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Downtown Los Angeles Fashion Week recap - Louis Verdad, SKINGRAFT, Julia Y Renata, Emerging Designers and so much more..

By Joy A. Kennelly

Last night I attended five fashion events back-to-back: The Fashion Angels Emerging Designer Show hosted by the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, SKINGRAFT, a Meet & Greet with Julia Y Renata of Mexico City, and Louver by Louis Verdad. Whew! What a night!

Here's some pictorial highlights:

IMG_7877 Despite the rain Fashionistas came out in droves to Geffen Contemporary, MOCA.

First up was Femme Noir by Phong Hong

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Click on the link above for more details on the show since the blogger lists the actual program with more details. What's cool is that Phong Hong is her cousin!

Really beautiful clothing, this designer is extremely talented. Lots of ruffles, raw-edged silk, sheer lace chiffon, hand-twisted raw-edged roses all in muted vintage ivory, rose, and violet. 350ph_9131 
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Photo Credit Stefhan Gordon formal shots and Joy Kennelly from the floor
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Next up was
Fernanda Carneiro. She favored chartreuse, pink, and deep taupe which was soothing.


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  Photo Credit Stefhan Gordon

IMG_7935  We caught up with Fernanda during the break between shows. All the designers and their work were so unique. Perfect for spring!

The next designer duo, Krys and Jack, were much more rough and tumble showing separates out of wood, leather, keys, and metal which surprised and delighted all of us with their jagged-edge mini skirts, vests and tops.

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I enjoyed front row seats next to Nick Verreos of Project Runway who I had met in years past at previous shows. When asked what he thought about all the new venues and producers presenting fashion shows around Los Angeles, Nick said, "It's a good thing to have LA Fashion Week at various venues. We should utilize homes, locations, and galleries as many in fashion did in the 50's and 60's. " 

It creates a less commercial environment although we both agree sponsors are very important. He teased that people kept asking him when he was going to show next and he would ask, "Are you funding it?" Don't blame him. Very expensive proposition.

He concluded by saying, " Yes, it's cumbersome in terms of driving, but it's worth the trip."  I'm still trying to decide if he's right.:) We also enjoyed watching many of the young, young models work their first show. I met two excited mothers there to watch their daughters who were recently selected by Ford Models.

Here's two models who walked, Kristen Randol with her mom at the show during the break, and Nicole Edwards (her promo shot.) IMG_7932 Ford-zoey_model2  I also bumped into my friend, Hair Stylist, Carlos Ortiz, at the Louver by Louis Verdad. Carlos was the one who inspired me to follow fashion shows in the first place and it was great to see him again.

He disagreed with the idea of the variety of locations being an asset, but was very happy to be there and see the fashion industry thriving. My other stylist friends in fashion feel there's too many simultaneous shows and there's no cohesiveness to the scene. It will be curious to see how this season's LA Fashion Week works out. I think those who are producing shows are doing a great job from what I've seen.

When asked why he wasn't doing hair this season, Carlos told me, " It was either make money with Neiman Marcus or play. Money won out." In this economy - smart choice!:) We both adore Louis Verdad and it was fun to share the moment with him.

It was also fun to mingle in between shows --the people watching was incredible. Everything goes when you're in fashion. Here's some highlights from the evening:

My Facebook friends were part of this photographic shoot on display: Stylist, Alejandro Peraza, and Celebrity Manicurist, Nettie Davis. Kudos!

IMG_7934 Eye candy anyone? Some of the evening's sponsors and guests. IMG_7938

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Also in attendance that evening were Award-winning, Internationally published Photographer Lucinda Wedge and Fashion Stylist La Dauphine enjoying Jarritos beverages. 

Next up was SKINGRAFT. Their show started with an explosive, yet graceful modern dance foursome. 350-sg-d_9765 IMG_7955 IMG_7957 IMG_7963 IMG_7964 The intricate leather jackets were only the start of the exotic offerings and people audibly gasped when the next two models came down the runway (courtesy of Stefhan Gordon.) Sg feather Sg feather2 Sg dove Sg all Skingraft designers  IMG_7982 After the fashion show we enjoyed models posing during the break wearing Mexico City's Haute Couture Designer, Julia Y Renata's beautiful whimsical designs which "are worn by such personalities of music and cinema as Jessica Simpson, Winona Ryder, Eve, Ely Guerra and Alejandra Guzmán, in awards shows such as the
MTV Latin America Awards and the Latino Grammys, and in television programs such as MTV's “Fashionista.”
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Whats Wear Editorial Director/Fashion News Director, Joseph Ungoco, and I enjoyed the Lincoln Navigator lounge during the breaks too.


 He has the best job in the world traveling to fashion meccas all over the world to report what's hot now. When asked which city was his favorite for fashion Joseph immediately answered, New York. Fashion in Paris is it's own world, but New York among the rest of the fashion world.

I agree. But LA has some amazing designers too. Louis Verdad is a local favorite and here's some examples from his show which LA Times Fashion mavens caught. IMG_7996 IMG_7998 I loved the fact Louis chose to use African American models to showcase his beautiful ivory designs because in seasons past you could count African American models in other shows on one hand.

According to LA Fashion Week, his show was inspired by Michele Obama and numerous high profile sucessful African American females were also highlighted. IMG_7999 IMG_8000 IMG_7992 Backstage prior to the show starting.

IMG_8003IMG_8001  Stylist George Blodwell was in attendance as well. IMG_8004 IMG_8010
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IMG_8021 IMG_8022 IMG_8024 IMG_8033 And now some close-ups from my photographer, Stefhan Gordon.

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Verdad3 Verdad4 Verdad5 IMG_8040 Afterward, backstage he was interviewed prior to heading over to a private after-party. Louis Verdad was a huge hit! Love his work.

And that's a wrap. Hope you enjoyed the review. I sure enjoyed the evening!


Erica Sanae

hi! i stumbled across your blog via facebook- great coverage of la designers!

Lana Leazer

Hey Joy,

Thank you for writing this blog, your writing made me feel like I was right at the show. Great reviews, love Louis Verdad's idea of inspiration of the black woman, Makes me feel humble LOL!! BTW, really nice photo of you and Nick. I love him!!! I've ran into him at a couple of magazine events and he is hilarious, just a darling!! Wish I was there, but guess trying to make things happen in the OC!!!


Ara Gougher

Joy, Love it!! Thanks for the link. Who's the cute guy?lol!

Ara G.

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