L.A.’s Fashion Identity

L.A. Weekly recently asked “Does L.A. have a fashion identity?”.   
Gendy Alimurung’s article supported the notion that L.A. is “behind” when it comes to fashion.  

Yet strangely, Los Angeles is not a town for high fashion, for $5,000
head-to-toe designer outfits. “We’re behind a little,” Cota admits. “Or
we don’t pay attention. Fashion Week in L.A. is not the strongest. It’s
not a priority.”

We disagree wholeheartedly.

There are many [mainstream] styles distinctly “L.A.” (that is, styles organically-raised by subcultures “born” in our town).  Those who contributed to the article seem to have been too busy to watch L.A. “looks” go from underground  to boutique to mainstream Wal-Mart.

In this case, the quote above was coming from the perspective of a designer/business-owner who is more likely speaking to the popularity of fashion and style in terms of business revenue.  “Style” in L.A. doesn’t always generate revenue for store-owners because not all L.A. socialites (unlike their East Coast counterparts) necessarily feel required to carry luxury-brand handbags to gain admission into exclusive social circles.  Some do.  However, others use some form of “cultural and/or social currency” (more on this topic of “cool” later) to “belong”.  It’s less likely for an L.A. socialite to be dismissed for not having blood ties to Andrew Carnegie.  Thus, display of “old money” is less relevant to become popular in this town.

That doesn’t mean “L.A. is behind”, Mr. Cota.  It just means we can use many alternatives to luxury brand clothing and accessories to demonstrate to others just how “cool” we are.


There’s certainly a backlash from all the unkempt and boho looks
perpetuated by non-L.A. folk which drive more and more Los Angeles
denizens to adopt tailored and manicured self-images just to counter the
stupidity of wearing $500-dollar printed Hanes cotton Tees marketed as
“vintage”.

L.A./So Cal is the birthplace of many now-mainstream-trends. Love ’em or hate ’em, here are a few distinct “L.A. styles” (among many others):

1) Chucks – “..The Mexican kids doing the…rockabily thing…” you
mention in your article above helped bring popularity to Converse’s
Chuck Taylors. Once only worn by “greasers”, these ‘played-out’ shoes
(in various patterns and flavors sold by shark-y Nordstrom salesfolk)
seen even on midwestern homecoming queen L.A. transplants were
popularized, if not born, here.

2) Graffiti prints – popularized
by Stussy, a retail brand which originated in the 80’s from Laguna Beach
became universally popular for its graffiti-inspired shirts. This
version of “cool” or “urban” – incorporating nuances from
skaters/surfers – was quite distinct from the NYC’s definition of
“urban” (read: hip-hop). The grafffiti/”bombing” style print was
exclusive to “L.A. identity” during the 90’s.

3) Terry cloth
loungewear (a la Juicy Couture)
– (image below) as hideous as they are (terry cloth
tracksuits + Ugg Boot combos) were born and raised in So Cal (read:
please blame Orange County). I went to USC and my girlfriends and I had nightmares about velour tracksuits even years after college (Thanks, Greek Row).  I’m not proud of the “I’m-gonna-wear-my-GOOD-sweats” look, however, it is
distinctly “L.A.” (if by “L.A.” you mean trends not associated with NYC
or other large metropolitan cities).

Lastly,
trust-fund-bohemian-types who labor to achieve the “…nonconspicuous
conspicuous consumption…”
I’m-not-vain-and-it’s-my-job-to-judge-those-who-blindly-consume-and-obviously-take-pride-in-their-physical-appearance
are the most unoriginal, self-righteous judgemental L.A.
transplant-types. (Totally non-sequitir, but I needed to vent).



meg@myprettypinkponies.com,
the girl who conspicuously consumes (and isn’t ashamed of it)
fin 

the worst gang in Los Angeles
Other good & bad popular (or, once-popular) “looks” originating in Los Angeles:
  1. Michael Stars and the comfortable yet fashionably sexy tee (no smelly bohos here).
  2. Baywatch and the tan, fit and “shapely” physique (medically-enhanced).
  3. (tbc..)





Sources:

princess diary: blogging & whining (images)

Finding and expressing one’s “voice” succintly is tough enough.  It becomes even more difficult when expressing your voice on a new medium… while learning how to communicate using said medium.

” waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!! ”

(this rant continues…)
I’m not just sharpening my pencil and erasing words…I’ve personally spent day and night researching other sites, reading pounds and pounds of books about HTML, CSS, blogging, design, art, etc…, interviewing programmers and bloggers, and updating pre-formatted templates by learning how to read CSS and HTML codes (not my native language).

Before this project, I had no idea what “user experience” technically meant.  Let’s just say I have much more respect for programmers and what they do to make sites “legible” and “pretty” to a wide range of people.

With all that whining (and hard work), I now consider myself ‘princess of blogging’, and her majesty needs new outfits for her new role.

option 1 (fantasy):  royal blue long gown

actual princess
option 1 (real-life):  royal blue sheath dress

 

Office-appropriate version (Reiss)


The royal blue sheath dress above is a beautiful option for running
around town during the workday.  We recently discovered the line “Reiss”, an actual favorite of Princess Kate Middleton’s.  The tailored cut makes this dress flattering and feminine preventing that I’m-desperately-trying-to-look-older-and-more-professional “look” that I used to rock ten years ago (good bye, ugly suits!).

This dress works [pun unintended] at the office (+ blazer), after work get-togethers, or (if he’s lucky) during your date this weekend (- pumps; + strappy sandals).

option 2 (wishful-thinking):  black formal gown
Princess Letzia of Spain & Co.

option 2 (real-life):  all-purpose black dress

 
image:  Reiss

The
cliched “Little Black Dress” is a cliche because it is undeniably a “must-have”  piece that belongs in every woman’s closet.  A flattering black dress,
or as pop-cultural fashion-themed shows call it, “the LBD” [enter Heidi
Klum], is the Swiss-army knife of your dress repertoire.  Its “look” can
vary greatly just by updating the key accessories one wears with it: 
shoes, handbag, jewelry, date, etc…If dresses are the solution to rushing out of the house with no time to pair separates, the  “LBD” is the optimal solution for busy go-getters.  Why do you think busy New Yorkers like to wear black?  Efficiency.


What
jet-setting princess wouldn’t want to add an element of efficiency to
her dressing ritual for the [unlikely] days she’s running [a tad bit] late?

option 3 (fantasy):  date with a prince
option 3 (real-life):  dinner date
 
Another
essential item for socializing princesses (whether imaginary or
legendary) is a classic cocktail dress.  The dress above is another design by Reiss
which can be worn to a dinner date or dinner-party.  The classic A-line
is a feminine and traditional choice creating a ladylike image (a la
our favorite Spanish princess).  It’s feminine, elegant, flattering and efficient
(see “option 2” above).

In conclusion, during those moments when you want to reflect regal elegance, stay towards the less ostentatious side of the frilly / not-frilly continuum.

Fallen Princesses Exhibition