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LA Fashion Week: Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion 2008 Runway Shows

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Thursday was the pre-LA Fashion Week kick-off with Gen Art's eco-themed Fashionably Natural shows. The arts/fashion/design org followed itself up last night—again, at the Petersen Automobile Museum—with Fashion Week's annual kick-off event, Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion 2008, in which selected rising talents showcase collections in one massive show. Mandy Moore, who entered the fashion biz herself with her Mblem label some years ago, played host. Designer Katy Rodriguez (showing herself Sunday) made a quick appearance to receive the Gen Art Alumni Innovator Award, and we were off with the spring '09 shows:

NOTE: We're calling it now—Lykke Li's going to be the runway artist of choice this season, as heard twice during Fresh Faces alone.

NANUSHKA: In black, white, gray and a popping palette of orange, Nanushka showed primarily daywear in gussied up technical fabrications with a few dresses that could be taken into night with a playful sexiness. Standouts included an oversized semi-sheer buttondown worn over a loose white tank and paired with sheeny leggings, and a white sleeveless cowl neck dress with a drop-waist.

QUAIL: Accessorized with patent red or black wedges and thigh-high nude or pink stockings, Quail's frilled and tiered silk collection took ample inspiration from the boudoir. Details such as creatively placed ruffles—a bib on a cotton candy pink dress, on the back of blouses and mini skirts—translated underpinnings to unfussy daywear.

WAYNE HADLY: Wayne Hadly offered a slim, sharp, youthful take on the suit—whether paired with fitted trousers or shorts. The use of piping, contrast lining and buttons worked to finish each piece. Tuxedo-inspired lapels and luxe fabrications brought an evening dressiness to a number of looks, while New Wave-ish hints (gray and white striped button-downs paired with two-toned skinny ties and bowties) and sneakers added to the young dandy appeal.

PEONIE: Peonie sexified the runway with striped and Missoni-esque printed itty-bitty bikinis and plunging cut-out one-pieces. Simple ringed hardware combined with the jewel-hued palette and back ties made the collection highly wearable if you've got the body to match.

WAYF: Tuxedo styling and menswear inspiration came into play with Wayf's collection, which skirted from day to evening in black, white, nude-ish pink, silver and forget-me-not purple. Despite one model's struggle to walk in a long silk dress, the collection offered an overall ease and effortless femininity.

K.Z.O.: We liked the energy of K.Z.O.'s show, woodsy-technical gear and apparel for the male urbanite, who seems to be on a continuous journey. Layering was key here—T-shirt to flannel to vest to hooded sweatshirt to outerwear. Various rucksacks and bags were the ultimate accessory (that and single feather necklaces, and, wait, was that a hoof around one neck?), including one bag with a significant fur flap. The last model made a statement, swathed in flannel from head to toe.

LAEKEN: Laeken infused an edgy allure to tie-dye silks and saturated plaids with flouncy silhouettes, exposed zippers and matching fingerless gloves we'd like to get our hands in. Several models wore nerdy (made cool by hipsters) glasses.

MAXINE DILLON: Maxine Dillon continues to evolve with increased sophistication each season, which has been fun to watch. This season, we were taken with the bold-and-beautiful purple, black and oyster-hued print, which looked like the underside of mushrooms, or possibly floral? It didn't really matter because it worked on everything—trousers tabbed at the ankle, a thigh-reaching tied dress, inset on a blouse, and even on a braided headband. In fact, the fabric, puffy necklaces, belts, and headbands added texture throughout; and we really need to find out more info on those studded, platform sandals.
· Gen Art's 'Fashionably Natural' Pre-Fashion Week Kick-Off [Racked]