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Anzevino and Florence show charms and challenges at BoxEight

Womens_082 Artsy L.A. brand Anzevino and Florence hit its stride a couple of years ago with its innovative, drapey jersey looks, including scarves with hoods and convertible dresses (now it's strapless, now it's sleeved). The brand's tradition of creating envelope-pushing looks continued on Saturday night — despite some missteps — when it opened the third night of BoxEight shows downtown.

The sparsely attended show (there were so many empty seats, I suspected fashion week fatigue) designers William Anzevino and Richard Florence showed smart baggy pants for men and women, tapered, cropped and rolled at the hem, a la Bananarama; great little empire-waist black dresses meant to loosely billow around the body (see photo, right); cream-hued T-shirts with marsupial-inspired front pockets; and cocoon-shaped jackets that ballooned dramatically around the models' lithe figures.

But the brand is steeped in casual wear and struggled to find its footing with more formal looks. A series of tiered, tricolored organza dresses and ruffled jersey separates (who's body is aided by ruffles around the waist?) looked fussy and handicraft-y compared with the collection's refined jackets and pants. And the fit of the dressier clothes, in some cases, was wonky (i.e. two identical organza dresses, shown in different color ways, fit the models completely differently — one was swimming in it, while the other filled it out).

The styling was as hot and cold. Models walked out barefoot, their feet wrapped in white and black tape, evoking professional dancers — a subtle, winsome detail. But the messy, bird's-nest coifs, dripping with huge live flowers, with the long stems still on, was overkill.

Despite the roller coaster ride, I plan on keeping my eyes on this out-of-the-box brand for the duration. My beloved hooded scarf demands it.

— Emili Vesilind

Photo: Anzevino and Florence

 
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I wanted to attend this season, but I found it difficult to get invitations this year. Even as a niche blogger, I get invitations to fashion shows during LAFW, and was interested in attending Box Eight, but when I saw that they were charging to attend the shows and did not provide information for press passes, I was kind of turned off.

BoxEight puts on a great show, but I think they need to do a better job of getting journalists and bloggers to cover the shows. They could give Smashbox some fierce competition if they did a better job of reaching out to press.



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