Celebrities may have flocked to the front rows of the recent London Fashion Week shows, but some designers are swapping the runway for Hollywood's awards season red carpets as the fashion
Ahead of Sunday's Oscars ceremony, the most-watched entertainment event around the world, Hollywood has been the setting for numerous fashion events.
British designer Stella McCartney threw a party showcasing her latest collection at famed music store Amoeba; Saint Laurent Paris took over The Palladium music venue for its menswear show; Gucci announced a celebrity ambassador; and Kenzo debuted a new short film.
"It just feels like a moment when music, film, fashion, the arts, it's all just come together for LA," McCartney says at her presentation, attended by the likes of Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Celebrities and fashion have long had a symbiotic relationship, from Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy to Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Dior.
But Los Angeles traditionally is not regarded as a trendsetting city as the year-round sunny weather doesn't allow seasonal clothing changes as much as fashion capitals New York, Milan, Paris and London.
That notion is slowly changing. In 2012, Saint Laurent Paris moved its Parisian label design studios to Los Angeles. Last year, Tom Ford and Burberry presented star-studded runway shows and Louis Vuitton held an exhibition in Hollywood.
The spotlight on Los Angeles comes at a time when brands are rejigging the runway-to-retail model and making new fashion available faster to customers.
"Runway shows don't have same impact as they once did, mainly because there's so much of it and it's overcrowded," says Eric Wilson, fashion news director of InStyle magazine.
The red carpet, however, is watched by the entire world.
"One red-carpet hit at the Oscars is equivalent to a year's worth of marketing for a designer," Wilson says.
Tom Ford last year moved his London Fashion Week presentation, scheduled for after the Oscars, to Los Angeles ahead of the Oscars.
"The world is even more obsessed with celebrities than ever before," Wilson says.
This year, McCartney has scored numerous hits on Hollywood's red carpets: Actress Lawrence donned a black pantsuit at the Oscar nominees luncheon, singer Ellie Goulding wore a blush pink gown to the Grammys and Taraji P. Henson wore a white strapless dress when she won a Golden Globe for TV show Empire.
French brand Kenzo debuted short film Snowbird by filmmaker Sean Baker featuring its spring/summer 2016 collection with model-actress Abbey Lee Kershaw, who starred in the Oscar-nominated Mad Max: Fury Road.
"The weather, the rock-and-rollness of LA, it's an allure especially for the European designers," Kenzo creative director Humberto Leon says.
(China Daily USA 02/25/2016 page8)