Skingraft, Louis Verdad show spring 2010 collections at Downtown L.A. Fashion Week


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Skingraft channeled Amelia Earhart and Louis Verdad’s muse was Michelle Obama last night at Downtown L.A. Fashion Week.

“We were really inspired by strong women like Amelia Earhart and Joan of Arc,” said Skingraft co-designer Katie Kay. “There is sexiness in strength.”


Kay and her design partner Jonny Cota sent out a parade of fitted and detailed leather jackets, vests and body-conscious clothing. The majority of the looks were topped off with an Earhart-esque aviator’s cap, and many pieces had a layered cap sleeve detail that echoed the collar on a bomber jacket.

Their piece de resistance was a black, leather “bridal gown” with a studded leather corset, long layered skirt that pooled into a train, and feathered headband jutting out of the model’s forehead. It was dramatic, a bit macabre, but like their sharp, second-skin leather jackets, it exhibited a lot of workmanship and attention to detail.

Verdad is an L.A. runway staple who shows a collection in some form each season. This time it was called “Louver,” and thankfully the name wasn’t the only thing new about the line. Verdad took a refreshing departure from the 1940s-infused quasi-costume theme he often retreads and instead went for wearable and modern. He cited Obama as his muse in the show notes and he translated the idea quite literally. As the show started, a video montage of Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Janet Jackson, Grace Jones and Maya Angelou was projected on the wall, and every model cast to wear the all-ivory collection was African American.

Cream jumpsuits, shift dresses and trousers were accented with pops of gold and the occasional splash of navy, infusing a nautical aesthetic into the line. Verdad did a few jodhpur-style pants and a pair of shorts that bubbled around the thigh. Silhouettes were clean and details were not overdone or heavy-handed. His use of cream and ivory looked striking against the models’ dark skin and for Verdad seemed to signify a fresh start or rebirth in his design career.
Click here to see more looks from the Skingraft show.

-- Melissa Magsaysay