It is always nice to run into familiar faces, make new friends and get caught up in the glamour of Los Angeles Fashion Week, powered by Art Hearts Fashion. This year SS19 was no different or out of the ordinary. The venue at The Majestic Downtown, LA was smaller than FW18’s venue at McArthur Park (with the bedazzling red stairs), but that made it all the better. This time the space was more compact with a lot to do. Instead of one red carpet there were three to match the multiple bar areas. The space was decorated with art, tables, monster drinks, coconut waters, photo booths, and coincidentally stylized set-up’s for impromptu pictures. Last, but not least, everyone in attendance arrived in their best dressed.
Ariana and I attended the first set of shows on Friday. As we entered, due to the direction of one of the staff, we sat on the balcony above the runway. I thoroughly loved the seating arrangements and options. On the above balcony you can see the people scurrying to find their seats below, the camera staff and other fellow press gathering their equipment to capture the perfect shot and Art Hearts staff clearing the runway for the show to begin.
Friday nights fashion shows featured Mister Triple X, Grayling Purnell, Argyle Grant, Melissa Mercedes, Venus Prototype, Usama Ishtay and Michael Ngo (not in that order).
Grayling Purnell was a sophisticated and glamorous collection that played with the idea of dressing up and dressing down by pairing models in gowns with men who were styled in what appeared to be sweatsuits, shorts sets and sweat jackets with an upscale and jeweled twist. The collection played with beaded work and appliqués in a manner that didn’t overwhelm you, but left you wanting more. Gray and gold were a common theme in the collection with hints of color in blue, red and yellow.
Provided By Getty Images
Argyle Grant is a fun men’s swimwear line, ranging from swimwear to button down t-shirts and backpack’s. The collection was fun and colorful, ranging in multiple hues of blue, orange, yellow and green. Matching sets with bold prints made a simple men’s swimsuit, a now sophisticated daytime look.
The Melissa Mercedes Collection was a favorite of the night. The show began with a drummer who started off the Caribbean feel for the show, shortly after the models started gracing the runway and Celia Cruz was playing in the background. The show was festive and highly expressive. As a collection that caters to plus size women, it showcased them as fun, sexy, elegant and free. It was a breathe of fresh air to see the form fitting and flowing dresses with high slits and thigh high lengths grace the runway. It was also nice to see swimwear that wasn’t afraid to be daring and elegant.
Mister Triple X
The Mister Triple X collection was fun, sophisticated and sexy. The swimwear on men and women played with bold tropical, animal prints and the adored logo. The casual wear was sporty and relaxed, yet still managed to look comfortable and sexy. My favorite items from the show were the metallic dresses that double as cover-ups for the swimwear. Glamorous and fun, I would easily ditch the swimsuit and wear it on its own. I loved the contrast of glam and edge that Mister Triple X provides in its pieces.
The Usama Ishtay collection was dedicated to simple lines and asymmetrical cut outs. Black, orange and white were the primary colors used for the flowing gowns. One armed cocktail dresses and sheer skirts drew as a contrast to the beautiful wedding dresses throughout the entire show.
The Michael Ngo collection was a mix of urban and sports wear with a futuristic feel. A lot of metallics, blacks, gold, deep blues and white were used to bring the looks together. High shoulders, jogger pants, cropped sweatshirts and belted jackets were continuous themes within the collection. A dance routine in the middle of the show brought the collection to life.
We ended Day 1 on a high note. We met inspiring people like Ken Henry of Boss Mann Magazine, Nimco Qaal of Qaal Designs and friend Will Lopez. It was great to run into friendly faces like Chardly Pierre and Jerry Zaranekee. One of our highlights of the night were when in the middle of talking to Jerry, he stopped and prayed over us and our family. That moment touched us in more ways than one can express. It reminded us the importance of having genuine people in our midst.
Taken By Jerry Zaranekee
Day 2 at Art Hearts Fashion, was truly a day I’ll never forget! As soon as my sisters and I entered the building, we were kindly greeted and help by the receptionists. We then proceeded to find seats for the show, we ran into Jimmy(Photographer), whom we conversed with for a little while, and Chardley, who is always great I see... Big Thank You to Chardley who guaranteed us amazing seats! Our favorites from the night were Charles and Ron, Paraval and Dahil Republic Of Couture.
Charles and Ron
Charles and Ron made absolutely no mistake in allowing us to pay attention to all of the little details in their work. They displayed remarkable and intricate sequin designs contrasted by textile and sheer-like prints. Their designs are not like anything you’ve ever seen before. Originality and precision must be their goal. The designers truly knew how to capture the crowds eye.
Dahil Republic of Couture
The Dahil Republic of Couture collection playfully used African Prints. They shared with us the sweet and raw essence of their African culture through their designs. With tastefully beaded necklaces and outfits that wore the body with grace, we got to see the outcome of a designer that really explored fabrics and styles. Dahlia Republic of Couture definitely knows how to spice up a woman’s closet.
Paraval is a sporty collection of urban wear that playfully mixed with colors, layers and matching sets. What stood out the most for me were the thick jackets layered with matching sets. The track suit sets varied in bold colors of orange, green and orange. Stripes and patches were playfully used to give contrast and uniformity. Overall Paraval was fun, young and could be easily seen on the rappers of today.
After the show, Chardley introduced us some friends, including Emery Kelly, actor and member of a singing group Forever In Your Mind. While conversing with Emery, Chardley asked us to sing for him. We sang “I’m yours” by Jason Mraz, and Emery seemed to enjoy it as he hummed and sang along. Before we knew it, we were asked to sing a second time, but this time while being recorded by a slew of photographers. Everyone surrounding us was impressed and in love with our arrangement of the song. Afterward, we talked with models and other friends of Chardley.
We walked toward the red carpet area and ran into Jerry Z for the second night in a row, who we were equally delighted to see. Jerry introduced us to his photographer friends and asked for a third round of song, naturally we obliged and happy to do it.
Afterward, we informed them that Sanefer's birthday had just passed, they all sang happy birthday to her. A moment we will never forget. After Jerry and his friends left, we conversed with Art Hearts Founder Eric Rossetti and assured him that we enjoyed the show as well as wished him a great night. Toward the end of our conversation, he began to take pictures of male models wearing his Mister Triple X collection of underwear. He encouraged us to take a picture with his models (which was definitely one of the highlights of my night😏). After the mini-photoshoot with the jaw dropping models we received valuable advice from Art Hearts Producer Didi Roberts. By the end of the conversation, we took a look around and noticed that we were the only ones left- realizing it was time for us to leave. In conclusion, Art Hearts is by far one of my favorite fashion shows to go to! I like to think of it as the Great Gatsby of fashion shows.
Big Thank You to Art Hearts Fashion, Press & PR Director Dean for the opportunity!