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Fashion Los Angeles curated pop-up Nov. 5 to Nov. 14

November 5, 2010 |  3:30 pm

Fashion Los Angeles, a group that plans to launch a Los Angeles Fashion Week event in February 2011, is making good on its oft-repeated mantra of "focusing on L.A. fashion 365 days a year," and exhibit A can be seen -- and shopped -- Friday through Nov. 14.

That's how long the curated fashion, jewelry, art and furniture pop-up space will be open for business on the ground floor of the Main Mercantile Lofts at 620 S. Main St. in downtown Los Angeles.

Scholnick1The only requirement for inclusion in the debut "Meet the Public" pop-up -- aside from being some of the organizers' personal favorite brands, retailers and designers -- was that the  participants be L.A.-based.

That's how established local fashion designer Yotam Solomon's rolling rack ended sharing a sales floor with Midcentury Modern furniture from Novecento Antiques, a table of T-shirts by barely launched label Seam Ripper, polka-dotted and bow-festooned dresses by Chelsea Rebelle and the styrofoam-painted artwork of Jaime Scholnick. (An exhaustive list of the more than two dozen participants is available at the group's website.)

Although I took an admittedly quick spin through the space (I needed to jet across town to catch a theremin performance in Max Azria's living room -- true story), it was the inclusion of things such as the furniture from Novocento and the artwork by Scholnick that I appreciated -- things you could spend your entire life traipsing across the city and never stumble across, on display a few feet away from the things that brought you in the door. 

Scholnick, represented by the CB1 Gallery, left a particularly lasting impression. The artist has been using acrylic paint to transform the odd-shaped pieces of Styrofoam used to pack and protect the printers, televisions, mirrors and whatnot of modern life into lasting art that looks surprisingly heavy.

She's been turning discarded Styrofoam into art for about a year -- ever since she unpacked a heater she'd bought at Costco and ended up with a pile of odd-shaped pieces.

"I approach them like fossils," Scholnick said. "They used to hold something, and I transform them."

Which is actually a pretty good analogy for what the curated pop-up -- and Fashion Los Angeles at large -- is trying to do: transform a fossilized notion of presenting Los Angeles fashion to the world not by thinking outside of the box, but by by looking at what the box already contains and doing something different with it.

Meet the Public, 620 S. Main St., Nov. 5-14, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (subject to change).

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: "Fossil Tower," 2009, by Jaime Scholnick (Styrofoam, gesso and acrylic paint). Credit: CB1 Gallery.