A pair of fashion shows staged in downtown Los Angeles Saturday — one featuring Snoop Dogg and the other Wiz Khalifa and the Taylor Gang — prompted some metaphysical soul-searching on the true purpose of runway shows and music videos and the power of celebrity branding. And that had nothing to do with the copious clouds of cannabis wafting through the venue.
The two shows anchored the second day of Made LA, a two-day art, fashion and music event created by WME/IMG that filled L.A. Live’s Event Deck, the roof of the parking structure located between Staples Center and the 110 Freeway in downtown L.A., with a runway- and performance-ready tented space and a cluster of pop-up retail kiosks, all of which was open to the public. (Opening Ceremony’s first-ever L.A. runway show, which drew on such diverse inspirations as Georgia O’Keeffe and “Kill Bill,” closed out day one.)
Joyrich X Snoop Dogg
First out of the gate, on Saturday afternoon, was a capsule collection from the L.A.-based Joyrich streetwear label that not only paid homage to Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. (known professionally as Snoop Dogg) but also featured the runway modeling debut of the hip-hop artist’s 20-year-old son Cordell Broadus. The younger Broadus, it turns out, was wearing multiple hats Saturday, serving as the creative director of the capsule (in collaboration with Joyrich owner and designer Tom Hirota) and working on the short video that introduced the collection.
“The [show] inspiration is my father. He’s my biggest hero,” Cordell Broadus said in a pre-show backstage interview. “I admire that he stayed true to himself.”
Despite the flattery — and the family ties — Broadus said getting his father on board was no easy feat. “The most challenging part was getting my dad to be a part of it because he’s so focused on his image and his brand,” he said, adding that the deal came with a price — literally.
“My dad doesn’t treat me like his son when we’re doing business,” Broadus explained. “He’s an actual client so I had to approach him like a client — no handouts. And we also had to pay him too. Make sure y’all write that down too.”
The Joyrich X Snoop Dogg holiday and spring/summer 2018 capsule collection that came down the catwalk, against a backdrop of lowrider cars with his Snoopness performing right smack in the middle, consisted mostly of streetwear and loungewear staples served up in super-baggy silhouettes and emblazoned with references that would be instantly recognizable to fans, including blue paisley bandanna prints, cap-wearing cartoon mutts and the word “Doggystyle,” (the name of Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut album) on shirtsleeves, down pant legs and across the front of football-style jerseys. (While riffs on the athletic jersey are common, the ones here seemed a little more meaningful given that Broadus left the UCLA football team last year to pursue his true passions, which he described to us as “film and fashion.”)
Outerwear offerings included varsity jackets, slouchy hoodies, pullover sweatshirts and faux mink car coats in a handful of colors like blue, dusty pink and black paired with baggy sweatpants, roomy plus fours and outsized white five-pocket jeans.
On the loungewear side of the equation, there were baggy blue velour track suits with zip-front jackets (the show’s gin-and-Juicy Couture moment), silken dressing robes in blue paisley, pajama-like plaid button-front shirts and cargo pants as well as oversize T-shirts and longsleeve tees that hung to the hips.
Broadus, one of the last to walk, hit the runway wearing the aforementioned blue mink jacket (his favorite piece) sans shirt and a pair of blue velour lounge pants with “Snoop Doggy Dogg” embroidered up the right leg. After that came the finale walk during which models started passing around a marijuana joint. Within a few minutes, the center of the venue became hazy with pot smoke as the models flocked around the man of the hour, dancing ecstatically, congratulating him — and one another — and enthusiastically singing along with Snoop Dogg.
That’s when the runway show part seemed to melt away altogether, leaving something more like a shoppable music video in its wake. Speaking of which, retail plans for the capsule collection include a one-day pop-up shop on Snoop Dogg’s birthday (Oct. 20), with the rest of the collection rolling out to the Joyrich website and flagship stores, including the Melrose Avenue boutique locally, and other stockists worldwide starting in December.
Wiz Khalifa with 424 and Pleasures
Wiz Khalifa’s Saturday evening event, which showcased the rapper and serial collaborator’s new partnership with L.A.-based brands 424 and Pleasures, pushed the fashion side of the equation further into the shadows — literally — thanks to the laser light show and swirling fog set that made it difficult to see the clothes in much detail.
The collection seemed to be, at least, partially inspired by Khalifa’s 2010 hit song “Black and Yellow,” consisting primarily of sunny yellow hooded sweatshirts (some cropped with sheared off hems) with “FOUR TWO FOUR” printed down each arm paired with either all-black trousers or black drawstring track pants with black-and-white checkerboard sidestripes and the name “Pleasures” printed on the front left of the thigh. (Although the high-profile placement of the two brand names added a NASCAR uniform vibe to the streetwear collection, it did help differentiate what each brand brought to the table.)
Orange was another prevalent color in the multi-brand collaboration, cropping up in orange cutoff shorts, orange workwear-inspired jackets with a swath of the aforementioned checkerboarding across the chest, camp shirts with allover prints of a house being consumed by orange flames (accompanied by the words “Army of me”), and an orange version of the checkerboard-sidestriped track pants. It was the last of those items that Khalifa wore when he took to the runway (or stage, depending on your point of view) for a high-energy performance with the Taylor Gang that, like the Joyrich/Snoop Dogg show, included the enthusiastic consumption of cannabis.
In collaboration with the body-scanning app CALA, some custom-fit pieces from the runway collection could be ordered on-site. In addition, some of the Pleasures pieces, including the checkerboard track pants ($100) and allover print camp shirts ($80), are currently available via online pre-order to ship by July 1. (It’s unclear, as of this writing, when the 424-branded items will drop.)