Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

A splash of Fashion

Cultural Cocktail Hour caught up with Harper’s Bazaar’s Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey this weekend.This image from her latest book evokes touches of Caillebotte. It depicts Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz floating on Central Park Lake. Elbaz dashed from the lake to attend the 2005 CFDA awards. Bailey revealed that at the ceremony, she “heard a squalching sound” behind her: Elbaz’s sopping footwear. He had just won best international designer. As he walked on stage, no doubt the audience realized that they could not walk a hundred miles in his shoes.

When asked about her favorite artistic haunts in LA, Bailey replied without missing a beat that she enjoys visiting artist Hutton Wilkinson because of the Tony Duquette estate (Dawnridge). “It is a jewel of LA,” declared Bailey.

Photograph© 2011 Harper’s Bazaar’s Greatest Hits by Glenda Bailey. Photographed by Ben Watts. Styled by Jacqui Getty.


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The Magical World of Peter Lai 

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Stepping into the shop of San Marino designer Peter Lai is a step into a magical world. The visitor slips into a realm of Venetian masks, Chinese costumes imbued with symbolism from the Qing Dynasty, and contemporary Californian designs. A Hong Kong native, Mr. Lai was born into a family of costume designers for Hong Kong’s opera, television, and film industry.

Mr. Lai’s shop has been a fixture on Mission Street in San Marino for decades, and his exquisitely detailed gowns add glamour to museum galas and social events like the Save Venice ball.

Left: Design by Peter Lai.

Right: Rose Detail, Peter Lai designs

In 2004, Mr. Lai won the Golden Needle designer award in a competition whose industry judges included Mr. Blackwell, creator of the infamous Best and Worst Dressed list.Mr. Lai’s creative and richly-crafted designs fuse cultures.

For instance, he uses Venetian masks as a base and infuses them with Asian-inspired motifs. Mr. Lai himself takes part in the theatrically mysterious, donning his own costumes, mask included, at dinner parties.

Photo: Mask by Peter Lai

Photo Left: Designer Peter Lai next to his own design.

’Bob Mackie didn’t recognize me’, Lai revealed, “’he asked, ‘Who are you?’” Ever full of surprises, Mr. Lai has also been a student of Kabuki for the past ten years and performed the Japanese art form in full costume this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.

This Thursday, September 8th, the Pacific Asia Museum will be hosting a fashion event with Peter Lai from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of the Festival of the Autumn Moon. For more information, please visit:


Peter Lai. 2571 Mission St. San Marino, 91108. (626) 799-4645

From left: Vest by Peter Lai

Right: Detail from Vest

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Monday March 14

8:00-10:00 PM

Doors open at 7:00 PM

Skirball Cultural Center 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90049

Fashion Show and Art Gallery

Proceeds benefit the Downtown Women’s Center, a project of ServeLA.


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March 4–June 5, 2011

MOCA Pacific Design Center

Are you hankering for more Black Swan?
MOCA will hold the first West Coast solo exhibition of American designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte.
The exhibit will features pieces from runway collections as well as original ballet costumes for Black Swan.

With the Oscars on the horizon, explore costumes from the Academy-Award nominated film at the Pacific Design Center.

Better yet try the Buddy System
and bring a friend in tow—
just in case
pops out of a mirror-

MOCA PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER. 8687 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90069


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by Leticia Marie Sanchez

All Photography © 2010 Leticia M. Sanchez

March 24, 2010—

As a Catholic, I was unsure of what to expect inside the former St. Vibiana’s Cathedral in downtown LA. Hope in the City III, produced by Mosaic, not only exuded creativity, but also demonstrated a spiritual commitment to the global and local community. The proceeds from the fashion show and art auction went to several noteworthy charities, including Serve LA and Beyond Us; the scope of the latter extends from Haiti, Sudan, South India, and beyond.

The innovative designs on the runway included the experimental “Wear Your Story”  in which designers fashioned 85% of their garment from an LA Weekly. Models also donned head pieces by Salvatore Salamone, inspired by leaves; spring time has indeed sprung in Los Angeles, a city of constant innovation.

Photography Montage below:

Vibiana’s interior and courtyard, pre-show dancers, “Wear Your Story” runway presentation, art auction including painting by Melissa L. Parham, head pieces by Salvatore Salamone

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The Spirit of Ethos at LA Fashion Week

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Photography © Leticia M. Sanchez

March 19-  At the Music Box in Hollywood,  Project Ethos held an evening of emerging artists in music, fashion, and art. The Greek root “Ethos” can refer to “the spirit of a people” and the red carpet event lived up to its lively name.  Ethos featured the collections of ten designers, including two from “Project Runway,” Season Six contestant Gordana Gehlhausen and Season Seven contestant Jesus Estrada.  The art gallery on the rooftop, overlooking the new W hotel, proved the most welcome surprise on a warm Los Angeles evening.

Artist Erin Hammond showcased a collection of portraits of women. Hammond revealed  that Gustav Klimt inspired her. One could see the link between both artists’ vibrant expressionism.

Left: Painting by Erin Hammond

Right: Adele Bloch-Bauer II: Klimt

On display at Project Ethos was another work by Hammond, revealing a woman’s split soul, two sides of the same coin. The woman’s strong direct gaze suggests a pragmatic nature coupled with the dreamy, fantasy-like motif at the painting’s bottom half. The painting can be read to represent the dichotomy between the Id and the Ego or even the Conscious and Sub-Conscious. Hammond explained that she actually commenced with the bottom half of the painting, before turning it over and realizing its multi-faceted possibility.

Left: Painting by Erin Hammond

Most striking in its originality was Arnold Randall’s “Casual Tee of War” comprised of bullets, bullet shells, spray paint, and oil on wood. Guests gathered around Randall’s work, unbelieving that the golden, Giotto-like-effect was in fact, composed of ammunition. In his website, Randall verbalizes his subject’s inner thoughts, “We are the untold, the forgotten, our relevance is weaker than the cause yet we are stronger than any bomb…casualties of war.” Though his work, Randall achieves the highest purpose of art: giving a voice to the voiceless.


Above: Mixed Media by Arnold Randall

After the art exposition, live performances by Bruno Mars and Love Grenades took place inside the Music Box theater, where unusual paintings lined the walls.

Left: Wall Painting, Music Box, Hollywood

The paintings conveyed the mood of creatures in Dante’s inferno.

The final component of the evening consisted of runway shows of ten designers.

The most noteworthy for consistency in style were Love Child, which expressed a 1960’s aesthetic and Haus of Estrada, whose Fall 2010 line conveyed an edgy Gothic theme.

All of the emerging artists proved that the ethos of self-expression is alive and well in the City of Angels.

Left: “Love Child” by Rachael Feigelson

Below: Haus of Estrada by Jesus Estrada

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Leitmotifs and Painting with Light; Fashion: Refocus at BOXeight Studios

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

All Fashion Photography:

© 2010 Leticia M. Sanchez

March 20— BOXeight Studios showcased Fall and Winter 2010 Collections from a unique vantage point: a behind-the-scenes look at fashion photography. Guests were voyeurs to the inner sanctum of a photo shoot. The models’ make up stations sat on an open stage, and one could observe as the designers placed finishing touches on their creations.

Fashion and photography are sister arts. They both open the door for non-verbal communication. Photography, from the Greek root “Writing with Light” allows one to express the proverbial thousand words in one instant. Whereas fashion was once documented through flat graphic illustration. the advent of modern photography captured the movement of clothes in vibrant dimension.

Similar to photography, fashion serves as non-verbal language. A simple article of clothing can connote religious, political, or social identity. One need only to look at the charged meaning behind the choice of an orange or green garment in Northern Ireland to witness its communicative power.

Both fashion and photography not only portray scenes, they also reveal truths about ourselves and the choices we make.

BOXeight’s presentation successfully depicted the interplay between fashion and photography by presenting the rawness of the process, vivid and playful, before it becomes a finished product. Three designers in particular stood out for their artistic expression: Eduardo Lucero, Lloyd Klein, and Michael Costello.

Design by Eduardo Lucero

Eduardo Lucero‘s last name translates into “bright star” and his designs befit a shining star. In fact, Hollywood starlets favor his designs which accent a woman’s curves.

His model appeared like a golden star from Mount Olympus, more Artemis than Aphrodite, ready to conquer the world. What is fashion if not our own body armor similar to the one worn by the knights of yore?

Designer Lloyd Klein, trained in architecture, once held the distinguished post of Head Designer for the legendary French Fashion House, Maison Madame Grès. The impact of this influential designer can be seen in Klein’s work, in the intricate draping and cut of Klein’s fluid gowns. His work also conjures another legendary designer, Madeleine Vionnet who draped her evening dresses like Greek statues.

Left: Lloyd Klein dress, Box Eight Studios.

Above Right: Gown by Madame Grès

Above: Dress by Designer Lloyd Klein, Box Eight Studios.

March 20, 2010

The designs of Michael Costello, with their intricate embellishment and texture embody Haute Couture.

At age 14, Costello showcased his first couture collection garnering him attention in a piece by Vogue entitled “Los Angeles’ Hidden Talent.” At the age of 15 he opened his first boutique in Palm Springs.

Dress by Michael Costello, Box Eight Studios.

Costello started designing at age 4, the same age as a certain 18th century musical prodigy. The designs in Costello’s Fall 2010 are evocative of 18th century court with its attention to detail and artistry.

One could almost imagine Marie Antoinette, the Princesse De Lamballe, and other aristocrats of the court dressed in Costello’s sumptuous gowns as they nibbled on gateaux.

BOXeight’s presentations showcased the artistry of Los Angeles designers making a statement as harbingers of good taste.

All captured by the every-watchful camera lens.

Design by Michael Costello, Box Eight Studios.

Dress below by: Michael Costello

Box Eight Studios.

March 20, 1010

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