Last week was Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Spring 2008 here in Los Angeles. The event held @ Smashbox Studios hosted over 30 designers. But my question is; where were the stars? I'm not complaining. Well sorta... I mean as "Celebrity Stylist" Marcellas Reynolds I got to sit either 1st or second row @ every show. I love it. But if a d-list, ex-reality star (albeit constant TV presence on E! and Style Network) is getting front row, where are say Sharon Stone, Eva Longoria, and the crew I like to refer to as the "Marc-ettes" (Winona Ryder, Sofia Coppola, Kirsten Dunst, and Maggie Gyllenhaal)? Where are the real celebs in a city where I see Eva Mendes @ my gym and Julia Roberts @ Bristol Farms?
My take on this dearth of stars @ L.A. Fashion Week is there are no super-star designers showing here. This year we had Nicky Hilton, whose show was dreadful and Heatherette, fun guys but calling them designers is a stretch. Let's call them stylists. If the producers of Fashion Week want to draw Hollywood to the the front row of the tents and out of their lounges by the pool they really need to up the star power of the designers.
Why not get Tom Ford out here to show his menswear collection? Can you imagine Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Kanye West in the front row @ that show? And how about Michael Kors showing? I'm sure Heidi Klum, Tom Hanks, his wife Rita Wilson and Debra Messing would show for Michael. When he comes out here for a trunk show all those girls come out to kiss the ring of one of fashion's greats. And how about BCBG/Max Azria, Diane Von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs showing out here? They all have flagship stores on Melrose, which is becoming one of the great shopping districts in the world.
Okay enough about what would be a dream, let's talk reality; the shows. Randolph Duke was gorgeous; the choice of models, the stacking of models @ the beginning of the runway to start and end the show and most importantly the gowns. I loved the colors, fabrics and his theme choice (foliage). Randolph went beautifully green. I wanted to see more. We know Randolph does beauty and gowns as good as anyone and better than most so let's see him break out of his comfort zone.
Speaking of which (breaking out of a comfort zone) let's talk about Kevan Hall. Kevan presented a show entitled Africa: A Safari. The show began with dancers from the Debbie Allen School performing an African dance. Cute. But we came for fashion and Kevan didn't disappoint. A little Maasai can go a long, long way but Kevan showed wonderful restraint. His evening gowns were lovely. He also showed that you don't have to be a woman of color to wear African inspired clothing. His cocktail dresses were stunning. Rich colors from the African sunset and beautiful beading adorned dresses that caressed each model to perfection. Kevan proved above all else he's a master tailor. And talk about getting out of one's comfort zone, if you looked very closely there were touches of deconstruction. When the show ended I wanted it to start again.
Kevan's shows always bring out kinda celebs. He had Nia Long, from the ABC show, Big Shots, and Jennifer Beals from The L Word, who still looks friggin amazing. I go to Kevan's show every year and he always manages to resurrect the dead. You always see people @ Kevan Hall and go, "I thought she/was dead?" In attendance this time Levar Burton, Rebecca DeMornay and Shari Belafonte. Now before anyone gets outraged I'm not saying I wish they were dead. I'm just saying I haven't seen them in a long time. And I was pleasantly surprised to see said people. Alive and kicking.
Let me wrap this up; Christian Audigier is a friend and a great denim designer. Why do a show? Tees with studs and rhinestones aren't anything new.
Coco Johnsen showed her first ever complete line. The dresses were lovely. There were gorgeous full length gowns, a section of very French little cocktail dresses and the sexiest swimsuits of the week. Her swim wear isn't meant to swim in. This stuff is made for lounging by the pool while reading Daily Variety and flirting with that movie producer and the really cute cabana boy. The models, make-up and hair get my vote for best @ fashion week.
Heatherette was a mess. Jenna Jameson opened. She had her lips done for the occasion and went too far. They were bigger than mine. And I'm Black! Add to that Kim Kardashian and Brittny Gastineau and all you get is shock fashion and stunt casting. Fashion should be about the clothes. Period. I will say this; the male models were hot. And underneath the costumes you could tell the girls were too. Okay this collection had ideas but you had to work to hard to find them.
Monarchy was hot. Hot guys in pants that were a lil too tight. The show had a preppy edge I adored. I'm am however over "multi-media clothes." You know what I mean; add a decal, stencil a word or phrase over that and then sew on a patch and voile, you've got an "edgy" blazer. Hey Monarchy, that's over. You can find that anywhere. I took a big boatload of that to Crossroads 2 seasons ago and they said no. I didn't even bother to put it back in my closet. I dropped it off @ Goodwill.
And that's how I saw it.