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LAFW: Gen Art/BOXeight Runway Video

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Say what you will about the state of L.A. Fashion Week, the crowd that turned out to the Gen Art/BOXeight kickoff brought their party clothes.

It was Goths on parade last night at Gen Art. Both Grai and Raquel Allegra sent out a lineup of dark and drapey collections that had the girls looking like Morticia and the boys like Eddie Munster, right down to the slicked-back hair, pronounced widow’s peaks and cropped pants.

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The first few looks from Grai were like black on black origami. Floppy biker-style jackets layered over long, black fishtail skirts and styled with black turbans were heavy and somber. Dresses were cut in Elvira silhouettes, sans the cleavage, with sorceress-style sleeves that pushed them right into Halloween costume territory. The bright spot came in a ¾-length bronze leather coat, which was slick and fitted and stood out against the sea of depressing hues. It was clear that Grai’s strong suit is leather jackets. Cropped biker-style jackets were cut well and had just the right amount of edge, except for when the models turned around to reveal a row of what looked like silver septum rings down the back. Too much edge. I don’t like my leather jackets pierced.

Raquel Allegra’s collection was practically a mirror image of Grai’s. Models were swathed in gauzy, black floor-grazing knits that looked like Addams Family resort wear. The knits were interesting, but a bit too long and far too cobwebby. They would be more wearable at a cropped length or as pullover sweaters. The cool part about this collection was the way it was styled. Models wore hats that were part Indiana Jones, part Zorro, with a dash of Chuck Norris. Walker Texas Ranger never looked so good.

Gen Art alum Corinne Grassini brought back her Society for Rational Dress collection. Leather harness straps on flowy, goddess-style dresses are still in the line and have become her signature. But it was nice to see that she has evolved to more sophisticated pieces like cowl neck knit dresses in earthy rust and oatmeal colors, sexy satin bomber jackets and a pair of sleek-looking silver trousers.

It was slim pickings in the men’s department, Grai was the only one to send out any fashion for the fellows, and those pieces were an uninspired Rick Owens retread -- black, layered jersey and sweatsuit materials. Of note was the model sporting a jet black handlebar mustache with the ends twisted to a tip that would have made Snidely Whiplash envious. He bore a striking resemble to another mustachioed man we spotted in the house last night -- adult film star Ron Jeremy bellied up to the VIP bar just before the shows got under way.

LA Fashion Week Gen Art/BOXeight Runway Shows: Raquel Allegra

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