Los Angeles Fashion Weekend drew a crowd of several hundred and a handful of celebrities to Sunset Gower Studios for a three-day taste West Coast fashion -- and a surprise wedding proposal on the runway, which, apparently, is also in this season.
The event kicked off Friday with the debut of White Trash Beautiful (www.wtbclothing.com) a new women's line by designer Nikki Lund and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. While Sambora was nowhere to be seen, the runway show turned into a family affair with Heather Locklear in the audience and the former couple's 12-year-old daughter Ava Sambora on the catwalk.
The rocker wear collection included distressed leather, barely-there skirts, zippers as ruffles, a few feathered headdresses and leather-looking lingerie with a zipper up the crotch (Ava wasn't wearing that little number). A few wardrobe malfunctions made the collection more risque than intended, but perhaps that was appropriate for a designer used to groupies.
Saturday's show focused on eco-friendly fashion with the Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show with proceeds going to the by the Green Youth Movement (www.greenyouthmovement.org), and the show's carbon footprint being offset by planting trees around the city in the coming weeks.
Designers included Lizzie Parker and Emily Factor, little sister of Smashbox owners Dean and Davis Factor, but the scene stealer was new dress line Puridee (www.puridee.com) with one-of-a-kind organic gowns made of "peace silk." Artisans naturally dye the distressed-looking floor-length frocks and the silk worms used are allowed grow into moths (lucky worms). "It's almost like wedding dress gown line," says Mikey Koffman, L.A. Fashion Weekend's founder and producer.
Clearly, Koffman had weddings on the brain when she got down on one knee proposed to her girlfriend on the runway following the Saturday night show.
Fashion Weekend's finale on Sunday featured 100 different looks for men and women from four different designers -- Civil Society, Division E, Zanerobe and Buffalo -- and focused on LA street-chic (think of Nicole Richie on a relaxed trip to Starbucks) with fashion staples like denim, cargo pants, skinny jeans, short skirts, hoodies and pricey T-shirts. Zanerobe, a sporty men's and women's line, stood out by having models don hunter's hats and old-school sports equipment like golf clubs and croquets while working the runway.
While LA fashion shows are no match for those in New York or Milan, Fashion Weekend continues to grow despite a sour retail market. "We've doubled our size; we've doubled our seating capacity; we've doubled our nights," says Koffman, who fell into fashion after owning a custom motorcycle shop. "We've grown to into twice as big of an event just since last season (six months ago).... We're pretty much the only main runway show that's happening this season, so that's exciting."
Oh, and Koffman's girlfriend said yes.