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Oct 8, 2009

Reviving L.A.’s Fashion Scene

I was quite bummed when I found out that Fashion’s Night Out (organized by Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour) wasn’t a big deal in L.A. as it was in New York. WTF! Hello! This is Los Angeles - the town where the film industry and celebrities dictate a majority of the trends in fashion. Seriously, do you see models on the covers of magazines anymore? Why the hell does L.A. lag when it comes to fashion?

A few places around town did celebrate Fashion’s Night Out in their own way. However, Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills did it in style – runway shows, complimentary make-overs, a book signing by Norman Jean Roy (Traffik), celebrities, split bottles of champagne, hot dog carts, hot pretzels, and more. The night would have been better if the shops on Rodeo Drive would have participated, or at least stayed open later so those of us who were high on champagne could have shopped more. Everyone knows that shopping is more fun when you’re buzzed. Heck, if Neiman had my coveted Chanel heels I would have happily plopped down $3,000 and dealt with the consequences later. After all, the goal of FNO was to stimulate the economy.

Sadly, Los Angeles has never been taken seriously when it comes to fashion even though a lot of talented designers have been spawned from this town. Fashion Week has always paled in comparison to New York and can’t even compete with Paris or Milan. In fact, it’s basically been non-existent since Davis Factor (co-owner of Smashbox Studios, which has produced the twice-yearly events with IMG for the last 10 seasons) announced last October that Smashbox & IMG would be ending their partnership. At least we can count on GenArt’s “Fresh Faces in Fashion. The bi-annual event, held in various cities, showcases the brightest stars in the fashion industry.

Hopefully, the move of Project Runway from New York to Los Angeles will also help to bring awareness to L.A.’s fashion scene. In the meantime people like Brady Westwater continue to do their part. Brady has organized Downtown Fashion Walk, which is held on the 3rd Thursday of every month and is a spin-off of the widely popular Art Walk. Visit for more info. Box Eight is also contributing to the revival by hooking up with L.A. Models to stage a series of presentations described as “fashion installations” during the week of October 22 -25.

I’d like to end this with a shout out to one of my favorite L.A. based fashion label – Tulle. The folks at Tulle, and their partner line Cloth Logic, donate 5% of your on-line order sub-total to a non-profit charity. You have a choice of three to pick from and the company accepts submissions of any non-profit organization that helps better the community. Oh, and the quality of their clothing is top notch, so visit, fill up your shopping cart, and support a charity while you’re at it.

- Nikki Neil

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