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L.A. Fashion Week: L.A. Fashion Council swaps runway for rooftop

L.A. Fashion Week: L.A. Fashion Council swaps runway for rooftop
Looks from Together, left, and Linden, two of the local labels showcased in the Los Angeles Fashion Council's rooftop media presentation Wednesday during Los Angeles Fashion Week. (Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times)

This season the Los Angeles Fashion Council topped itself -- literally -- by staging a media presentation and luncheon Wednesday on the roof of the downtown building that houses its offices.

Presented in rotating two- and three-look tableaux scattered around the rooftop, the clothing labels on display included That's Totally Fine by Rose La Grua, Stella Proseyn, Colton Dane, Linden, Katharine Kidd, Bri Seeley, Together and Bellen Brand. Also in the mix were Mofe handbags and jewelry by Kristen Dorsey Designs.

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We caught up briefly with Linden designer Jennifer Lynn, who told us her fall and winter 2014 collection had been inspired by a visit to LACMA's James Turrell retrospective.

"I was in that dark room -- the one with just that tiny little amount of light -- and I just sobbed, tears were streaming down my face," Lynn told us, "and I started thinking about light and its effect on the perception of objects and applying that to layered fabrics of different opacities."

The result are garments that, much like Turrell's work, reveal themselves the more intently you study them including a gray sweater flecked nearly imperceptibly with gold Lurex and another top that, at first glance, appeared to be a gauzy black fabric layered over a white shirt but in reality was a sweater that achieved that effect thanks to subtle swirls of gray fiber mixed among the black.

Another label that caught our eye was Together, a colorful new line (and we mean brand-spanking new -- it's just a month old) designed and sewn by New York transplant Lily Chehrazi featuring the dye sublimation photo prints of her photographer boyfriend Benedict Barrett.

"It's high-tech active glamwear," says Chehrazi (she's on the far left in the above photo), "and it's super sustainable."

The designer pointed to the model standing next to her, clad in a sleeveless crop top and knee-length skirt photo printed with a design that included green lily pads and purple flowers. "For example, that skirt and top are made of recycled water bottles -- rPET -- with just a little bit of Spandex."

In addition to the crop top and skirt, the inaugural Together collection includes a turtleneck, a dress, a pair of form-fitting trousers ("We call it the pantaloni," Chehrazi says) and a turtleneck in the 86% rPET/16% Spandex blend and some silk twill pocket squares, in a handful of eye-popping plucked from nature patterns.

Chehrazi said the skirts will retail for around $120 and the crop tops in the $75 to $80 range, but that retail pricing hasn't been finalized yet. (The one piece currently on offer at the Together website  -- the pantaloni -- is priced at $128.)

"We'll have a better idea of that -- and what kind of stores we should be going after once we're back from Tokyo," she said.

Like many of the brands up on the roof Wednesday, Together is one of the local labels the Los Angeles Fashion Council is including in its one-day showcase at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo on March 17.

When we first heard that organizer Kelsi Smith had decided to swap the runway for a rooftop this season (done, in part, to facilitate the Tokyo trip) we were worried that the LAFC might lose some of the momentum it had gained over the past few seasons. We're happy to report that it didn't make any difference at all.

Discounting, of course, a few sunburned foreheads.

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