Los Angeles' 10-day fashion "week" during which designers show their wares to wholesale buyers and retailers is now in the rearview mirror, and there were plenty of local labels — some familiar from past seasons and some newcomers — worth highlighting. Among them:
Cerre's husband-and-wife design duo Clayton and Flavie Webster are on a roll. Last season they were honored with the Moss Adams Fashion Innovator Award, and Wednesday night they presented their most impressive and fully realized collection yet at their West Hollywood store. The clothes included buttery leather biker jackets with scarf details that have become a Cerre signature, as well as their first stab at prints: computer-generated graphics mixing motifs from Russian porcelain and psychedelia which appeared on leather-edged scarves, drapey maxi-skirts slit high on the leg, and an oversized shirt dress with an asymmetrical button placket.
They also experimented with more color, creating an oversized biker jacket in a kind of powdery Yves Klein blue and a kimono coat in camel-hued leather. The collection also included their first-ever suit, with cropped black trousers, a boxy white shirt with a small point collar and an elegantly-draped black blazer, as soft and easy as a T-shirt, with leather piping detail. http://www.cerre.com
Kristen Dorsey Designs
Born and raised in the South Bay, Huntington Beach-based jewelry designer Kristen Dorsey combined her Chickasaw heritage with metalsmithing skills learned in Boston and launched her line in 2011. The result is a beautiful collection of handcrafted jewelry, ranging from tiny earrings to immense gorget necklaces, that uses recycled metals and conflict-free natural gemstones.
Dorsey explained that many of her pieces are made using a metalworking technique called repoussé which requires softening metal on heated wood pitch before hammering and shaping them from the reverse side.
Standout pieces on display at the L.A. Fashion Council (LAFC) showroom downtown included cuffs of rose gold plate over bronze with repoussé serpent-scale designs, earrings of clustered turtle shell designs inspired by a Chickasaw tradition called the stomp dance and a sterling silver and black diamond barnacle-shaped ring inspired by her marine biologist father. http://www.kristendorseydesigns.com
For the first time since Jennifer Lynn launched her line seven seasons ago, about half her suitable-for-the-twentysomethings fall-winter 2013 collection is made up of mixed-fabrication leather pieces — think textured leather yokes on fabric T-shirts and leather side panels on leggings — that can be washed in water up to 30 degrees Celsius/86 Fahrenheit without altering the color or texture of the leather.
Lynn told us she'd been inspired to seek out a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional leather after visiting a Canadian eco-museum and eventually found it in the form of a new salmon skin leather from Atlantic Leathers, a family-run fish-leather tannery on Iceland's north coast that uses hydroelectric power and natural geothermal hot springs in the tanning process.
The resulting product has a look and feel somewhere between traditional leather and snakeskin (thanks to its distinctive natural scale pattern). It also has a steeper price tag — pieces in the Linden line without the fish-leather fabrication run from $70 to $100; with it, the prices range from $200 to $700. http://www.lindenca.com
While we're pretty sure Victor Wilde and the Bohemian Society bunch haven't completely abandoned their clothes-as-art/art-as-clothes approach, the fall-winter 2013 collection on display at the LAFC showroom was a marked departure from what we saw last season. Wilde created a tightly edited collection of entirely wearable cut-and-sew menswear pieces. Based in a palette of gray and black, with a couple of pieces in what looked like a faux wood-grain print, the offerings included heavy, three-quarter-length coats with gathered drawstring waists, asymmetrical zip jackets with detachable hoodies, shirts in a loose muslin-like weave and blousy drawstring pants accessorized with the occasional crucifix-at-the-crotch adornment telegraphing that there's plenty more mayhem up Wilde's repurposed parachute sleeve. thebohemiansociety.com
Times fashion critic Booth Moore contributed to this report.