Anthony Franco kicks off L.A. Fashion Weekend


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Anthony Franco’s spring 2012 runway show opened L.A. Fashion Weekend’s three-day run at Sunset Gower Studios on Friday night.

The collection of men’s and women’s pieces was inspired by a vacation the designer recently took to Zihuata, Mexico. The influence was reflected in a color palette heavy on the vibrant oranges, pinks and yellows of a tropical sunset. Beading, crystals and other embellishments -- especially on dresses -- called to mind the kind of glyphs and shapes found on the Mayan calendar and on Central American pyramids.


The motif was further underscored by fern designs printed on silk shorts, bandeau tops and dresses and hand-beaded onto women’s swimsuits. (Intricate beading is one of Franco’s signatures.)

Though there was nothing wrong with the menswear Franco sent down the runway -- perfectly wearable, trim plaid and striped suits, sweaters and neckties in tobacco brown, sky blue and sunset orange -- it seemed to lack the relaxed vibe of the women’s pieces. It was as if the menswear inspiration had been accidentally left home alone while the designer decamped south of the border.


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-- Adam Tschorn