Breathe LA's second annual "Attire to Inspire" charity event, which took place at the Conga Room at L.A. Live, was one of two March 8 style-centric fundraisers marking the unofficial kickoff of Los Angeles Fashion Week (the other was Fashion Group International's "Designer and the Muse" cocktail party at Ace Gallery Los Angeles across town), and the first runway show I can recall that ended with a model being heated by a pair of hairdryers.
The model in question was wearing a mid-thigh-length blue-and-white cotton dress by L.A.-based designer Yotam Solomon that looked like a cloud-strewn Southern California sky. As she stood at the end
of the runway, a helper popped up next to the catwalk, turned on a pair of hand-held Conair dryers and slowly -- very slowly, no make that painfully slowly -- tried to coax a color change from the garment.
I'm going to guess the dress was supposed to fade from blue to white (it was hard to tell from our vantage point) with the application of heat, since the designer had intimated earlier in the evening that the dress was going to somehow change with the temperature.
It was a look Solomon had created specifically for the event, with the rest of the looks (10 women's and two men's) pulled from exisiting collections. (Since Solomon doesn't stage runway shows, it was a rare chance to see his creations on live models.)
The event also marked the first U.S. fashion show for the fun-loving Moods of Norway brand, which started the show by sending pieces from its fall 2012 "cocktail mountaineering" collection of men's and women's clothes down the catwalk, a cacophony of orange corduroy jackets, cable-knit sweaters and bold plaid three-piece suits, all bearing details that referenced the label's farm tractor logo -- on the corduroy jacket that meant a bold tractor-tire tread elbow patch embroidery, on the sweaters the tread was part of the cable pattern itself and the suits sported what looked like tractor-tire-inspired buttons.
Moods of Norway was followed on the runway by eco-conscious label VBN (Vicarious By Nature), which showed a handful of looks including rust-colored sweaters, gray khakis and plaid shirts accessorized with scarves and cross-body bags.
Solomon's looks closed out the evening, and though the big reveal of his final look may have fallen short thanks to the two tiny hair dryers, it wasn't for naught since, according to the event organizers, the approximately 400 people in attendance helped raise nearly $40,000 to benefit Breathe LA's efforts to promote clean air and healthy lungs in Los Angeles County.
And, since Solomon plans to eventually sell the dress to benefit the organization, that amount will eventually increase.
We're just guessing that hair dryers are sold separately.
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-- Adam Tschorn
Photos, from top: A model in a temperature-reactive cotton dress by Yotam Solomon closed out Breath LA's "Attire to Inspire" fashion show on March 8.
The fashion show also included looks from VBN (left) and Moods of Norway (right). Credit: Howard Pasamanick / Breathe LA