I can imagine Bradley Bayou's sophisticated evening wear on my mom more than myself, but his show yesterday (one of the final presentations during the last day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios) did have a few moments that made me sigh with desire.
Namely, two soft and billowy gowns with delicate spaghetti strap tops, high waisted belts and long pleated skirts in shades of burgundy and mocha. They were sexy, subdued and most importantly they looked comfortable.
The same can't be said for most of Bayou's other pieces though, many of which were encrusted with busy doodads including beads, feathers and sea-shells. Some of them looked heavy, some of them made noise as the model swayed down the runway. Dramatic? Yes. Flattering? Well, sometimes.
The best stuff had a decidedly Audrey Hepburn feel. Hair was upswept, shoes were dainty and there were many full skirts and cinched waists.
Bayou used to work for Halston and perhaps that 's why he tends to over-embellish his designs. But this is 2006, and people don't dress like Cher or Joan Collins anymore.
These days, according to his bio in the show program, he works with a lot of celebs including Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Latifah, and indeed, his stuff does have a red carpet-ready vibe, but nothing was terribly original or exciting.
The runway music was a lot more interesting. Sexy, upbeat electroclash and rock/techno melds that made ya bop in your seat. Too bad it didn't go with the show whatsoever... way too edgy for the elegant styles on display.
Actually the music would've been a perfect fit for the BeBe show later that night, where I met up with Linda and Steffie. Well tailored dresses, skirts and blouses in hues of purple, red and black accessorized by vinyl gloves, Princess Leah hair and Madonna-esque black tights cut at the knee (guess that look really is coming back). It was hot to trot.
A final word on LA fashion week. I didn't go to a lot of shows this time out but the long lines, constant celeb sightings, and most importantly, the enthusiasm (people actually got up and clapped earnestly when a look they loved came down the runway... in LA. Hell, people don't even do that at more visceral events like concerts these days...) suggests that maybe, just maybe this LA fashion week thing's gonna work out.
Til next season...