LA Fashion Week 2010 at Box Eight03.23.10   |   Posted in: Fashion   |   By: Kian Abedini
Tags: BOXEight, Funktional, Gold Spun, Isabel Lu, LA Fashion Week, Skin Graft
Fashion Week in Los Angeles has long been an unsettled affair. That is until photographer and BOXeight founder Peter Gurnz took on Fashion Week and re-defined its preconceptions. Re-inventing convention and setting a new bar, Gurnz has transformed what was a lack luster affair into an intriguing glimps into his world. This approach exposes the industry as it is known from the inside and gives fashion a facade little known to the general public. Blaring lights, the bustle of assistants, and blinding flash bulbs welcome onlookers as we step inside BOXeight studios and get personal with photographers, models, and designers. Welcome to LA Fashion Week 2010.
Isabel Lu had a really cool shoot, even though it was almost impossible for me to get good photos. The outfits and concept were all perfectly executed, and the models were rightly selected. The set-up was right next to the door, and really gave the best possible feeling walking in; that you were here for something out of the ordinary. Not quite sure what was going on with the light bulbs in the first look’s shoot, but I’m not a production designer, so I don’t see any reason to go into that. In any case, the use of props, as with Funktional, added something extra to a shoot that could have worn me out after the first look. All of their looks, but the third was far and away my favorite; the model gave a feeling of intimacy to the affair, something that is not hard to do when you’re surrounded by a swarm of photographers ogling your body, or barely concealing their doing so behind a lens. Isabel Lu, along with Skin Graft, were the designers that most gave me the feel that I was at a real fashion show.
This was my favorite part of the evening. After the first look, it was like all the photographers got word that something awesome was happening and crowded in for the second and third sessions. I got some gorgeous shots of the model; it was obvious she was really into not only what she was wearing, but what she was doing. Every outfit was a new thing in itself; some were tasteful and sporty (the first few pictures) and I’d like that style on any girl, while some were definitely kind of, “Hey, look at me!” They all worked for me, and everyone around; even though Isabel Lu had the most fanfare, Funktional probably had the most buzz – after the second shoot, I went over clips with a couple other photographers, and everyone agreed: they killed it. In the end, I’d argue this was the best shoot of the night, even if they had the farthest-removed space in the building.
Another great shoot. Skin Graft definitely came off as the main event; right in the middle of the space, with 180 degree views of a catwalk and lighting set-up that easily cost five figures. While everyone else, save Isabel Lu, kept their models as sparsely made up as possible, Skin Graft had MUAs working for at least 45 minutes before each look went up on the catwalk. Their outfits were edgy, but I can definitely see them being worn day to day (except, maybe the one on the pregnant model). Yeah, the looks were definitely high-concept, another trait shared with Isabel Lu’s designs, but they were still functional. The quality and attention given to the models’ makeup and outfits was obvious; no one else at the show was on their level. Again, I was really impressed by Skin Graft’s show.
There wasn’t much new going on with the Gold Spun show. The outfits in whole were uninspired; I’m not saying every designer should be clothing their models in something eccentric, but a little imagination would have been nice: white jeans, standard tops; nothing that knocked my socks off. There were just a few looks, and a rotating stable of models who each seemed apathetic, unsupportive of the line they were wearing, even watching the DJ do his thing across the way more than posing for action; overall, I was underwhelmed, and the rest of the audience seemed to be as well. (It didn’t help that they were showing in the main courtyard, directly across from the bar, DJ, and dance floor.) I didn’t see anyone spending too much time checking out what was going on; again, I could blame this on the DJ and bar nearby, but they didn’t have too much of a catwalk space, instead pressing the models up against a wall. To be honest, my favorite thing about the Gold Spun shoot was the camera the photographer was using – a thirty-something megapixel digital-back medium format Hasselbad.