With its year-round lifestyle of sand, sea and surf, Los Angeles is a perennial creative touchstone for spring fashion collections.
So it's no surprise that our local landscape was an inspiration not only for the many L.A.-based designers who showed their spring 2014 collections during New York Fashion Week but for many non-natives too.
J. Crew women's wear designer Tom Mora was inspired by "the California coast, where it feels like summer all the time," which translated into an aloha print neoprene flippy skirt, rainbow-stripe silk track pants and a fun, big-wave intarsia sweater.
"It's Melrose to Malibu,"
Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who live in Pasadena, also seemed to have something darker in mind. Their take on L.A. fell in with the gritty street vibe of Hedi Slimane's "California Grunge" fall 2013 collection for Saint Laurent, which is in stores now.
More than any specific location or reference it was "the creativity and freedom" of L.A., Laura Mulleavy said of the collection, which nodded to '80s and '90s punk and heavy metal.
From darkness to domesticity.
Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg brought a bit of home with him, building an elaborate set piece on his runway, a view of the Hollywood sign from behind with the lights of Los Angeles County glittering below. The starting point for the collection was Robert Altman's 1973 neo-noir film "The Long Goodbye," specifically the "sporty, fresh, bohemian" look of heroine Eileen Wade (played by Nina Van Pallandt), Sternberg said backstage, which translated into an après-hike wardrobe of slouchy athletic pants, nylon ponchos and parachute skirts, leather dolphin shorts and crunchy-granola, nylon cord sandals worn with socks.
And, of course, where there are movies being made, there are stars — and designers to dress them, including L.A.'s
"Sophisticated ease," is how Lhuillier described her collection, which is exactly what L.A. does best.