City of Los Angeles Fashion Week, March 2009

Fashion Week CoLA, whose inception was only announced a few weeks ago, has put on several fashion industries only events at this year's Los Angeles Fashion Week. CoLA, which stands for "City of Los Angeles", is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, the city of Los Angeles. As such, the organization has decided to keep with their abbreviated name note the lowercase "o" to avoid confusion.

In the press release, CoLA stated that their goal is to "set the bar not only for this season's fashion week, but every season thereafter." This season's 3 fashion events, held at the Lady Liberty building in downtown Los Angeles, took place on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, 2009. The events were open by invitation only to fashion buyers and media, though some guests had a hard time finding exactly where the entrance to the CoLA shows was to be found.

Melissa Magsaysay, the LA Times blogger noted that while Brittany Pham's 1940s-inspired women's wear collection was, itself, uninspiring, her menswear collection was "really strong and, actually wearable, most impressively, something we haven't seen too much of from L.A. designers who churn out leather man skirts and toothpick pants. The high-neck wool sweaters, black jackets and slim gray wool trousers with subtle biker detail would fit into any guy's wardrobe collection."

The runway show for Eksempel was absent its designer, Pernille Winther. I should think that any designer going to the effort of putting on a fashion show for his or her collection would make every effort to attend; not doing so sends a negative message to the fashion industry and the media. Does the designer not care to attend? Let's hope that extenuating circumstances kept Ms. Winther away. Though had she been present, she would have been able to quickly clear up the mix-up regarding her nationality: Danish, whereas Ms. Magsaysay mentions that members of the CoLA staff were referring to her collection as being Swedish.

Despite some of the confusion and poor planning that plagued CoLA's first year, Ms. Magsaysay notes positively that "the lighting track, runway and seating were done really well and made for a pleasant fashion show watching experience." That level of seriousness and focus bodes well for the future of CoLA as it looks to establish itself as a staple part of Fashion Week. Let's hope they can iron out any other kinks in the coming seasons.

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