Project Ethos sets this season’s trends

PRETTY IN PINK—Wen Guo's inventive styling rocks the runway at the L.A. Fashion Week Project Ethos event, with entries auch as this convertible dress for a strong confident woman. CN/ Tadzio Garcia

By Megan Perry

The heels were strapped, the bow ties tied and the glitter was on for the Project Ethos spring fashion show at the Avalon in Hollywood on March 13.

The trends have been set and it is final.The trends seem to be open backs, floral print, light vibrant colors and glittered fabric to make the look a little more bold. Ten up-and-coming designers debuted their latest collections for the upcoming spring season. The Avalon was filled with people, said to be more than 1,200, anxiously awaiting and appreciating the upcoming trends.

Projects Ethos happens annually during Los Angeles Fashion Week. The 10 designers were divided into five before and five after the intermission, that featured the up-and-coming band Hypercrush. The artists featured were Lüica, Ermelinda Manos, Janean Johnson (Ja Jo Couture), Wen Guo (Boditecture) and Danielle Pettee (Danielle the Dressmaker), Melissa Velia, Edita Badaryan (Edita’s Collection), Regina Marie Woods (G. Marie), Furio and Johanna Hernadez (Glaudi).

The show was premiered live on for its first time ever, so that people anywhere in the world would be able to see the trending fashions. They had been filming for the past previous weeks to give the audience an idea of what happens behind the curtains.

The FURIO Collection performed an encore fashion show after the tables were cleared, as everyone mingled, drank and danced to the live concert from The Seems. There was live art happening in the halls during the show, and after the artists went on the runway painting the models. One of the artists was a 19-year-old young woman who has roots in East Los Angeles and goes by the name Sand One.

Guo’s Boditecture seemed to be the hit of the night. She went with a kind of darker look. This designer is all about convertible dress and gets her inspirations from architecture. Most of her dresses were black, white or purple and were short, loose on top and tight around the hips. Each then would either unbutton, unzip or untie a piece of material that transformed the dress into a dress of a different style. Her dresses give options of whether or not to show a little extra skin.

One that really impressed the crowd was a pink dress. The dress was light pink and looked like it had about six layers that wrapped around the body. The model untied something on the shoulder, twisted and unraveled the layers which transforms the dress completely.

The new dress was bright pink with intentionally ripped holes at the waist, belly, hips and had a long train of  material to lead. Her dresses were perfect for a busy night when one needs to rush from a cocktail party to a formal dinner and needs of change of attire; Guo’s dresses are a two-for-one combo. The Boditecture website says Guo’s clothes are meant to be worn in different occasions in multiple styles by utilizing many stylized options. The dresses “can be worn to the office during the day, then easily transformed into an evening wear; or to an opera night as a full length gown, and converted into a miniskirt dress for the cocktail party,” the website says.

With the carnival as her theme, Pettee’s dresses ranged from short and sweet to bare and sexy. Most dresses hung at about mid thigh, with a tight top, sleeves and loose skirt that hung from the waist. Her models came out in different variations of her dress, which would either have a pattern, bright colors or glittered fabric.

They were not all as sweet as that sounds. Some had lace corset tops, deep V-necks and open backs just in case one wanted to let a little more skin hang out for a sexy night out on the town. “I dress people who want to break the rules, and I feel like I dress them to wear one-of-a-kind, unique, bold prints and bold pieces,” Pettee said.

She came modeled in one of her own dresses. It was the star of her run. It was maroon red, with very sparkly fabric, sparkly stripes, and red sparkly sequins. The audience’s eyes were just drawn to stare at her dress. It had a criss-cross spaghetti-strap back and a lacy red and black slip. She designs from recycled fabric, hand dyes it and adds pockets to her dresses. “All the fabric I have are recycled. Ninety-five percent of the business, and all the dresses I make, are recycled fabric,” Pettee said.

For the past months, everything she’s been collecting has come from people who decide to donate their old goods. She picks things up, such as a purse that an old lady is tired of having lie around her house, from a nonprofit organization The Scrap Exchange. She said she could go and pick up a bin of things for about $20. She was amazed with the show. “It was incredible. I feel like I’m going to wake. It was all a dream. I feel really greatful. The spot I am in is amazing and this is such a great experience,” Pettee said.

Hernandez, an L.A. latino-based designer who has dressed a number of well-known people, danced on the stage after her models showed off her newest collection. Her collection was full of glitter, vibrant colors, such as gold and hot pink, and details. Her dresses stood out among the rest and left the image and desire of wearing one burned in the audience’s mind.

She had a dress come out that was a gold mermaid shape that didn’t go all the way down to the ankles, but came out at the knees. It had a very detailed print and an open back. Many of her dresses came out with sparkles somewhere, whether it be the skirt, the see through arms or the entire dress. She also had one the was a sliver and gold glittered fabric. One of the unique things about the dress, though, was the back. It had a button up piece of material that went straight up the spine, but left the shoulder wings of the back bare. It was a unique addition to a very chic dress.

The name GLAUDI stems from her middle name, which is also her mother’s middle name, Gladis. Her inspirations come the people who influenced fashion in her life the most, her family. Her grandmother was a fashion designer in El Salvador and passed her talents on to her daughter. She wanted to keep the tradition going and left a very bright mark in the fashion world’s eye.

One of the other designers, Johnson, came out with a mermaid dress. It was a very tight, black dress that tied in the back had red material to outline its figure and the bottom, where the dress loosened up at the ankles, had red lace with black trim to outline the design. Trying to do something different in the elegant dresses, Bandaryan played with different sized shoulder strap, leaving one side bigger than the other.

The Armenian-born designer created a line that would represent sophistication and elegance. Most of her dresses had an open back, hung at about high to mid-thigh and she did things such as add a hood to a dress with one long sleeve. They were meant to be comfortable to wear, yet elegant enough to attend a sophisticated event. With feathers, leather and zebra, the FURIO Collection left a different taste in the audience’s mouth. Most of the dresses were black and white and had some sort of feature that made that dress stand out from the rest.

One model came out wearing a black dress with feathers on the shoulder, and another in a leather coat with studs. Like the most of the others, most of the FURIO Collection had a open back, of which had a button on the top. There were some pink in the dresses that made the black look vibrantly alive.

The show happens annually to give budding designers an opportunity to put their collections on display for the public. For more information about Project Ethos, visit or follow at

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