Though Los Angeles may be deemed by many as a trivial city in the world of fashion, its Fashion Market proved to have some underrated yet promising designers and brands in its back pocket. Fashion Market’s intimate and nonchalant atmosphere made it the perfect venue for emerging and aspiring designers as it eliminated the all-too-familiar overpowering pressures of the fashion industry and created an avenue for new designers to test and showcase their work on a smaller scale. Let’s just say it was nice to attend a fashion event that roots for the “underdogs” (they won’t be underdogs much longer) and makes their work just as important and worth highlighting as the “big dogs.”
Fashion Market (March 14-17) at the California Market Center (CMC) featured a few fashion events, two of which were the SELECT Contemporary Trade Show and FOCUS Apparel and Accessories Show. SELECT was held in the main lobby fashion theater and was my first stop (well, after a complimentary breakfast in the Buyer’s Lounge lol). Stylish and comfortable knitwear was ever so present in Zoa, a contemporary sportswear line from New York, but it was the “feels-like-butter” leather pieces and beautifully constructed knit-with-woven pieces from Sita Murt (from Barcelona) that really caught my eye. Chelsey Henry offered a classically trendy companion to the fashionable traveler with its Luxury and Sport Collection bags, Flora Bella was any resort lover’s best friend with its adorable sunhats and totes made of raffia, and Basix Black Label’s blinged out evening dresses is sure to turn heads on any given night.
Up on the Penthouse floor, the F2 Runway Show wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped (though a few pieces were notable), but one apparel and accessories brand from the Focus Show grabbed my attention and turned the ends of my mouth up. It was the women’s apparel and accessories brand, mŭ dān, that was a breath of fresh air. The plain and solid apparel was a complimentary backdrop to the very large and uniquely bold accessories that are handmade by the designer. The collection could be described as “daytime comfort (apparel) meets nighttime drama (accessories),” but it’s the accessories (which unfortunately you won’t find on the brand’s website) that make a statement. The necklaces and cuffs are made of gold, silver, or brass wire wrapped or tangled around large stones, gems, and fine rocks. The look is quite ornate and these accessories would add pizazz to any outfit and are definitely not meant for anyone who wants to be unnoticed (but who would want to be that?).
Fashion Market was a casual and laid-back experience, but what would one expect in California? It’s nothing but an easy, breezy, sunny, beach-y lifestyle over here and if the fashion industry doesn’t feel the need to make a sizable stop here in the form of a world-renowned fashion week, well, perhaps L.A. is better off catering to those who simply prefer the west coast or who are just getting their feet wet in the industry. In any case, fashion in Los Angeles is very much alive and the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District is where that fashion thrives.
Visit designer showrooms at the CMC Monday through Friday, however, hours of operation vary with each designer so be sure to contact the showroom beforehand. Other worthwhile shops in the CMC include the Packaging Services Corporation store and the Fashion Bookstore, both of which are located in the main lobby.
Article Written By: Juliet Uata