Union Station, in all its Art Deco grandeur, stood sentinel over Los Angeles on Tuesday as travelers, Dodger fans, local commuters and (on this particular evening) a very fashionable crowd strolled through the railway station.
Fashion Business Inc. (FBI) returned to the venue for its sixth-annual "All Aboard!" runway show with David Ono ("ABC7 Eyewitness News") serving as host for a second year. Brands who presented collections in this year's fashion show include: Rails, Godz and Goddezzes, Alexis Monsanto, Adam Mar, Angelino, Stellan & Wylde, Komo-VA Children's wear and Punchline Apparel.
The highlight of the evening came at the end, when Jeff Abrams, designer of Rails, received the Moss Adams Fashion Innovator (MAFI) Award from Martin Hughes, Moss Adams partner and FBI board member. Hughes described Rails as being a clothing line that expertly sewed together sophistication and beach casual and brought a casual side to the California luxe market.
Los Angeles native Abrams established his brand in 2008 with a single logo-emblazoned hat and over the years Rails' popularity has allowed him to expand fabrications to include leather, denim, cashmere knits and silks and offerings that include women's dresses and separates, menswear and a children's line called "Little Rails."
After being honored with the MAFI Award, Abrams presented his spring/summer 2017 collection, which stayed true to his Angeleno roots by using a soft, beachy color palette of pastel and navy blues, whites, pinks and neutrals. This emphasis on oceanic colors not only painted a perfect portrait of coastal and seaside living, but the silhouettes managed to key into several of the season's prevailing trends, including rompers, dresses, shorts, denim pants and button-front shirts, all harkening back to that "California cool" vibe.
"All Aboard!" was a winner on two fronts as well: Not only did the event introduce attendees (and the fashion press) to new and emerging California designers, it raised capital to help support the fashion community at the same time. That's because the money raised through the annual event helps fund education and re-training programs for displaced apparel industry workers.
A railway to success, then, that actually assists those on both sides of the tracks — the designers trying to find the spotlight and the workers trying to keep their footing.
All aboard, indeed.