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LA Fashion Week: Ghost town in the City of Angels?

March 3, 2010 |  6:00 am

Downtown LA Fashion Week? M.I.A. Passion Revealed? Not so much. Mode Israel? Unless it's operating  in "stealth mode" it's currently another one of the events from last season's crowded fashion calendar that seems to have quietly disappeared off the Los Angeles Fashion Week map.

Rage_SkingraftOf course, all that could change; downtown L.A.'s  "fashion cowboy" Brady Westwater is trying to rope the wind by offering to play go-between for displaced designers and the owners of the recently renovated 1914 Citizen's Bank space at 5th and Spring streets, to host a day or more of shows as part of the Downtown Fashion Walk (would that make it "Downtown Fashion Walk Week"? Stay tuned.)

We had high hopes. Earlier this year, things seemed to be ticking right along; Some of the movers and shakers involved with Downtown Los Angeles Fashion Week's cluster of events at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA for the last two seasons (which last season included an emerging designers showcase of city-grant-funded designers) seemed to be angling to transplant their event (or something akin to it) across city lines to launch a Beverly Hills Fashion Week this month.

But, in late February, Barbara Graff, one of the movers (or perhaps shakers, we're not sure which) informed us that the inaugural event had been pushed back to October. In an e-mail, Graff said that  while the event had been "received enthusiastically" by potential partners and city officials, the group needed more time "to put certain elements in place to ensure its absolute success."

Which leaves the landscape littered with a handful of one-off, single-designer shows and the following events scattered throughout the third week of March (and look at the bright side -- at least it's not a month this time around):


Although we're told the full schedule won't be released until later this week, the dates -- for whatever shape the event takes (last season it was essentially an open-to-the-public photo shoot for an insert in Flaunt magazine) will run March 16 to 21 (presumably at its 1446 E. Washington Blvd. studio space in downtown L.A.'s industrial district).

Directives West "First LA"

Trend spotting/merchandise consulting firm Directives West (a division of the Doneger Group) will be hosting a runway show that focuses on the contemporary market's up-and-coming design talent and fall 2010's key merchandising statements. March 19, 5:30 p.m.(5 p.m. if you're cocktailing at the Cooper Building, 860 S. Los Angeles St., Penthouse on 11. Invite only.

Gen Art

The short-lived, one-season, merger of Rock Media and Gen Art appears to be over (calling the phone number at Rock Media and Entertainment's Miami office gets a recorded message that the number is "currently unavailable," and e-mails requesting information haven't been returned). Gen Art reps tell us that despite the single New York and single Los Angeles event, done jointly, the merger was "never consummated." (More details on that, if and when we get them).

 Gen Art plans to showcase 20 of its L.A.-based designer alumni poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and we're told the event will consist of each participating designer showcasing a fall 2010 collection look on a "live model or muse."

As of press time, names on the list included Eduardo Lucero, Elmer Ave, Endovanera, Erik Hart, Grey Ant, Jared Gold, Jeffrey Sebelia, Jovovich-Hawke, Katy Rodriguez, Louis Verdad, Rami Kashou and Society for Rational Dress. March 16, 7 to 10 p.m. Open to the public, and tickets can be purchased here.

Los Angeles Fashion Weekend at Sunset Gower Studios

The Gallery Los Angeles is producing its show at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood for a second season. The roster is set to include runway shows by labels like A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, Buffalo by David Bitton, Raw 7, and a something called the Green Initiative Humanitarian Fashion Show sponsored by the Green Youth Movement. March 19-21.  All but the last production are trade-only, and tickets for the Green Initiative showcase can be purchased here.

Project Ethos

Promising "LA Fashion Week in one night," and billing itself as the incubator of fashion, music and art, Project Ethos is holding a 10-designer runway show bookended by musical acts and DJ sets, and surrounded by art. The designer line up includes two “Project Runway” alumni – Season 6's Gordana Gehlhausen and Season 7's Jesus Estrada.  The event is scheduled for the Music Box @ Fonda,  6126 Hollywood Blvd., March 19, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Open to the public, tickets can be purchased here.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: A look from the Skingraft runway show on Oct. 13, 2009, part of last season's Downtown LA Fashion Week at Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Organizers of that event had set their sites on a Beverly Hills Fashion Week this season, and late last month, postponed it until October. Photo credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times 
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