Concept Fashion Week returned to L.A. for its fourth season. It’s nice to see that the hard work and efforts of Brady Westwater and MikeVensel are paying off, as the duo have successfully brought Concept to New York as well.
The goal of Concept is to merge the worlds of Fashion, Art, and Music so it’s only fitting that the bi-annual event be held at ACE Gallery where 24 designers showcased their work over the course of three days, one of which was Alana Hale.
My first introduction to Alana was at the Grammy Style Studio this past February. I was very impressed with her work, so I was excited about the opportunity to catch her Spring 2012 Fashion Show. Alana’s contemporary collection featured a number of sophisticated silhouettes. The pieces, which centered upon a neutral color palette, reflected the designer’s affliction for Hollywood glamour, European architecture, and rock ‘n’ roll. You can purchase Alana’s hip, chic designs at La Maison de Fashion, which is located on Melrose.
While checking out the fashion installations I ran into Averi Bell, designer for Chemline. Averi was there to support her friend Inka Sherman. Inka’s line, ISM Mode, is a high end eco-conscious brand that blends comfort with sophistication. The installation featured models on a chess board wearing the latest from the brand’s SS 2012 collection. The sleek collection was complimented with fancy hats that were handmade by Inka & Averi. You can purchase ISM Mode at the Chemline Boutique located at Chung King Court in China Town.
Mike Vensel is known for his minimalist aesthetics and use of traditional natural materials, such as organic cottons, bamboo, recycled leather, and silk overstocks. Mike’s installations typically take place in some exotic location. This time the setting was Egypt where a queen was surrounded by her servants, and one of the models spent the evening writing hieroglyphs on the wall.
Typically known for her lingerie, Alyson Leif is branching out with her Liaison line, which was reflected in her installation that featured a model wearing a sexy, alluring black dress. Alyson is a former denim designer and when she’s not making apparel she plays keyboards for the band The Meek.
California native Michelle Laine is a self taught designer who redefines sleek silhouettes and apocalyptic minimalism through contrasting textures and unconventional materials. In addition to her edgy apparel she also makes handcrafted, deconstructed jewelry that is overstated and unique.
Hailing from Sardinia, Italy, Valerj Pobega is a former model who used to walk the runway for the likes of Valentino and Alexander McQueen, so it’s safe to say Valerj knows a thing or two about fashion. Her installations are very theatrical, and her current collection mixed avant-garde with old world romance.
In between shows, guests were treated to complimentary drinks courtesy of Pink Pigeon Rum, which is made from hand-picked vanilla and features tropical flavors of spice and nutmeg. The pink pigeon is one of the rarest birds in the world and its natural habitat is Mauritius - located in the Indian Ocean. Thus, the company also contributes to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.
Narrative and photos by Nikki Neil (Dress courtesy of 2bRych)