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Los Angeles Fashion Week events

There is no true lead event in L.A., but BOXeight and Los Angeles Fashion Weekend are planning functions — if you can get in. Also: Gen Art, Project Ethos, Concept events.

March 14, 2010|By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times

Ever since the five-year partnership between events producer IMG and Smashbox Studios ended in October 2008, Los Angeles Fashion Week has languished without a lead event. Groups of every stripe have rushed in to fill the void, culminating in last fall's fashion month, which nearly spanned October.

Five months later, the fashion feast has turned to famine, and most of the groups that have staged runway events in past seasons have dropped off the calendar — including the organizers of Downtown Los Angeles Fashion Week.

That leaves just two holdovers from last fall, BOXeight, which plans to reprise last season's hybrid photo shoot/presentation format for a handful of designers at its downtown studio space, and Los Angeles Fashion Weekend, which returns to Sunset Gower Studios. Both events are scheduled for Friday through Sunday and are open only to media, buyers and invited guests, with a few exceptions. There are nightly "after parties" at BOXeight, and on Saturday, a Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show is part of L.A. Fashion Weekend. More information can be found at greenyouthmovement.org.

After a single season collaborating with Rock Media, Gen Art, a not-for-profit incubator of up-and-coming talent, returns as a solo act. It plans to host 20 of its L.A.-area designer alumni in a poolside event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Rather than present full collections, each designer is expected to showcase a single fall 2010 look "on a live model or muse." As of press time, the list of designers included the likes of Jared Gold, Jeffrey Sebelia, Louis Verdad and Rami Kashou. Tickets and information are at genart.org.

Also open to the public will be Project Ethos, an event that ambitiously promises to deliver "L.A. Fashion Week in one night," with a 10-designer runway show headlined by two "Project Runway" alumni (Gordana Gehlhausen and Jesus Estrada), bookended by musical performances and surrounded by art installations. It is scheduled for March 19 at the Music Box @ Fonda, 6126 Hollywood Blvd. Additional information is at projectethos.com.

While no doubt of interest to the city's fashion community at large, none of the Los Angeles Fashion Week events — save for L.A. Fashion Weekend — are organized with an eye toward business and publicity in the manner of New York and European fashion weeks.

But that could all change at the eleventh hour, thanks to a concept that's still taking shape — dubbed Concept. As of press time, downtown activist Brady Westwater, designer/photographer Mike Vensel (the man behind the short-lived Kitten Fashion Week of a few years back) and the management of Spring Arts Tower (the former Citizen's Bank space), are offering 8,000 square feet of recently renovated space at 453 S. Spring St. to lines left in the lurch when other events fell through.

Many of the details are still in flux, according to Westwater. "Right now we're in the phase of reaching out to designers to see what their needs are," he said Monday, noting that there has been enough interest to book three nights of designer runway shows and presentations — currently March 22 to 24. Westwater said the group has the option to expand a few days on either side of that, depending on interest.

Though it's too early to tell exactly how Concept will translate into reality, the idea of disenfranchised designers banding together to show their collections to buyers, media and invited guests on a shoestring budget in underutlized downtown commercial space amid folding chairs, surrounded by plastic drink cups and the blare of a cobbled-together sound system isn't difficult to imagine.

After all, that's exactly what Los Angeles Fashion Week looked like nearly a decade ago.

For more updates on Los Angeles Fashion Week, visit the Image section's All the Rage blog.

adam.tschorn@latimes.com

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