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Los Angeles Fashion Week: Meet Open Runway winner Sania Josiah

Los Angeles Fashion Week: Meet Open Runway winner Sania Josiah
Looks from Open Runway winner Sania Josiah's spring 2015 collection presented Wednesday at Los Angeles Fashion Week. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Emerging designer Sania Josiah, winner of this season's Open Runway competition organized by the L.A. Fashion Council, made her Los Angeles Fashion Week debut on Wednesday at the Reef building downtown.

The inspiration: Backstage after the show, the recent FIDM graduate said the collection had its roots in her final school project and that it had all come together "rather unexpectedly," but was based around a range of West African textiles -- a nod to her own background (she was born in Liberia and grew up in Ghana before moving to Rhode Island). 

The look: Although the striped fabrics had a heritage vibe, they were used throughout the collection in a range of mixed-fabrication pieces that were throughly modern in silhouette -- including jumpsuits, dresses, shirt dresses, shorts and midriff-baring crop tops -- often paired with sheer black fabrics that included tulle, lace and something approximating athletic mesh. 

Standout pieces included a simple, mint green, knee-length dress with an asymmetrical hem and a floor-length gown that paired a striped fabric with black lace that flared out from the knee.  

The verdict: The LAFC's Open Runway contest has achieved its goal of putting an enthusiastic young designer on our radar, and we look forward to seeing where that leads Josiah -- and her label -- in future seasons.

For the latest in fashion and style news, follow me @ARTschorn

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