Los Angeles Fashion Week: Stop Staring kicks off thin slate of Style Fashion Week shows
Style Fashion Week Los Angeles held its inaugural runway event at the former St. Vibiana's cathedral in dowwntown Los Angeles on Tuesday -- the first of four thinly scheduled nights for the newest group to enter the Los Angeles Fashion Week derby.
The evening consisted of just a single runway show -- by Paramount-based, vintage-inspired Stop Staring -- since a scheduled "opening ceremony" at which Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was rumored to be speaking didn't materialize.
City Hall's liaison to the fashion community, Cynthia Ruiz, told us hizzoner was instead attending a town hall meeting in Canoga Park "but might stop by later." (He did not.) Instead, Ruiz, who professed to being a fan of the label -- which she also noted had been named "Minority Manufacturing Firm of the Year" in 2005 by Villaraigosa -- got things rolling by introducing the catwalk collection by saying: "Vintage fashion never goes out of style."
Unfortunately, given the plodding pace of the 21-minute-long show that followed, there was a good chance for just that to happen. (This is no reflection on the clothes -- no runway show should go on that long.)
As for the clothes themselves, designer Alicia Estrada didn't stray from the line's signature retro, rockabilly aesthetic -- body-hugging dresses, playsuits and pantsuits peppered with polka dots, leopard prints and a bouquet of floral patterns (one of which had the unfortunate resemblance to a Holiday Inn bedspread).
Though it would be easy to dismiss the collection as altogether too costumey, we've been around Southern California long enough to notice there's a huge community of tiki freaks, retro car aficionados, Bettie Page dopplegangers and rockabilly enthusiasts for whom the Jessica Rabbit sheath dresses and leopard-print pantsuits are every-night (if not everyday) wear.
And, we'll admit it, there were some pieces we just plain liked -- no matter the decade -- including the pink confection of a dress festooned with rhinestones (pictured at top, center), and a form-fitting black-and-white horizontal striped dress that made us long for the ladies -- and the looks -- of "Mad Men" Season 1.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo gallery: Click to see more photos of the Stop Staring show.
Photos: Looks from the fall-winter 2011 Stop Staring runway collection shown during Style Fashion Week Los Angeles on Tuesday at the former St. Vibiana cathedral in Los Angeles. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times