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HODA MEISAMY

'I've Never Been Afraid of Beginning Things'

March 19, 1998|CONNIE KOENENN

Hoda Meisamy's free-floating dress is constructed with a single seam from silk inspired by a Japanese technique of creating cones on fabric. "The whole idea of the ensemble is organic and letting nature come together with technology," says Meisamy, 38.

Now an American citizen, Iranian-born Meisamy and her architect husband, Mehrdad Yazdani, chose Los Angeles to live and work in "because it has an experimental mode."

She came from a family of doctors and educators, but failed to get into medical school and went into fashion "like a bullet," she recalls with exuberance. "Even as a child, I had cut up my mom's shoes to make into sandals and made jewelry out of car parts. My parents encouraged it."

After completing work at the Fashion Institute of Design and manufacturing her own Hoda line for 10 years, she "backed off to find my own voice." She began focusing on experimental couture designs that are "simple but not simplistic."

She moved her operation from the Garment District to West Hollywood and began making unique pieces, getting the attention of the film industry and joining the Costumers Guild. "I got really interested in experimental textures such as a mix of metals and cotton, which looks like water from far away. I began to create different colors through textures which reflect light in different ways."

Seemingly tireless, Meisamy recently completed an MBA in international marketing and chairs the fashion department at Woodbury University in Burbank. She finds Los Angeles fascinating but frustrating for designers because "we have always been a stepchild to New York."

Her goal by 2000 is to show on the runways of Paris or Tokyo. "But I will do it from Los Angeles," she says positively. "I've never been afraid of beginning things."

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