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An L.A. Spring

Local designers ignore New York's ideas and go their way.

October 05, 2000

It wasn't New York, but that's exactly the point. When it comes to fashion, California designers proved on the runway Tuesday at CaliforniaMart that they have designs of their own. They could not care less about all those shirtdresses, trench coats and culottes shown last month on New York runways during that city's spring 2001 Fashion Week.

In L.A., it's this way: youthful chic looks--a recipe that begins with a pinch of tight and sexy, a smidgen of casual and sporty and, when the occasion calls for it, a dash of glitter and glam.

The fast-paced hourlong show offered 180 looks from 110 designers, most of them L.A.-based. Participants included Hot Kiss, Single and Del Rosario, William B., Trina Turk, BCBG by Max Azria, Bianca Nero, Josephine Loka, Sue Wong, Cynthia Vincent of St. Vincent, Laundry by Shelli Segal and Lyndia Procanik. Most of the lines are available in department and specialty stores, generally in departments that cater to youthful customers.

The show was hosted by the L.A.-based retail consulting firm Directives West, which advises its 70 retail clients about fashion trends.

Among the looks? The '80s revisited--sparkly looks on jackets, trousers and dresses, and accessories in gold. Midriff-baring silhouettes will return. Geometric patterns, floral and scarf prints--on halter dresses and sleeveless tops--will be popular. Denim continues its strong hold on jackets, coats, skirts and jumpsuits.

Alla Berman, 35, and Galina Sobolev, 37, designers and co-owners of Single, presented a collection that included beautiful suede trousers with delicate lace overlays. Their sexy scarf halters were standouts, as was a denim and leather jacket and jeans ensemble also worn with a scarf halter.

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Berman and Sobolev, both born in Russia and girlfriends since they were teenagers in New York, have been business partners for three years. Sobolev said after the show, "I love designing for the L.A. woman because she's not afraid of being trendy."

Filipino-born designer Alan Del Rosario's spring collection includes stunning red and gold embroidered gowns, a black and white lace-up gown made of leather and tattered cotton and a unique black and white ball gown featuring calligraphy.

Del Rosario, who has a civil engineering degree from the Philippines and studied at Los Angeles' Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, said his collection is for a sexy, intelligent woman. And obviously, he added, "she's from L.A."

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