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Los Angeles Fashion Week: Catching up with 'Project Runway's' Seth Aaron Henderson at Project Ethos

March 14, 2011 |  1:29 pm

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Seth Aaron Henderson, “Project Runway’s” winner in Season 7, was clear about why he chose fashion week in the City of Angels to showcase his fall 2011 women's  ready-to-wear line.

“I love L.A.,” said Henderson, the best known of a roster of designers who showed their lines Saturday night as part of fashion week’s Project Ethos show. “Project Ethos is a fantastic event that supports emerging designers and I am happy to help out and be a part of It.”

Fashionistas, hipsters, art lovers, buyers and bloggers came to the Avalon in Hollywood for the event featuring runway shows from local designers, installations by artists (including Britain’s D*Face) and music by DJ Reflex and the popular Yolanda Be Cool of “We No Speak Americano” fame.

Despite the event's nightclub setting, Jason Peskin, chief executive and founder of Project Ethos, assured that “this event is not a party. … We are in the business of changing the lives of emerging artists, musicians and fashion designers.”

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No doubt the highlight of the evening was seeing Henderson’s line — and he was equally as excited to be showcasing. “I was never able to produce my winning ‘Project Runway’ line for sale, so people are still asking for that black and white piece and the red.… So I took that same color palette and that style that I love and made it for that mass market.”

Henderson’s collection celebrated female curves, in his trademark palette of black, white and red, albeit this time with a splash of deep purple. “I really wanted to take the ladylike looks of the ’30s ’40s and ’50s, fuse them together and bring them to a modern day,” he said.

Waists were high and gathered with belts on pencil skirts, pleats showed up on A-line dresses and trousers were high-waisted, pleated and wide-legged. “The fit, proportion and silhouette are No. 1 for me,” Henderson said. “I really like to accentuate curves in a classy way. I don’t like trashy.” Hence the absence of over-exposed flesh on his runway show — which was offset by Frederick’s of Hollywood’s first ever swim collection, also shown at Project Ethos.

Henderson’s pieces were collages of wool, cotton and leather. Prices are not yet determined but dresses will start at around $400 and Henderson has his eyes set on Neiman Marcus and Fred Segal as possible Los Angeles outlets for his brand. “Nothing is confirmed, but I am shooting for a couple of upscale boutiques in L.A.,” he said.

Since 2005, Project Ethos has combined art, music and fashion and has showcased many artists prior to their emergence into the mainstream. “We like to catch artists right before they break,”  Peskin said.

-- Raha Lewis

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Photos, from top: Seth Aaron Henderson and his fall 2011 collection, showcased on models at Project Ethos. Wide belts and pleats highlight some of Henderson's dresses.  Credit: Raphael Maglonzo/ Project Ethos

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