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The true rock star at Los Angeles fashion week: Hale Bob’s Coachella-inspired collection

The big takeaway from the presentations and runway shows known collectively as Los Angeles fashion week remains pretty much as it has for the last few years: Though there are collections in the mix worthy of coverage — from new and emerging local designers to far-flung brands showing here for the first time — too often the bright spots end up overshadowed by the perpetually chaotic and conflicting calendar, and poring over the assorted schedules feel as hit-or-miss as panning for gold. Here are a few of the shiny nuggets sluiced from this season’s shows.

The L.A.-based Hale Bob label managed to mine the upcoming music festival season and the fashion industry’s experimentation with the see now/buy now in-season collections (ones that hit the runway and retail at the same time) by sending a 36-piece Coachella-themed Summer 2016 collection down the runway at Style Fashion Week that was immediately available for purchase via the brand’s halebob.com website.

That meant plenty of dancing-in-the-desert duds; flowing, brightly patterned maxi dresses, tie-dyed silk chiffon tunics, billowing caftans, and riffs on ‘70s-era, high-waisted, flare-legged jeans. Asymmetrical faux suede skirts swayed with a festival of fringe, faux fur vests were layered over sheer lace dresses and crocheted cape-like wraps were draped over shoulders. And, like the lineup at any good music festival, inspiration came from all over. There were patterns inspired by Moroccan tiles, animal prints, palm fronds and also a few feathers with the occasional paisley print thrown in for good measure.

“We started to sell runway pieces right away,” the brand’s creator, Daniel Bohbot, said a few days after the show, “and [we] have already sold out of a couple of things — including a maxi dress and a printed tunic.”

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Bohbot said the consumer response had been so positive that, moving forward, he plans to present Hale Bob in four in-season runway collections a year. “Today I say four fashion shows a year but who knows what it could be in the future? Maybe it could be as many as 12 per year — a fashion show a month!”

L.A. Fashion Week

Hale Bob collection during the runway show at Style Fashion Week, part of Los Angeles' fashion week, at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on March 17, 2016.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

If that sort of fashion-show frequency ever becomes a reality, there could hardly be a better venue than Style Fashion Week’s new home for the next several seasons — an open-air courtyard at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood with a runway built across the fountain area to create a water-flanked catwalk with the facility’s three monochrome monoliths as the backdrop.

Hale Bob wasn’t the only Los Angeles fashion week label to show an in-season collection. The Fashion Week Los Angeles lineup at downtown’s Union Station included a Cynthia Rowley 2016 resort, swimwear and fitness catwalk collection, including a range of color-blocked neoprene wetsuits with colorful contrast stitching, floral print leggings, paisley print rash guards, silver foil backpacks, color blocked two-piece swimsuits and T-shirts screen-printed with sayings such as “Made in the Shade.” (According to a Cynthia Rowley representative, parts of the collection had been presented previously, but the swimwear and fitness collections debuted in L.A.)

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L.A. Fashion Week

Hale Bob's creator, Daniel Bohbot, takes a bow at the end of Hale Bob's runway show at Style Fashion Week.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The see now/buy now influence also was in evidence at L.A. Fashion Week, where the notes for L.A.-based designer Jenine Nerecina’s Cosmogyral show noted that the runway looks from the fall and winter 2016 collection were available for purchase online. Titled Efflorescence, the collection was aimed at “celebrat[ing] the beauty of women of different shapes,” according to the show notes, including standard and curvy sizes “in an effort to promote body positivity.”

Standouts of the runway collection — the brand’s second — included a curve-hugging, floor-length gown in blue velvet and series of claret-colored dresses embellished with black floral beadwork including the final look, a strapless stunner with deep decolletage, mermaid-tail hem and an ultra-long sheer train that gave the look a regal feel.

adam.tschorn@latimes.com


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