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Kevan Hall is ready for his close-up

October 13, 2008 |  2:39 pm

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When you have dresses called “Garbo,” “Crawford,” “Ziegfeld,” “Hepburn” and “Lucille” in your collection, your audience is gonna get it.  Kevan Hall’s old Hollywood inspiration was crystal clear and a perfect way to showcase his knack for making a beautiful vintage silhouette. 

His daytime looks came in black and white silk dupioni, with 1940s zoot suit-style pointed lapels on a neckline and a graphic chevron pattern on the front of a blouson dress.  The classic contrast of color and Hall’s spin on a day suit felt strikingly fresh.

And then it was time to get down to business. And by that I mean playing to his increasing presence on the red carpet and his celebrity fans, a few of whom were sitting in the front row. Garcelle Beauvais, Rachel Griffiths and Dana Delany all clocked the frocks they could envision themselves wearing to the next round of award shows. Most of which are not far off -- kudos to Hall for taking the opportunity to get his gowns in front of the right people. We’ll see if it pays off come show time. 

There were gowns aplenty. Hand-painted cheery yellow flowers were fun and optimistic.  And a group of aquatic-tone chiffon such as sage, navy and aqua kept things fluid and light. But included was a heavier sea foam number -- and nothing really looks great in sea foam, especially taffeta.

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Hall didn’t just play to the screen sirens, he also gave a shout out to the chorus members, making kicky little apple green “Tap pants” or as we might call them today, hot pants, paired with a green and white gingham “dance tunic.” One could just picture a young Judy Garland reporting to the set in such a get up, ready to rehearse, which makes sense since Hall stated in the liner notes that he was inspired by Adrian, who famously did costumes for “Wizard of Oz.”

The gingham didn’t stop with the chorus and thank goodness, since one of the strongest looks in the collection was a black jersey bodysuit worn beneath a black and white, large-check, gingham floor-length skirt.

Hall’s nostalgic collection gave a nod to Hollywood’s old screen sirens while giving a wink to the town’s new stars, who he hopes will wear these gala-ready gowns in the months to come.

   

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Top: Frazier Harrison/Getty, bottom: Jay Clendenin / L.A. Times.

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