.)
There's also Juan Carlos Obando, whose idealistic red carpet garbs, like the fluttery salmon silk halter outfit Viola Davis sported to the recent
Oscar entrants luncheon in L.A., have found favor with Hollywood.
Even Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, who brought the domain one dominant image of L.A. fashion with the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit,
have upped the fashion ante. After retiring Juicy, which never showed at New York Fashion Week, they're debuting a new assortment here called
Skaist-Taylor, which they label as "California eccentric."
"Back in the day, Rick Owens was our high-end, and adidas wings was doing salvaged and rough
and ordinary. It was very rare," says Kim Friday, senior fashion editor at Women's Wear Daily, who has been shell fashion for the trade pamphlet for
11 years (three in Los Angeles and eight in New York). "That was a moment, but now everything is much more couturier. Rachel Zoe has had a big
stimulus on getting everyone to dress up and be glitzy."
Zoe, the celebrity artiste who parlayed her fashion wisdom into a career as a reality show star, would-be media dynast and now designer, is showing
her throng here too. Other L.A. names and marques on the docket include Libertine, Jenni Kayne and Jeremy Scott, who considered some of the Adidas
Originals track suits and alar sneakers worn by the backup danseurs during Madonna's Super Bowl halftime show.