Off to a Smashing Start
I don't know why, but when I pulled up to Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills for an "intimate" Fashion Week kickoff dinner hosted by Davis and Dean Factor, Michael Baruch and Paul DeArmas, I thought there would be around 30 people there. I did not expect a Who's Who of L.A. fashion and the style addicts who love them. I did not expect Courtney Love, who came with power retailer Tracey Ross and actually looked rather pretty in a heavily made up, plastic sort of way. Fred Segal the man was there, and Jeremy Scott arrived with Devon Aoki. (He's modeling a new Keith Haring tracksuit he designed for Adidas.) It was a bit overwhelming, but Kelly Cutrone from People's Revolution kindly seated me at Petro Zillia designer Nony Tochterman's table, so I was immediately at ease. I interviewed Nony for the Weekly's upcoming fashion issue, and the woman is as fun and spirited as the clothing she designs. Over a family style dinner of lettuce wraps, dumplings, filet mignon and melt-in-your-mouth cod, I chatted with jewelry designer Guillaume Pajolec, a funny Frenchman who co-owns Han Cholo in Echo Park, and fellow journalist Martine Bury. It took Martine and me less than five minutes to realize that we're both friends with Caroline Ryder, and just before dessert I called our girl, who is rocking a daringly experimental Vidal Sassoon haircut these days. "Dude," I said, swigging probably my fifth glass of Veuve Cliquot, "I am looking at Vidal Sassoon right this instant. Get yourself and your crazy hair over here NOW." Here is the man whose scissors launched a thousand asymmetrical haircuts; who knew he was so tight with Scott Weiland? Alas he had gone by the time Caroline made it, so he couldn't evaluate the work of his disciples. It was a completely fabulous evening, but it's worth noting that Jeremy Scott doesn't show in L.A. anymore, and even Petro Zillia is sitting out the shows this week (Tochterman and her husband are opening their flagship store in June), which begs the question: what does the future hold for L.A. fashion? It clearly influences the way the rest of the world dresses, but as Guillaume pointed out, it never takes clothing to the artistic extremes of couture. And maybe that's okay, because they never take their shows to the dirty denim lows that L.A. is so good at - and which is what people really wear. Yet the best thing is that even if you're dripping in bling, like the heiress Casey Johnson, here showing me her Loree Rodkin ring, the L.A. attitude always manages to shine through anyway.