By Anastasia Landeros
Fashionistas from all walks of the runway gathered amid fashion designers, artists and musicians at last Saturday’s Project Ethos fashion week event.
The fashion, music and art show, held at the Avalon in Hollywood, featured five up-and-coming designers as well as the winner of season seven of Project Runway, Seth Aaron Henderson.
The first floor played host to the runway, while the second floor showcased photography and artwork from up-and-coming artists.
Gary Lockwood, aka Free Hand Profit, displayed his collection of custom gas masks called Mask 365.
Photographer Lucia Loiso displayed her portfolio of eerie still life and portrait photographs.
Former East Los Angeles College student Christopher Hernandez, showed off his most recent collection of photos.
Curators from local art galleries were at the event to check out the artists and works on display.
VIP guests were treated to a short red carpet experience with photographers and interviewers before heading in.
Inside, representatives from various corporations greeted more than 2,100 people in attendance with samples, gifts and refreshments.
Following in the footsteps of Project Runway, the Flavor Fashionista Challenge, sponsored by VitaminWater Zero, asked each designer to create a garment inspired by the flavor.
The designers were given a $200 budget, and the audience was asked to vote for their favorite via text message.
The winner was to be awarded with prizes worth up to $3,000 in value to help further their career.
Other sponsors also showcased their latest fashion lines.
Carlton Hair, who provided the designers with model hair styling and Absolut Vodka Cocktail Perfection, provided vodka bars throughout the venue.
To kick off the fashion show, indie-pop band Robotinists got the crowd pumped with songs off their album “Plans in Progress.”
Following the short musical set, Fredrick’s of Hollywood presented their newest collection of swim wear that mostly resembled their lingerie, which were not made for the self-conscious beachgoer.
Although their swim wear was displayed on the runway, a promotional giveaway by Fredrick’s, in which models threw beach balls into the crowd that could be redeemed for a free bikini, garnered more attention than the scantily clad models.
One attendee was, in fact, overheard saying, “Did anyone even pay attention to the suits?”
CardiWrap by Kymaro was the next to present.
The innovative garment showcased the 18 different ways the design could be worn.
Designer Melissa Velia opened the up-and-coming designers portion of the show with a beautiful ballet dancer twirling to a violin instrumental.
The inspiration for her line, Velia said, was an envisioned “Black Swan meets Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas,” which came across quite clearly given the ballet dancer and instrumental music from the movie that her models walked down the runway to.
Velia said that great exposure and new networking in the fashion industry is what she took away most from working with Project Ethos.
The next designs by Reneta Jhunjhnuwala’s line, Reneta J, won the Flavor Fashionista Challenge.
Of her collection, she said, “I always aspire to create collections that are fashionable, hip, and feminine, and I think that that is what I did.”
Her collection included bold red, black and white separates, as well as some feminine, pale pink and blue dresses.
She said she wanted to make her line wearable but bold and unique.
“Since Project Ethos was one of my first major fashion shows, I learned a lot about putting a fashion show together,” said Jhunjhnuwala.
Ermelinda Manos is the designer to go with if lots of leg is in order.
Her micro-mini dresses and deep-v-neck and very low back full-length gown were well made and came in girly prints and deep colors.
Designer Kristi Moon’s collection, Age of Aquarias, showed off her take on the classic velour lounge suits by adding big, decorative buttons and playing with the cuffs of the jackets.
Her collection also featured a striking outfit of black leggings, a hot-pink rocker jacket and leopard-print, high-heeled booties.
The last up-and-comer to show off her designs was Dominique Ansari.
Based out of San Francisco, Ansari’s collection was made of purely knit fabric.
She said that although many Southern California designers work with the fabric, she wanted to create something “original and unique in style and cut,” which came across in her flowing, draped skirts and dresses adorned with ruffles.
The highlight of the night was Henderson, whose ready-to-wear line debuted at the event.
It included black and white, checkered print skirts and a ‘40s inspired wide-leg, high-waist red pants paired with a simple black, long-sleeve top, black and white scarf and black flat-top fedora, reminiscent of Katherine Hepburn.
Following the fashion show, Australian DJ duo Yolanda Be Cool helped keep the party going with a set of up-beat tracks including their hit “We No Speak Americano.”
Project Ethos is an organization that helps emerging artists in music, art and fashion showcase their skills in front of industry leaders and buyers such as Kitson and Ted Baker London as well as representatives from Directives West and other showrooms.
Ansari especially felt that the event gave her great exposure to the L.A. fashion scene since she is based out of San Francisco.
She went on to say, “It was an amazing show.”
For more information on Project Ethos, visit www.projectethos.com.
Photos by Tadzio Garcia