New York Fashion Week was last week. It’s the one week we in Los Angeles cannot touch or even begin to rival. The most glamorous thing we have in comparison are all of the Hollywood awards ceremonies, which are not the same as a fashion week. NYFW is so lauded that many Los Angeles designers switch coasts to share work once they have big enough britches. Good for them! They should compete with the best and come back and share their stories with us in Los Angeles. To see how where they live influences, we took at a handful of LA NYFW designers and examined what they did, what it says about Spring 2013 Ready To Wear, and what similarities–if any–exist across these LA brands.
The Mulleavys went with very structured looks for Spring in lots of jeweled earth tones. There is a big emphasis on legs (even the long gowns were slit up the middle) and shoulders/the collar area. They evoke a spirit of futuristic gladiators by way of eighties oversizing, which sounds bad but doesn’t look bad at all. The line is almost their abstract take on Prada’s fabulous Spring 2012 RTW collection (and even their Spring 2011 RTW). They take a step away from direct fine art inspiration in this collection, too.
Scott is on a roll and is looking to be doing really well with his editing lately. Instead of big ideas for the sake of big ideas, he’s scaling back on the absurd and embracing street wear opulence versus bedazzled street wear. His spring is all black and gold with some citrus tones added in, tossed together with baseball apparel and Middle Eastern culture. This may be his best, most consistent work yet.
Lhillier is known for her gowns and approach to dresses. Her work for next Spring is very tailored and trim versus her previously robust evening wear (a la Oscar de la Renta’s gowns). She is taking inspiration from the ocean and setting sun as she uses lots and lots of deep, bright shades of blue and green that she compliments with burgundy, peach, black, and white. Her patterns and construction further this idea with wavey, flowing pieces that look like the curls of the ocean under moving clouds.
Juan went very formal with his Spring and almost looks to have zoomed in on Monique Lhuillier’s ocean view. His ensembles are shades of black and white with emeralds and cobalts to cut them up. The pieces do not stray far from these confines either. Spring for Juan is made to look delicate, ironic as he uses aggressive patterns.
This newcomer had the most fun with Spring: the palette is light and full of peaches, purples, sherbets, and sky blues, which are placed into witty patterns. There’s a clothes with a literal beach scene, some marijuana leaves, a desert highway, and many tiled florals. Clover was the most informal of the LA designers, leaning to casual-but-tailored mid-thigh pattern dresses and short suits to very loose, draped tops and dresses.
Scott Sternberg also got the sea-and-sky memo for Spring 2013 but appears to have taken inspiration from a cliff top in Malibu instead of Santa Monica shores. The collection starts with army greens and creams moving into various indigo plays and finishing on cloud inspired dresses. There’s an element of Neil Krug bohemia in how Sternberg made these pieces so flowy and–at points–primitive. It’s a little surprising for a BOO collection but it still represents preppy, albeit relaxed prep.
Parkinson always lands somewhere in between babydolls and old ladies. Spring for him is layered lacey pastel dresses from below-the-knee to ankle. There is a literal feeling of the Spring season that you see in his use of flowered materials, too. His woman in this collection is a nymph–maybe even Tinkerbell–who is posing as a Los Angeles girl.
Overall? Lots of similarities, mainly in colors picked. Scanning through the photos above you see cobalt and rich greens bind them all. Los Angeles designers played a lot with sea and sky, even if that was not directly their intention. Examining more designers (lots of New York ones, that is), they do stand out in this regard but they also are generally “on trend” (lots of lace, curves, and “jewels” were common). Super formalities of Lhillier and Obando aside, there is a looseness, a casualness to the Los Angeles silhouette, a mark that is both embraced and shunned as an “LA design trait.” If there is one thing to be said about all of these collections, they are incredibly creative: Rodarte and Scott never fail to take things over the top, Lhillier and Obando almost worked hand in hand in new gowning, and Clover, BOO, and Parkinson twisted some norms up in trends, squeezing them out to tell NYFW, “Top that.”
What do you see in these LA in NYFW collections? Are there any Los Angeles designers who showed in NYFW that you think fit in with these? Any other locally work designers doing similar things? Let us know in the comments!