Rachel Zoe’s L.A. runway debut sparkles with Hollywood glamour — and lots of sequins

Looks from Rachel Zoe's runway presentation event on Feb. 6 at the Sunset Tower Hotel.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Two days and 3,000 miles away from the official start of New York Fashion Week, one of its standout stars, celebrity stylist and designer Rachel Zoe, showed a handful of looks to a celebrity-studded crowd gathered for drinks and dinner Monday night at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood.

“I’ve always been this weird hybrid person that’s half L.A. and half New York,” she told the crowd. “I’m from New York but I live here. I love New York. I show in New York. I design in New York … Long story short: For a long time I’ve wanted to do a presentation here. I’ve been here for 13 years. My family is here, and all of you are here. And I kept sort of fighting it because New York is New York, right?

“But, last year,” she continued, “at this exact time, when I was showing in New York, I thought, ‘You know, this is it for a minute, and I need to take a step back and think about who I am, who I’m speaking to, who I’m selling to, who I’m inspired by and what I want to say.’ So, what I want to say is [that] showing here tonight feels like home.”


The setting may have felt like home for Zoe, but the clothes she showed had a decidedly glamorous evening-out-on-the-town vibe to them. A mix of evening looks from her fall 2017 collection and cocktail dresses and evening wear pieces from her first see-now / buy-now offering, standouts included wide-legged and broad-shouldered sequin-covered suits, body-hugging, shoulder-baring dresses with fishtail hems and architectural ruffles, black and white tuxedo dresses with pearl embellishment at the collar and cuffs and cropped-leg sequin-covered jumpsuits.

The see-now / buy-now offerings included an assortment of cocktail-appropriate, wrap-hem minidresses, slinky, sleeveless dresses and several of the Greco-Roman goddess looks that have become one of the designer’s signature silhouettes.

One of the hands-down favorite looks of the evening (ours, and, judging by the murmurs of approval from our tablemates, others’ as well) was the closing look — a body-hugging, off-the-shoulder sequined dress with lace-up back detail that was the perfect balance of old Hollywood glamour and modern-day va-va-voom.

Among the well-heeled guests joining Zoe and her husband and business partner Rodger Berman for the event were actress Nicole Richie (wearing a silver fringe-festooned number from the pre-fall 2017 collection), jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, florist-to-the-stars Eric Buterbaugh, actress Eva Longoria and actor James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly. Their children are friends with Zoe’s sons, Van Der Beek explained. “They’re wonderful people,” he said. “You really learn a lot about people by watching how they deal with a spilled cupcake.”


For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.


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