The hot spot of Los Angeles fashion week — figuratively and literally — was downtown's Union Station, which hosted several style-centric events in sweltering conditions that only the scantily clad swimsuit models didn't seem to mind.
L.A. Fashion Week, the newest organization to produce shows during the twice-yearly cluster of fashion happenings organized primarily to showcase seasonal collections for the press and store buyers, wrapped its five-day run there Oct. 11 with a presentation that featured 11 designers from the island nation of Fiji, all showing their collections on a U.S. runway for the first time. Standouts included Robert Kennedy's relaxed-chic, mixed-floral halter dresses, tunics and pajama pants; Rako Design's sophisticated geometric-print full skirts and sleeveless tops; Huudaman + Huudaverti's zig-zag and palm tree silhouette print shorts and sarongs accessorized with chunky wood palm tree-shaped pendants, and ACW's evening gowns combining sheer black panels with bold woodblock prints.
On Oct. 13, Fashion Business Inc.'s annual All Aboard fashion show and fundraiser pulled into the station, with hosts David Ono (KABC News) and actress Erica Ash ("Real Husbands of Hollywood") apologizing several times for the near-stifling temperatures and the venue's lack of air conditioning. Among the brands that came down the catwalk were two of the evening's honorees: Ayumi Shibata, who took home the FBI's 2015 Emerging Designer of the Year award for her year-old Eis Los Angeles label, and designer Denise Focil, who took home the Moss Adams Fashion Innovator Award for her work on the 7-year-old AS by DF line.
The Eis collection had a distinct vintage Americana vibe and included a range of dresses, tops and shawls. Memorable pieces included a faded denim jumpsuit, a kimono-like shawl with a bold blanket print, a semi-sheer A-line dress covered in a tie-dye pattern and a series of knit tops that looked chunky but at the same time body-huggingly sexy.
AS by DF, based in Los Angeles, is a higher-end women's line from the motor-sports-influenced Italian label Alpinestars (the AS in the label's name) and it certainly shares its parent company's love of luxe leather. The spring 2016 collection was heavy on '70s influences, such as diaphanous silk dresses and fringed-leather jackets — with the Doors playing on the soundtrack. Highlights included buttery suede shorts, form-fitting suede trousers, a tropical print dress and a sleeveless leather-lace front top.
This season's Los Angeles fashion "week" actually unspooled across two full weeks — kicking off Oct. 5 with Art Hearts Fashion Week, which showcased local labels Sue Wong, with a collection of beaded gowns, glittery sheaths and embellished cocktail dresses called Alchemy & Masquerade, and Stello, which showed a collection called Hotel California designed to "shine a light on Hollywood's darker side," according to show notes.
The final footfall on the catwalk is scheduled for Sunday, when Style Fashion Week ends a five-day stand in downtown L.A.