Get ready for Open Runway -- fashion’s answer to open mic night

At left, a look from ISM Mode at the inaugural run of shows organized by the Los Angeles Fashion Council in October 2012. At right, a model hits the runway at Couture Los Angeles, a fashion-themed Hollywood nightclub, in a November 2012 file photo. The Los Angeles Fashion Council and Couture Los Angeles are partnering for a fashion designer version of an open mic night.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times and Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Local fashion scene booster Los Angeles Fashion Council has joined forces with fashion-themed Hollywood nightclub Couture Los Angeles to create a showcase and competition for emerging designers in a format loosely based on the open mic nights found on the comedy club circuit.

According to the fashion council’s Kelsi Smith (whose tireless efforts on behalf of the city’s style scene continue to amaze us), the program is intended for “brand-new and barely emerging designers.” To that end, the only requirements are that designers must not have been in the business for longer than a year and must be located in the Los Angeles area.


Once a month (currently slated for June 22, July 27 and Aug. 31) a group of up to five “pre-emerging” designers will participate in a single and open-to-the-public runway show at the Couture venue. After each show, a single look from each participating designer’s six- to 12-look collection will be posted to the fashion council’s Facebook page, where it can be voted on.

Winners from each of the three monthly showcase votes will participate in a final show on Sept. 28, when a panel of judges will pick a single winner who will receive a complimentary spot in the fashion council’s run of shows for the spring 2014 collections.

Additional details about the program, as well as designer application forms, can be found at

To us it seems like a clever idea and a no-nonsense approach that should probably work.

Our only suggestion?

Make sure there’s enough hassle-free parking.


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