By Carmen Obied, Features Editor @Fashion Shift Magazine
LAFW STORY @lafw
Fresh trends and designers shift with the ebb and flow of each season – we’re struck by ‘Fashion Month’ and the beautiful madness that comes with it. It rolls on through New York, London, Milan, before reaching its Parisian finale. But fashion week fun does not end there. In the heart of Hollywood, it is just kicking off! When did Los Angeles start riding the fashion week wave? Fashion Shift Magazine had the chance to cover LA Fashion Week and scoop out some insights from their talented team.
The trailblazer behind LAFW’s debut is Arthur Chipman, executive producer of LAFW, who first revealed his plan to start LA Fashion Week while working as the Business Development Director in Canada for Vancouver Fashion Week. He shared his idea with the charming Kim Kremer, director of LAFW, who was working with Arthur out in Vancouver as the Fashion Director. As soon as she heard the plan, Kim knew it would be an interesting opportunity and jumped on-board. Subsequently, Arthur Chipman trademarked the name ‘LA Fashion Week’ in 2011, and the first event debuted in Los Angeles in October 2015 at Union Station with over 33 LA-based and international designers. When selecting designers to showcase, Arthur and Kim are first inspired by interesting concepts, elements and ideas that they haven’t seen before, “making sure that the designer is creating pieces that are excellent quality.” The LAFW squad is made up of a team of passionate, dedicated members and coordinators, including Kristin Longstreet and Landra Lee. Fashion Shift was first welcomed onto the LAFW scene through the lovely Kristin Longstreet, LAFW partner and CEO of Hotrollergirl Productions, who moved from northern California to LA, where she met Kim and they joined forces for LAFW. Kristin thrives during fashion week, where she coordinates contacts, teams, models and backstage schedules and prep. She expresses her favourite part about LAFW, “I like the people, the excitement!”; while Landra, LAFW talent manager, shared how their close-knit team all look out for each other like family. As a reflection, LAFW kindly welcomed Fashion Shift Magazine with open arms!
Daniela Bozza @danielabozza: Fashion Shift Magazine was invited to closely accompany Daniela Bozza, a warmhearted Chilean designer from Santiago, in her LAFW inaugurating journey stepping foot in LA, and the US, for the very first time. How did Daniela react to being chosen to showcase at LAFW? Daniela expresses that “estaba atendiendo mi llamado” (I was answering my call). LAFW discovered her and she answered, bringing no expectations with her and simply following her new unforeseen path with curious eyes, living in the moment. In rehearsals, an atmospheric sound track resounded in the hall, capturing my attention. Daniela commented that the music was composed by her friend Ricardo Luna, from the Chilean band Tunacola.
Photographers set up, with guests glamorously striding towards their seats, lights dimming, and the music gradually echoing throughout the room. On their cue, models hit the runway, one after another; moving silhouettes displaying an elegant feminine collection inspired by the 30s-50s with a strong modern edge. Backstage, Daniela revealed how her inspiration arose from her meditation, with the white and black contrasts in her garments symbolizing the balance between light and darkness.
Samsara Collections @samsara_collections: The launch of this season of LAFW kicked off with ‘No Body, No Mind’ show by Samsara Collections! I was honoured to model for this independent LA-based ethical designer label, the creative product of visionary Tarpley Brooks. More than just a runway, Samsara Collections transported the audience through a powerful story tangled with conflicting dystopian and self-discovery imagery of the body and mind, as “without either, we have no self – no story, no reality.” Through a mixed-media performance of fashion, music and theatre, Samsara Collections embodied “a reﬂection of the constant ﬂux of life and death”, in which we must seek to be a physical and mental light to ourselves.
Datari Austin @datariaustinlondon: London-designer Datari Austin made his return to LA Fashion Week season for the third time running in front of a cheering crowd, including actress Angela Basset. Datari Austin graced the runway with sharp and sleek silhouettes exuding a sultry yet sophisticated elegance, with gowns characterised by drapes, cutouts, and fringes full of movement.
Recreation @recreation_hq: Guests were struck by out-of-the-ordinary dynamic fun at the Recreation LA show orchestrated by the wonderful Andrea Vence, an artistic ethical designer from San Francisco who I also had the opportunity to model for! The show recreated a 60s Californian beach-town culture scene, with models wearing striking colourful patterns designed to suit both day or night, beach or bar – the Californian lifestyle. The interactive and synchronised performance had models building the entire set, as they rolled out grass turf, played golf in-between poses, kicked back to read a book, released balloons, blew bubbles, put makeup on and used walky-talkies. The action-packed show brought the whole collection to life!
Rinda Salmun @rindasalmun: Another highlight of SS17 included Indonesian designer Rinda Salmun’s debut show in the US. The styling, music, makeup and hair were in sync with the colour block collection that seamlessly balanced sporty and elegant. Kim Krem, LAFW director, added that “I love when a designer brings a very cohesive vision to the runway – I think it’s very impactful.”
Bezgraniz Couture @bezgraniz_couture: The LAFW finale starred inspiring models with disabilities for the innovative designer Bezgraniz Couture. The label focused on specialised functionality in its design and style, with everything created for a particular type of disability and nontraditional body type. It was great to witness the new shifts in fashion!
Thanks LAFW from the Fashion Shift Magazine team!
Photography: Steven Lopez, Travel Editor & Archaeologist @Fashion Shift Magazine