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Los Angeles Fashion Week: Designer Yotam Solomon's collection dabbles in drugs and DNA

March 15, 2011 | 12:27 pm

To show his fall and winter 2011 collection, Los Angeles-based designer Yotam Solomon hosted a low-key presentation at his recently renovated Hollywood Hills home Friday evening.

Solomon, who had just finished adding a second story to the house, likewise had two fashion stories on display in the hall closet that served as an impromptu garment display -- both pieces from his spring-summer 2011 Oil Spill collection [more on that below] and his upcoming fall-winter 2011 Drugs and DNA collection.

"When I moved here when I was 15, I went to school at Beverly Hills High School," Solomon said, "and I noticed that people were taking all kinds of drugs -- prescription drugs -- and to me it seemed that every time you take a pill to fix something it damages something else."

Solomon's intimation is that "something else" includes our DNA. The intricacies of pharmacology and genetics aside, it allows Solomon a chance to include variations on both the double-helix design we've come to associate with DNA, as well as a recurring pill motif throughout the collection.

I could have dispensed altogether with the pill shapes that appeared on the shoes, dresses and gowns -- partly because they more closely resembled tiny tapered toggle buttons in silhouette than pharmaceutical capsules and partly because Jeremy Scott's recent Candyflip collection shown during New York Fashion Week popped the pill motif so memorably with a dye sublimation photo print of actual pills.

But the twisting and criss-crossing of fabric inspired by the DNA double helix were a good fit with the drape of the floor-length gowns and one-shouldered dresses in the collection, which looked not only wearable but surprising elegant given the inspiration.

The same can be said for the spring-summer Oilspill collection, which I finally had the opportunity to see up close. (I missed the original presentation last season because of a colossal traffic mess in the Hollywood Hills.) It included a simple, undulating black design that looked like seeping oil and a dress with a sheer black panel overlay designed so that when the wearer (presumably an environmentally conscious starlet on the red carpet) posed for a photo with her hand on her hip -- as she no doubt would -- the right hand of the wearer would fit perfectly under the fabric, causing an effect reminiscent of an oily sheen on the surface of the water.

Speaking of oily sheens, Solomon might do well to keep the peices of his current Drugs and DNA collection far, far away from the Sober Valley Lodge. Even though the designer strives to use sustainable materials in his collections, there's no telling what might happen if a certain someone were to accidentally ingest one of his pill-festooned "Overdose" boots.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from Yotam Solomon's spring-summer 2011 Drugs and DNA collection shown on Sunday, at the designer's Hollywood Hills home. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times