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L.A. Fashion Week heats up with a new set of shows

September 3, 2008 |  1:59 pm

Getprev4 Looks like the push from downtown denizens and the garment industry to bring L.A. Fashion Week back to downtown — where it started — has officially gained traction.

Leanna Lewis, an organizer from the now-defunct BOXeight fashion shows, is producing Downtown L.A. Fashion Week, a four-day event that's reportedly luring a few designers away from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, the main event of L.A. Fashion Week. Kelly Nishimoto, Single, Eduardo Lucero, "Project Runway" alums Chloe Dao and Jeffrey Sebelia (for Cosa Nostra — see the shot at left from the Fall 2008 show at BOXeight), Nikki Sixx's Royal Underground, Elmer Ave, Louis Verdad and Lotta Stensson are all on the schedule for the event, which will be held from Oct. 15 to 18 at the Pavilion at the new L.A. Live complex downtown — overlapping the Smashbox shows (held Oct. 12 to 16) by two days. EcoNouveau, a showcase of eco-minded designers, is also slated to happen on Oct. 18, along with an appearance by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (he showed up at the BOXeight shows last season).

But whether the fledgling show will actually go down — at least as planned — remains to be seen. Lewis said that although she's secured sponsorships, there still isn't enough money to fund the entire affair, noting in an email that she's finalizing details with an investor. And Verdad says his appearance on the schedule is "news to me," adding, "Leanna called me, but I never committed to anything. I'm not showing anywhere this season." Conversely, a representative from Royal Underground said they are eagerly awaiting news that corporate sponsorship has come through. "We have every intention of showing at the show," she said.

Let the drama begin.

— Emili Vesilind

Photo: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times