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BoxEight's Fashion:Refocus: A for Effort But a Few Z-Z-Zs, Too

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Box8's Fashion:Refocus seemed like the event to give LA's much maligned Fashion Week a good, swift kick in the butt: The show promised to fuse art, fashion, photography, and a meta-level overview of both the fashion industry and the creative process, in general. Mix in drinks, DJs, and a party-like vibe, and what could possibly go wrong, right?

Like everything associated with LA Fashion 'Week', Fashion:Refocus seemed a bit long. The event was actually three nights plus a kickoff party: during each night, a designer worked with a crew to create a lookbook for his or her spring 2010 line, photographed in a setting that had already been 'curated' by the designer. There was definitely some high-voltage talent: Friday night's roster included Rami Kashou shot by Garrett Suhrie; Louis Verdad shot by Don Flood; Corpus shot by Patrick Hoelck; FACTORY by ERIK HART shot by Ben Cope; and Lloyd Klein shot by Luke Duval. Photos from these shoots, along with those from the other nights, will be in the November 2009 issue of Flaunt.

Tedious is maybe too strong a word, but it just wasn't exciting. Or fun. It was hard to know where to look. It was also hard to recognize the art that had supposedly been created or consigned for the show. Scads of beautiful clothes hung tantalizingly on garment racks, but at the pace the show was moving, we didn't feel like staying deep into the AM to see every piece. The evening's biggest disappointment was that we didn't get to see the white, ruffly bubble hemmed Louis Verdad number in action. But we did manage to see a really elegant white Rami Kashou gown that featured an origami-like bodice with a dramatic feathered skirt. The preliminary photos from this shoot were amazing; the three hours we spent at the event were not.

However, it's a huge step in the right direction for LAFW. If you like watching people apply makeup, futz with hair, and spend what seems like eons adjusting lighting and elements in the background, then you should definitely check the event out next time. If, however, you just like looking at pretty clothes and striking photography, just wait for the magazine to come out.
· BoxEight [Official Site]