This Weekend: Fashion in LA

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Photo by Nicole Cifani
By Nicole Cifani, special to LAist

This year, LA Fashion Week is bringin' their A-game with nearly two weeks of fashion-related showcases, pop-up shops, salons, presentations and parties, happening from downtown all the way to the coast.

When we think of Fashion Week, other major metropolitan cities like Milan, Paris, London, and NYC immediately come to mind. It's because those cities feature the biggest names in fashion; the moneymakers, the labels that everyone knows. Think Chanel, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney.

LA has always dwindled in the shadows of the beast - the bi-annual New York Fashion Week. The Big Apple is known as the primary place for the fashion industry to call home in the US, attracting buyers, fashion editors and members of the media from across the globe in what amounts to over a half-billion dollars in revenue annually.

Over the years, Los Angeles has slowly and steadfastly been nurturing talent of its own. LA has served as a launching pad for the careers of many designers and while it may not feature the heavy hitters, it does boast talent like Rodarte, Trina Turk, C&C, and serves as home to uber-hipster retailer American Apparel.

And as any underdog does, the city fights on to gain national and worldwide respect in its industry. Each year has seen gains and losses, fueled by a partnership from IMG and Smashbox that ended in October of 2008. With another momentary set-back after major supporter GenArt officially closed shop, LAFW has faced obstacles in securing sponsors to run a well-produced, highly-anticipated week-long run of fashion.

BoxEIGHT_fashion_shoot.jpg
Photo by Nicole Cifani
This year, support seems to be coming from a variety of brands rather than one primary source - seemingly speaking less to the diversity of fashion and more to the decentralized nature of our fair city. Regardless, events have been happening around town all this week and next. Whether you prefer shopping for vintage, viewing retrospectives, or seeing the latest in avant-garde work hit the runway, there’s something for everyone.

Events open to the public this weekend include an ongoing exhibition at LACMA entitled “Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915″ at the new Resnick Pavilion; the Vintage Fashion Expo at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium; runway shows from the California Market Center.

Fashion Week officially kicked off on October 13th in conjunction with the new Trend Magazine at LIbertine, home to the late Charlie Chaplin.

For the full lineup and schedule of events: http://fashionweekla.com/calendar