When you're a fashion designer looking for exposure in the industry, you show your collection on the runways in New York or Europe. When you are looking for exposure to the world, you come to L.A.
British designers invaded L.A. last week in search of the fame and fortune that only the red carpet can bring.
It's the fourth time that the British Fashion Council has brought a group to L.A., all expenses paid. And indeed, London designers have made impressive inroads dressing stars in Hollywood. Considered cool and edgy, London designers can help celebrities define their style and generate editorial and branding opportunities.
“What’s brilliant about the Brits is that they are very innovative with print and embellishment,” says L.A.-based stylist Cher Coulter, who works with Kate Bosworth, Elizabeth Olsen,
London is a hotbed for up-and-coming fashion talent right now, and a rich source for luxury conglomerates looking to broaden their brand portfolios. LVMH Moet Hennesy Louis Vuitton recently bought a majority stake in British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s business, and Kering (formerly
“We’ve found there’s an atmosphere for our designers here,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council. “To be able to dress a celebrity drives sales. And it’s not just the
How does the BFC measure the return on its investment? Simple, Rush says — column inches and the caliber of stars. "Of course, the end goal for the designer is to have their own red carpet office in L.A."
Set up in garden rooms behind the swimming pool at the Chateau, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen showed their Miami-inspired tile and floral print silk devore dresses with asymmetrical hems, one of which was worn by actress
Emilia Wickstead, a favorite with
Mary Katrantzou's elaborately printed minidresses, tops and skirts were inspired by shoes, with piping, lacing, panel and fringe details. "It's great to see stylists in L.A. and show them the collection. You get a perspective on what people like. Tips we've been told is that dresses need to be bigger in the bust area, and have 5 centimeters at all the seams so they can be fit perfectly to everyone's body."
Matthew Williamson went for more of a homespun look with his prints — hand-drawn dragonflies and insects that looked graffiti-esque on some pieces.
Japanese khudo (archery) inspired David Koma’s sculptural body con dresses, one of which was worn by
Osman Yousefzada has had some major celebrity hits, too, namely dressing
The British Fashion Council's Style Suites were co-sponsored by the website Stylebop.com, which will be offering 10 exclusive red-carpet-worthy styles from participating designers for sale beginning in February.