Art Hearts Fashion’s third day of L.A. fashion week shows at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood kicked off Wednesday with presentation of five kids-wear brands including the runway debut of a collection by 11-year-old cancer survivor from Dallas named Noa Sorrell.
Sorrell’s line, which didn’t even have a name until plans for the runway show were underway – currently called Noa’s Designs – ended up on a Los Angeles runway thanks to Art Hearts Fashion’s partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“I heard I was going to get my wish after the first round of chemo,” Sorrell told us backstage before the show. “And I knew I wanted to do something related to fashion. That was at the beginning of February.”
Unlike the big fashion houses that employ armies of artisans to bring a collection to fruition, Sorrell told us that every piece we’d see on the runway was designed, cut and sewn by her alone, with each garment taking about eight hours from start to finish.
“There’s a total of 10 looks,” she told us. “For preteen girls … the inspiration is springtime [and] flowers – I have a lot of floral prints.” Sorrell also noted that her favorite color – light blue – also appeared on several pieces in the collection. The results were impressive: a T-shirt with a contrast patch pocket paired with a knee-length skirt, a summery dress in a cheery orange and yellow floral pattern, blue and white striped skirts, and the finale look, a silky blue with yellow accents.
Sorrell said that because she’s been designing clothes only for the last year, she’d be measuring the success of her runway debut in terms of generating interest in her work. When asked about the ability to fulfill potential orders, Sorrell thought for a moment.
“I might need to buy a new sewing machine,” she said, “because mine is very old.”
Although the circumstances of Sorrell’s runway debut might have made it seem like a hard act to follow (her cancer is in remission, by the way), the remaining quartet of kids-wear brands sent an impressive assortment down the runway – on an equally impressive assortment of models that ranged from pint size to preteen. Labels Lil Jewels and Lulu et Gigi showcased their take on mini-me formalwear (think poufy princess skirts for girls, three-piece suits with matching ties and pocket squares for boys). Teen pop singer Mahkenna Tyson provided the soundtrack to her own collection, which appeared to consist of vintage denim vests customized with colorful fabric panels, yokes and hoodies. And Isabella Couture closed the show with a range of sophisticated dresses that struck just the right note for the young ladies about to age out of the kids’ department.
One model of note walking in the Isabella Couture show was 11-year-old Lucky Rose Kyles, daughter of comedian-actor Cedric the Entertainer, who was on hand for her runway turn. “She’s been in a few things, but nothing of this level,” he told us. “She likes clothes. What she really wants to be is a designer.”
Which means the apple isn’t falling too far from the family tree since, Cedric, you may recall, turned his love of hats into a line of signature head wear (called Who Ced?), which is celebrating its fifth anniversary in business.
Hats off all the way around!
For the latest in fashion and style news, follow me @ARTschorn.