A little order descended on LA Fashion week tonight in the form of PR maven Kelly Cutrone's production of the Alternative Apparel show. The party actually took place following the fashion show, not during it (nice improvement over some of the other shows.) The show started promptly after seating and things appeared organized with actual lists of the clothing being modeled sitting on the chairs. Celebrities arrived on time and were friendly. The whole tone was low-key, but completely professional.
If you haven't heard of Alternative, then its my pleasure to introduce you to one of Los Angeles' best fashion houses with a unique blend of style and California cool. Alternative has elevated the simple t-shirt from couch potato wear to a fashion-forward staple. Actress Carla Gallo, who starred in HBO's Carnivàle arrived at the show in an Alternative T-shirt dress. She praised her dress from Alternative as very comfortable, and based on her favorite fashion piece, surprise, a T-shirt!
Although the celebs on the red carpet showed the styles Alternative has become famous for, the runway show was pure vintage. Tonight's show was like stepping back into the past, specifically Depression-era America. I could see Bonnie Parker wearing the beautiful floral dress, or the sweaters and caps.
Its interesting that the show was inspired by classic 1930s Americana and the style of an old time carnival. Entitled, The Show Must Go On, the Alternative show was like looking back over your shoulder at vintage styles and simpler times. The lines were sharp, fabrics looked comfortable and soft, and everything looked uniquely comfortable. The effortless style is purely intentional. Alternative Chief Creative Officier and Founder Greg Alterman notes that his collection is "all about street-wise sensibility with an edge. These pieces are chic, smart, and practical, a much needed response to the current economic client and global value shift in the fashion world."
There was no pretense about this show, although it did have a whimsical touch. As the picture below shows, the collection was literally a circus of key trends and styles with the brand's signature vintage softness.
If you're interested in learning more about Alternative Apparel, check out their website. They are a having a super sale, with markdowns as low as 75% off of their retail prices. I love how some of the tees are named for areas of Los Angeles like Echo Park, Silver Lake and Topanga. There are many of their comfortable tops on sale for as little as $9.99. In LA, Alternative is known as a very recessionista-friendly brand. And their Fall/Winter collection makes it clear that more affordable styles are on the way.
Finally, I have to mention that show producer Kelly Cutrone was very accomodating. In fact, she was asking those of us taking pictures if we had everything we needed. She even graciously posed for a photo (even though I am sure she did not want to). You can tell that she likes to be behind the show, not out front.