Stars shine, shoes sparkle at summer soiree for Alejandro Ingelmo

Stars shine, shoes sparkle at summer soiree for Alejandro Ingelmo
At left, (left to right) George Kotsiopoulos, Morena Baccarin and footwear designer Alejandro Ingelmo at the Chateau Marmont. At center the Boomerang heels in silver with Swarovski crystals. At right, actress Lydia Hearst. (Swarovski)

Swarovski and stylist George Kotsiopoulos hosted a midsummer's night soiree on Thursday night welcoming footwear designer Alejandro Ingelmo to Los Angeles.

Model/actress Lydia Hearst, her “Cabin Fever: Patient Zero” costar and pal, actress Jillian Murray, “Homeland” actress Morena Baccarin, TV host Tracee Ellis Ross, Versace model/actor Nolan Funk, Decades’ Cameron Silver and others joined for dinner at the Chateau Marmont to celebrate Ingelmo’s new nine-piece evening collection made with crystals by Swarovski, which is landing just in time for Emmys red carpet season.

"They're sexy and you can walk upstairs," Kotsiopoulos said of his glittery shoes, a combo brogue/sneaker style called "Coats" in black patent leather with a silver crystal panel across the top. "They have to start making these for the ladies because they all want my shoes."

The ladies’ shoes were pretty spectacular, too, including the “Boomerang” caged bootie with silvery boomerang-like detail worn by Hearst, and the bronze “Tron” pump with black patent stripe toe cap worn by Baccarin. (Ingelmo is known for sleek and sexy, futuristic-looking styles.)

Here's a little primer on Ingelmo, who is relatively new to the scene: Footwear runs in his family; his great-grandfather was a cobbler in Salamanca, Spain. After migrating from Spain to Cuba, his grandfather built the family business, Ingelmo Shoes, into one of the biggest men's shoe companies in the country. After the revolution, the family moved to Miami, where Alejandro was raised, before he moved to New York to pursue a career in design.

"When I moved to New York and went to Parsons, shoes were the last thing I wanted to do," he said. "But I believe everything in life comes full circle. I told myself, 'I know this, but can also give it my own take.'"

He launched his first shoe collection in 2006, and was nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design in 2009 and 2011.

The relationship with Swarovski has been ongoing since the CFDA nominations process began, he said.

"They invited me to their showroom and I was really surprised.  I always thought of crystals as something big and over-the-top that had to be a separate part of a shoe. But they showed me a bunch of new materials, including a crystal fabric that you can really use to design. You can manipulate it so easily. I made a couple of pieces, and sold them to Neiman's. They liked them because they are a younger take on evening. Hopefully, it will do well and we'll continue."

Alejandro Ingelmo Evening Collection with Swarovski crystals, $850 to $2,500, at Neiman Marcus and

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