Fashion Week in Los Angeles had an explosive start with Art Hearts Fashion bringing 30 of the most anticipated designers of the season under the same roof for the first time. Produced by Erik Rosete and Park Whitaker Productions, the four day event March 9-12, set the stage for designers from fashion icon Sue Wong, Project Ethos, Mister Triple X, Tumbler and Tipsy, Nicole Miller, Hale Bob, Li Jon, Boy London, Sanyae Demure, Hallie Sara, Pedram Couture and many others.
The event was elegant and theatrical in the high vaulted room of the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, with its gold ceiling and large chandeliers, adding just the proper touch of LA character as the standing room only throng of designers and celebrities watched the fashion roll out.
Sue Wong's Mythos and Godesses collections continues her trade mark elegance and feminine power themes with classic designs, intricate embroidery and theatrical head pieces. With each gown representing an archetypal feminine goddess. I've talked with Sue before, her dedication and generous donations to the environment on her home island of Maui, and her commitment to putting spiritual and mythical awareness into all of her creativity, sets her apart. She looks at each creation not just as a dress, but as a multi-dimensional, sculptural art piece in motion and as always made a bold new statement.
Project Ethos brought eight designers to the stage, including Nicole Miller, a designer with degrees from both sides of the pond, who uses her French heritage to create her irreverent style which has been worn by celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce. Her clever use of color and very wearable design makes casual clothes look elegant, and her gowns were sensual and classic.
Hale Bob creator Daniel Bohbot began his career in Paris and his style combines pop culture with the world of couture. His designs have been worn by Hollywood's celebrity clientele from Halle Berry, Heidi Klum and Eva Longria. His designs were sophisticated and confident. Daniel also gives back with his Liberty Garden clothing line, with a one-for-one charity, as for each item sold a potentially life saving medical treatement is delivered to someone in need. He has allowed the brand to positively touch 30,000 lives in just one year as the charity fights the needless deaths of millions of people who die each year from curable diseases.
And the clothes were stunning and supple. Mr. Triple X and its "All X in Wonderland" was a cool street savvy urban chic. Erik Rosete is a designer who's taken the punk look and made it accessible, with chains and straps as accessories. He keeps it sexy and dangerous whether his women are wearing short tight dresses in leather or silver patterns, or his men are dressed down to reveal all they have to offer.
New York based Hallie Sara, known for cutting edge custom creations, brought exquisite luxury to the runway with a glamorous 1950's glamor look that meets 2015 contemporary with high end leathers and furs, and bringing in capes, trousers, neck ties and hats that harkened back to 1950s glamor. No better place that the Los Angeles runway, as her models looked like they were walking out of a famous film yet to be made. The earth toned leather ensembles were a smart conservative chic that set her work apart from the rest of the designers; very powerful.
House of Lion had a sensual line made of all chain mail - and they were extraordinary designs, the models looked like Egyptian goddesses on the way to the dance club. The patterning and use of color were remarkable as well as how the real chain mail looked like flowing like silk on the runway.
Erin Whitaker and Sarah Whitaker, the producing team of the evening, kept an ethereal calm as they produced the event with almost two thousand guests rotating through the venue through the week as the models and designers displayed their work.
"Our strengths work together," says Erin. They were army brats, she tells me, "Dad was a doctor in the military for 20 years, so we grew up in five states and I went to four high schools." This is clearly why they can deftly meet and greet everyone with an open generosity of spirit. There are a lot of big personalities in fashion and they are clearly deft at being able to work together with anyone.
This season of Art Hearts Fashion marks a major evolution for this producing team, who were brought into Art Hearts by Erik Rosete, designer of Triple X, to work the events together. They just closed the Mercedes Benz fashion show in New York in February taking last night at Lincoln Center for that event's final bow and has since doubled the size of their LA show in just one year.
The event also included children's fashion with Colin Egglesfield's clothing line Shout Out Clothing, and Isabella Couture which featured 50 Cent's son Sire on the runway, and at 2 years old, he was showing he had his father's stage presence already.
The Whitaker sisters also believe in giving back and reached out to Make A Wish Foundation. They discovered they could answer more than one wish this year, and not just give a well deserving child the chance to attend a fashion show, but to give one little girl with leukemia the opportunity to walk the runway several times as a model in the children's fashion event.
Other designers who dazzled this week included Beso Moda, who has been delivering glamorous fashion statement for the past three years, and she showed her signature sensual look, this year going with all organic fabrics. Actress Dustin Quick was wearing the last dress of her show and walked out in a stunning red sheer gown that seemed to defy gravity and was revealing in all the right places.
There were many more designers, MNM Couture showed it continues to be be a top contender for women's formal, evening prom and red carpet garments, Pedram Couture brought in breathtaking crisp colors for the floor length dresses and body suits, Sanyae Demure presented a stunning line that was sophisticated and sexy combining floor length hemlines with high slits, and long sleeve bodices with plunging necklines.
Art Hearts sponsors for the event included AIDS healthcare foundation, as well as Stop-Attack, which were important supporters for the evening.
NY and Paris are the fashion iconic spots, but Los Angeles revels in taking risks, breaking rules and taking chances. That's where the upstarts and superstars of tomorrow often find their place alongside the veterans and established trailblazers.
Art Hearts can take a red carpet bow for their passion and commitment to excellence becoming the go to event of the LA Fashion scene.
Art Hearts Fashion now have a boutique on Hollywood Boulevard where you can go to see a Sue Wong creation, or Padram Couture dress, or something more down to earth to walk the city in.
for more information: http://www.artheartsfashion.com/
Photo credit: Troy Tackett, Alcazark Photography and Philip Morton