Ready, Set: A Pre-Bash for L.A.’s Freshest Faces

Debate the merits of L.A. Fashion Week all you want (and there is much to thrash out about it). At least the Gen Art Fresh Faces showcase remains consistent in its offerings and production season after season, presenting young designers who not only have something to offer a congested marketplace but also have something of a business. This is why I always make the effort to participate in its nomination process and support the event, which is celebrating its 10 years here in Los Angeles.
It’s also why I ventured to the other side of planet L.A. to the W Hotel in Westwood last Thursday to meet the designers behind the six women’s wear, two menswear and four accessories brands featured in this next Fresh Faces installment. The big night happens this Friday, Oct. 12 at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire. (Anyone can go, for the price of admission. Gen Art's a nonprofit, so support new talent.)
Call it the Rodarte factor, or even take it a couple steps back to the foundation laid by this city’s designer realm by predecessors Rick Owens, Michelle Mason and Magda Berliner, but many of the designers I talked to at the mixer invoked romantic conceits of Victoriana edge, vintage deconstructed and an everyday elegance in describing their clothes. They all stress quality and many even reveal a sophistication in their execution—not bad considering most claim only a couple of seasons under their skinny belts.
On this Friday’s runway, I’m particularly eager to check out the sharply cut, dark menswear of Endovanera; the easy, chic knits of Marlova, the refurbished antique jewelry of Mannin, and the waggish headwear milliner Anita Hopkins concocts. Actually, am keen to see what all of this class manages when given a proper stage, including women’s designers CW Christian Weber, Dorothy Lee, Marlova, Rhys Dwfen, Suh-Than, Wren; men’s collection Orthodox; and accessories designers Cerre, Mannin and Shane by Brooks Salzwedel.
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