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Fashion Parties in Style

As Fashion Week wraps up, soirees pop up all over the City of Angels--from ahistoric home to an intimate garden to a rooftop overlooking the downtown skyline.


In L.A., fashion shows are just another excuse to party. Before Fashion Week wrapped up here Wednesday, designers mixed runway shows with cocktails and DJ music, concocting a swirl of soirees at unique venues.

Nearly 400 guests surveyed the designs of John Cherpas and Kellie Delkeskamp at the California Modernist Schindler House built in 1922. The location's history highlighted the design duo's own aesthetic. "Schindler's whole idea was to bring artists together. Our idea was to bring our artists together, too," said Cherpas, whose friends assisted with the catering, planning and decorating with Emerson Troop furniture. Guests included musicians, painters and a large number of fellow Los Angeles fashion designers, most of whom Cherpas and Delkeskamp greeted with warm embraces.

Perhaps the most elegant affair was Michelle Mason's party and show at Union Station. Computer monitors spaced along the elevated runway behind ticket booths simulcast the show, giving those in the audience a closer look at the Victorian-inspired garments, and creating an interesting juxtaposition of old and new.

The mood at Magda Berliner's intimate gathering for 33 editors and stylists in the garden of the Sunset Marquis Hotel felt more like a wedding than a fashion show. There was even champagne, served with French fries "because who doesn't love French fries?" asked Berliner, dressed in Wrangler jeans and a cream-colored shell, with a wool scarf draped around her neck. "It's just a great, simple snack."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Monday November 13, 2000 Home Edition Southern California Living Part E Page 3 View Desk 1 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong title--In a photo caption with Friday's story "Fashion Parties in Style," Karen Mamont was misidentified. She is executive marketing director of CaliforniaMart.

Speaking of snacks--Grant Krajecki's runway show of his Grey Ant line in Echo Park was billed as a tea party. But, as it turned out, there was no tea and the cakes were actually doughnuts (and not even Krispy Kremes at that).

Even CaliforniaMart, the showroom center of L.A.'s fashion and apparel business, hosted an unconventional event with L.A.-based street-wear label Private Circle on the roof of the Los Angeles Athletic Club. In the shadow of the downtown skyline, guests sat on cardboard furniture from the offbeat design firm SuperHappyBunny and danced past 2 a.m. to music from, among others, a Goth/rockabilly band called the Graveyard Farmers.

Hollywood lights were the backdrop for Estevan Ramos' party at the club, 360, located atop a building at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. After the runway show, hipsters were having so much fun sipping Cosmopolitans and soaking in the view, they could have stayed all night, but another party had rented the club from 10 p.m. on.

Designers surely dreamed their front rows would be full of celebrities, but in most cases, they had to settle for celebrity stylists--the folks who clothe the red-carpet set. Of course, there were exceptions. Actor Jerry Stahl ("Permanent Midnight"), boyfriend of designer Monah Li, emceed the Coalition of Fashion Designers show at the Laboratory, an art gallery/performance space on Spring Street downtown. (Not for the faint of heart, Stahl used a string of obscenities to quiet the audience before the show, which featured seven labels, could begin.)

Actress-turned-fashion-designer Justine Bateman, who attended nearly all of the week's events, said her favorite was Gen Art's "Fresh Faces in Fashion" show for up-and-coming talent at the Shrine Expo. She said, "They had break-dancers coming down the runway. . . . It was kind of a blast!"


Times staff writers Michael Quintanilla and Valli Herman-Cohen contributed to this report.

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