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Project Ethos & 97.1 AMP Rock L.A. Fashion Week at HOB

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Raising awareness and funds to fight breast cancer while showcasing a mixed media display of art and fashion was the goal of the evening at the Project Ethos L.A. Fashion Week event. A combination benefit, art show, art installation, concert, and ultimately a fashion show, the event raised money for the Stand Up to Cancer organization along with launching L.A.'s own oft-maligned fashion week this past Friday, October 14, at the House of Blues on Sunset.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, which offers an excellent reason to celebrate beautiful bodies swathed in innovative wrappings. Guests at the Project Ethos event entered the House of Blues by walking the pink carpet and posing for paparazzi before making their way to the Sharpie™ sponsored "Ink it Pink" board where a dollar was donated for every signature. (The pink Sharpies rock, for the record, making it tough for us to keep our larcenous little paws off them.)

Street artists roamed the venue, creating installation pieces in several rooms while an art gallery was set up on one of the middle levels. Former American Idol competitor Julie Zorilla performed while guests arrived, warming up the audience for Pete Wentz's new project Black Cards featuring Bebe Rexha. Dressed in a leather school-girl skirt and cat ears, Rexha exuded tough party girl energy but charmed the audience with her sly delivery and enthusiasm for the dance music and Wentz's encouraging jibes at the audience to get up and dance. Wentz still looks about twelve to us, but it was a trip to see him in his element, mixing tracks and vocals with a live drummer and Rexha's growl.

After a long break where sponsoring Radio Station AMP 97.1 blasted dance music in an attempt to burst eardrums (possibly not their intent and the general crowd didn't seem to mind, but we were still hearing the ringing a day later), the air-conditioning was lowered to sub-arctic, the press finally sat their asses down and the fashion show kicked off with I.AM by Will.I.Am. Featuring probably the most professionally designed line, the collection showcased wools and tweeds, soft tailored pants with great detailing and jackets that rode the edge of hip while still looking grown-up and wearable. The models were ridiculously attractive, even for male models, and had the requisite attitude to rock a rock star's vision.

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Other designers were largely L.A.-based, which excited the audience, who hooted and hollered for the models and designers. These collections mostly felt more free-form than the I.Am pieces. The designs were less structured, more unfinished, more experimental. Our particular favorites were from local designer GLAUDI, who showed lots of bright, lushly sparkling pieces with an over-the-topness that resonated with the idea of cracked out Hollywood. Johana Hernadez (GLAUDI) also won the Vitaminwater Zero™ "Flavor Fashionista Challenge" for the look she created around the sponsor's different flavors. The award was based on audience participation, and her stunningly gorgeous fuschia gown was our favorite of the night.

Other delights were Pentard, whose vintage-inspired work hits our particular fashion buttons, and the astonishing NAMI (Sarah Nami Ahn). The UCLA grad has a PhD in neuroscience and changed paths to become a designer, studying at FIDM here in L.A. Her breezy shifts and dresses were light and airy, and while we're not crazy about the fabric choices, we liked the feel of the entire collection. Multeepurpose, a t-shirt and leisure line featuring environmental slogans, was also super charming.

The event exuded an enthusiastic energy, and Project Ethos did a good job of combining the multi-platform events into a cohesive evening of charity and entertainment. For every General Admission ticket sold, $1 was donated to Stand Up to Cancer. While we kind of wish that more of the performers had acknowledged the benefit aspect of the event, we can't deny that they did a great job of keeping an enthusiastic crowd astonished and entertained.

Fashion Week continues through the weekend. Click here for the remaining events. Stand Up to Cancer will continue to accept donations to support research for the devastating disease.