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fashion: preview

The final swatch The final swatch

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   Alan Del Rosario, on the other end of the spectrum, took his sensibility further uptown with a show that provided the important "wow" factor that other shows lacked, with a parade of sumptuous ’30s-cut gowns, ’40s-style pieces and cocktail frocks with a real ’50s’ Hollywood updated with brilliant jewel tones and shimmery neutrals, some gorgeous flower trim fashioned out of the silks, black lace overlays and body-conscious ruffle details. Palate-wise, Dina Bar-El offered colours and lace overlays that made it seem as if she and Del Rosario were sharing the same sketchbook. However, her renderings of dresses were more deeply rooted in universally flattering ’30s’ bias-cut gowns and sleek shorter-length dresses.
   Daywear-dominated collections from Chan Luu and Samora shifted from busy exotic patterns or fussy influences into neutral gear with simple clothes where the designers punctuate easy blacks, whites, ivories and khakis with dramatic tone on tone pleats, gathers, bows, tiers and ruffles as well as warm-toned accessories. Other than the judiciously-applied embellishments, the lines are body-skimming but clean, making for versatile looks that go from day to dinner. Galina Sobovlev's Single runway show featured a handful of the vibrant prints that have knocked us out in past seasons, but her collection was also dominated by simple earth-toned dresses, tops and shorts with perhaps a touch of lace or crochet work.
   Uriel Saenzís designs were inspired by the flowering female. His fully bloomed women displayed many of the seasonís biggest trends from the overly short short, full skirts à la tiny bubbles, the other black, the white party, the not so mellow yellow and the seasonís biggest trend, sheer madness. The see-through effect was seen everywhere on this seasonís runway. Urielís pieces were hit and miss. His best turn was the full-length sheer yellow gown with fully bloomed flowers placed throughout, a see through, worth a look.
   LAís flower child, Ashley Paige, presented a í60s-inspired hippie pool party. It was a fashion fête well worth the dip. Her beachwear was perfect to be worn around the pool, not in. With knits and granny doilies that were as sexy and edgy as they were arty. It actually made me crave a bikini, or maybe the right body to be worn in one. Her loose blousy pieces were a perfect complement to the barely there bikini.
   Twenty-three-year-old LA-based designer Yana K. put on one of the best shows of the week. I wanted to nip back in time and hit the cocktail couture circuit, have a high tea, a hot date or lunch with ladies who dressed to impress. It was old-world glamour that she said was designed with a vintage nod to the í30s or í40s. I saw a lot of the í50s with looks imagined for Jackie O. Some over the top, but easily pulled off by our favourite fictitious scribe today, Carrie Bradshaw. With mixed reviews from friends and the fashion-savvy set who saw the show as too costumey. I thought it was perfect for a Hollywood film, the red carpet or the right event accessorized best with a sense of feminine adventure.
   Kelly Nishimoto infused sensuality in her collection. She too used many of the seasonís best trends from her sheer overlays accenting her patterns, silks that caused a craving to touch and the short short, à la barely there bloomer. It was fun, flirty and feminine with red ribbon bows on each leg, pure girly fashion fun!
   Closing Fashion Week was one of LAís best, Kevan Hall, who never disappoints. One doesnít mind the wait if itís well worth it, and it was, as always. Inspired by the colours of the sky, Kevanís dresses were smoky, white and springs biggest colour, yellow! After diva and songstress Jody Watley opened the show reminiscent of Diana Ross in Mahogany, Kevan rolled out one breathtaking turn after another. From chiffons, silks and lace, the dresses were Hollywood glamour. At the end, it made me look up to the sky, to the fashion heavens and say, ‘Thank you!’ I just may be back next season. ē



Dina Bar-el



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