Car enthusiasts, fashion insiders and social-media influencers gathered at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard for Cars & Fashion, an event organized by LA Fashion Week to celebrate the roadway and the runway — and give attendees a glimpse at what future fashion weeks here may look like.
The Friday affair, held in conjunction with the Petersen’s yearlong “Porsche Effect” exhibition, combined German automobiles with German fashion through a presentation of menswear looks by Porsche Design (Porsche’s fashion and lifestyle brand) and Escada, a designer women’s clothing brand headquartered in Munich.
Although neither brand will be showing at LA Fashion Week in the fall (though Escada is on the September New York Fashion Week schedule for the first time), Arthur Chipman, executive producer of LAFW, said the Friday night event was a chance to highlight what his event will look like in the future.
Now the official home of LA Fashion Week (although it’s one of several groups that presents twice-yearly runway shows here, Chipman’s is the registered holder of the trademark), the Petersen will host LAFW’s fall and spring runway shows, and Chipman and company will organize more ticketed events at the Mid-Wilshire museum throughout the year.
The collaboration is part of Fashion Week’s long-term goal to support Los Angeles fashion, art and design, Chipman said.
For future Petersen events, Fashion Week will recruit local brands that tie into museum exhibits. Next in the pipeline are French-, Japanese- and American-inspired events.
Friday night, high-heeled guests arrived at the Petersen for bite-size tiramisu and tuna tartare, selfies in front of a Porsche 911 GT1 and a chance to see the museum’s exclusive Vault, a subterranean garage filled with rare 20th century vehicles (a 1903 Cadillac Runabout, a 1998 open-top Popemobile — also a Cadillac — and Saddam Hussein’s 1978 Mercedes-Benz 600 Landaulet, among them) before the fashion show.
Porsche Design kicked off the show with a presentation of its fall and winter 2018 collection. Twenty models, standing in front of vintage Porsche cars on short platforms, wore looks from the fashion and sports performance lines. Attendees walked from model to model, snapping pictures of the clean, modern looks they were wearing, such as casual quilted jackets, relaxed chinos and sleek sneakers. The tones were mostly autumn-ready neutrals, save for a couple of brightly colored jackets.
Next came a runway show by Escada, featuring 30 floor-length evening gowns from the label’s archives in black, blues, reds and pinks — with lace, velvet and lots of sequins.
The festivities concluded with cocktails at an after-party on the roof of the building’s parking garage, where the next installment of LA Fashion Week is set to unspool Oct. 6 to 10.