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Hale Bob fashion show carries on L.A.'s resort wear tradition

From Fred Cole to Rose Marie Reid and beyond, Los Angeles has a long history of producing fashionable swim and resort wear with a celebrity angle that sells it to the wider world. And today, Hale Bob is one of the L.A. labels carrying on the tradition.

Founded 14 years ago by Paris transplant Daniel Bohbot, the brand’s name is plastered on several billboards around town, including one that currently on Sunset Boulevard about a mile from the Beverly Hills manse Bohbot moved into six weeks ago.

Cindy Crawford, Sofia Vergara and Amal Alamuddin are just a few of the Hollywood celebs who have worn the swim cover-ups at the beach, where the paparazzi capture them in high style. It’s been a winning formula that has propelled sales to the $40-million mark, Bohbot says.

For Bohbot’s Los Angeles Fashion Week debut Thursday, he chose to show his spring 2016 collection poolside at his new digs, to hit home the L.A. lifestyle element of his print-tastic caftans, bikinis, flip-flops and beach towels.

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“I felt the good vibrations, and thought what is better than to receive my friends in my new house?” Bohbot said, offering me a glass of wine and guiding me upstairs to see the skyline views from the second-floor deck.

“Today is about a new lifestyle, which is not only 1970s, but also healthy and cool with juice, yoga, B12 shots...everything comes from L.A.,” he explained, fumbling to light the fire pit. “The house is still very new,” he apologized.

Bohbot also used the occasion to show a second line, which launched a little over a year ago. Called Liberty Garden, it has a charitable component that’s inspired by Toms Shoes’ one-for-one model. For every piece of clothing sold, Bohbot donates a malaria vaccination to Doctors Without Borders.

“Hale Bob is for the hot mama and Liberty Garden is for the young girl who is just entering her professional life,” he explained. Hale Bob sells at Bloomingdales, independent boutiques and the Hale Bob L.A. flagship, and Liberty Garden sells at Anthropologie.

Downstairs, the 100 or so guests noshed on sushi prepared by chefs in the open kitchen while waiting for the show to start. A runway was erected over the pool, with plush sofas set up alongside. Out first were Liberty Garden’s boho dresses, kimono jackets, palazzo pants, babydoll tops and off-shoulder onesies in white crochet or cutwork lace.

Next up, Hale Bob’s swimsuits, cover-ups, peasant tops and scarfy dresses in kaleidoscopic prints designed in-house, as well as copper sequin-dusted jackets and maxidresses. One of the best looks was a pair of velvet dolphin shorts in punch red, worn with a printed blouse and floaty duster. Gladiator sandals and feather jewelry completed the warm-weather fantasy.

When the show ended with the song “California Dreamin’,” it seemed right. For Bohbot, the dream has come true.

For more fashion news, follow me @Booth

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