Fashion Week is especially fun when you’re single in Los Angeles and venturing out on your own for Singular magazine.
Vibiana, a former Catholic cathedral, now turned event venue, was the setting for one of many LA Fashion Week events, this one taking place on October 18, 2012 and featuring designers Bri Seeley, JHaus, Kait Blu and Patuna Bushyhead showcasing their Spring 2013 lines in a setting of baroque columns and ornate arched ceilings — a perfect space to contrast these four contemporary designers.
Being single in Los Angeles and a newbie to LA Fashion Week (attending only one show prior in NYC) I decided to fly solo to absorb all the details that can be missed in the distraction of good company. Arriving early, I couldn’t help wonder what it’s like to walk on the red carpet that led to an open courtyard with white leather couches, palm trees and a new white Ferrari. The scene was classic L.A.!
Inside, the area once used for confessionals was now lined with vendors displaying their merchandise, hoping to catch the eye of the fashion buyers who would soon arrive to see the show. Meanwhile, I had an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a young shoe designer from Seattle, Lina Zeineddine. The popularity of her recently launched shoe business landed her a coveted invitation to L.A. Fashion Week and now her designs were on the feet of the models wearing Bri Seeley’s designs in the show.
An official announcement gave us permission to enter the main hall where the late afternoon light flooded in from the grand windows that reached toward the 45-foot arched ceiling. The runway originated from a set of partitions, shrouded in white curtains, once the site for Sunday sermons, and extended down the center aisle toward the foyer. Where the runway stopped, photographers planted their equipment in anticipation of the surge of models making the long walk dressed in this spring’s newest trends.
A dapper MC, wearing a black fedora, introduced the four collections. You could feel the energy buzzing in the room as the models sashayed down the runway, dazzling buyers, media reps and self-proclaimed fashionistas. As they reached the end, countless cameras flashed with their every turn and pose.
First up, Bri Seeley. Her models paraded down the runway in a mix of high-waisted skirts and billowy blouses making use of beige, white and turquoise — some solid prints, others in stripes, a select few in a floral pattern. The second portion of her collection focused on sheer, feminine dresses in the same color palette. The designs embodied femininity inspired by nature.
Second to grace the stage, JHaus, “an authentic brand with genuine appeal” launched by designer JLynn Hausmann. The Nebraska native finds inspiration from her roots amidst corn fields and cattle on her family farm. Utilizing all the details of rural life (bolts, burlap and barbwire) to manifest her creations, she brings to life an accessible line of jeans, dresses and tops made of premium denim. Her presentation began with a model, adorned in electric blue skinny jeans and a black denim bustier, dancing along the runway playing electric violin.
The JHaus finale consisted of a second performance by the electric violinist accompanied by two male dancers in faded jeans and black tees moving in sync to a rendition of David Guetta’s “Titanium.” The audience gasped at the first musical number but reveled in the second, joining in with the chorus.
The third designer, Kait Blu, brought to life an array of 1950s inspired skirts and dresses in white and camel with embellishments and accessories in bright pink colors and florals. The style represented a clean, simple look for the modern day professional woman nostalgic for the Mad Men era but with a twist. The eye candy for her line, were a pair of sparkly pumps: camel suede with a heel and platform covered in pink crystals.
Last on stage, Patuna Bushyhead, a native of the Republic of Georgia. Her background is unique as are her gowns. Her luxury fabrics draped and wrapped every which way exposing shoulders, arms, legs, necklines and backs creating a flowing and feminine yet risqué silhouette. Most prominent in her collection were the over-sized rhinestone clasps and belts — a focal point for each gown.
The experience left me breathless. I stopped to watch the models pose for the last session of photos. The scene left a lasting impression in my mind of how the excitement and energy of a fashion show slowly dissolves.
As fashion fantasies danced in my head, I proceeded to walk the five long blocks, New York style, to the after-party at Artisan House. I arrived early. Nothing to do but wait, I slipped into an empty spot at the bar and watched the waiters hustle to finish the table settings.
As the guests arrived and took their seats at the long communal table along the window reserved for the JHaus after-party, I lingered to observe them. A mix of family, friends and associates, who meshed well together and brought a sense of energy and cheer.
Invited to join their party, I was warmly welcomed by her parents and introduced to several guests. They were interesting, polite, and exuded a Midwestern manner. In speaking with JLynn at length I discovered her grassroots not only influenced her fashions, but her character as well. She shared her first experience of LA Fashion week:
“We were really excited at JHaus to be a part of fashion week in LA. Being in business for less than a year, it was really exciting to conquer this goal so fast. I felt great being able to share such a great accomplishment with family and friends.”
As the party ran into the night, I relished my part in this fashion journey. There’s nothing quite as daunting, but also as rewarding as being single in Los Angeles and going out on your own. It’s really the best way to meet interesting characters, some rising stars of style, some celebrity types and others like me, spectators of the wild, strange, ever-changing world of fashion.
Copyright © Nadia Dulyn/2012 Singular Communications, LLC.