Over the years, we've noticed that fashion weeks are a lot like high school -- with cliques and hierarchies, where seemingly insignificant things (like where you sit) take on exaggerated importance. Because L.A.'s latest efforts to pull together a cohesive, organized week have turned into a fashion "month," rather than survey the mosaic of events, we're focusing on the star students instead: the assorted designers (established as well as the up-and-comers), retailers, muses and shutterbugs who reflect the true DNA of the City of Angels. Call it the Class of Spring-Summer 2010 -- because that's when you're likely to see the results of their efforts in stores. Meet them on pages P4 and P5.
Prom king and queen
Cameron Silver, 40, isn't just the owner of Decades vintage boutiques in Los Angeles and London, he's a tastemaker, champion of designers -- Juan Carlos Obando is the latest in his sights -- and brand ambassador. When Silver's not roaming the world snapping up vintage finds from auctions and private collections for his A-list clientele, he's often serving as creative consultant for labels (current clients are confidential, but he's worked with Azzaro, Samsonite, Costume National, Pringle and Boucheron).
His taste and influence can be seen across the city, including the cherry-red, early-'80s Claude Montana dress that "Project Runway" host Heidi Klum wore for the show's Season 6 ad campaign and some of the high-profile gowns worn at the LACMA gala celebrating the Broad Contemporary Art Museum.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, October 11, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
L.A. Fashion's Class of 2010: In an article in today's Image section highlighting up-and-coming L.A. fashion figures, an incorrect Web address was provided for the Malin collection. The website is aplusrstore.com, not aplusr.com.
Liz Goldwyn, 32, is a writer, filmmaker, collector of vintage fashion and jewelry designer (a selection of which can be found at L.A.'s Opening Ceremony) -- a native Angeleno who just so happens to be the granddaughter of famed Hollywood studio head Samuel Goldwyn and counts fashion-world elite as friends and collaborators. A style icon in her own right, she's produced major fashion shows, served as the New York editor of French Vogue, consulted with companies such as Shiseido and helped establish the fashion department at Sotheby's New York. Her first documentary film (and subsequent book), "Pretty Things," focused on the last generation of burlesque queens -- and their clothes.
An indefatigable champion of local designer talent (Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte and Obando among them), Goldwyn recently became the face of the city's fashion scene itself when French department store Le Bon Marche tapped her to guest curate an L.A.-themed exhibition, as well as design its store windows and appear in the ad campaign.
The only things more eye-catching than Tarina Tarantino's whimsical, rhinestone-smattered accessory line are the designer's hot-pink hair and retro-glam style. The former model and makeup artist, 35, has a head-turning look that's become her signature here in L.A. and anywhere she sprinkles her Technicolor creations.
While her first store may have opened in Milan in 2002, Tarantino's enthusiasm for her home base of L.A. is undeniable. The fantasy-infused confections and sparkly eye candy that glisten in her Melrose Avenue shop are a reflection of the Hollywood aesthetic, and celebrities show up to red-carpet events around town wearing her pendants, glittery hair clips and Lucite necklaces. Prices range from $75 to $500.
Local brand Re: Collection manages to succeed where other "green" fashion lines fall short, re-purposing vintage items into a contemporary line so stylish and modern you might have to be told twice before believing it was once a pile of castaway clothing.
The brand is the brainchild of Soex, a German-based company that each year turns 300 million pounds of old clothing into refreshed items for wear in developing countries or sustainable industrial materials such as automotive and residential insulation. Re: Collections' pieces hang alongside designer lines at Ron Herman and Barneys Co-Op. Prices range from $80 to $400.
The line's creative director, P.J. Faulstick, culls materials from 14 warehouses around the world, choosing supplies that are abundant enough to make multiples of each item.
Colombian-born, Los Angeles-based designer Juan Carlos Obando, 32, staged his first show at Los Angeles Fashion Week in 2004, and although he started showing his collection in New York in 2007, that doesn't mean he's in danger of losing his title as L.A.'s darling of design. He still finds favor with the city's tastemakers (see Silver and Goldwyn, above) and the fashion press.
Asked about his overwhelmingly positive profile, Obando credits his low-key, under-the-radar approach. He doesn't send breathless press releases and doesn't overexpose himself or his collection, which is sold only through Barneys New York and L.A.'s Des Kohan boutique (for between $1,500 and $9,000).