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Last night's Skingraft program was, quite possibly, the best chance LAFW had for putting on a world-class show and gaining some real traction in the fight for Fashion Week cred -- even our friends who wear YSL and Fendi and do not give a rat's ass about LA fashion know and love Skingraft. They're kind of a big deal, so the multi-label show at Exchange was hotly anticipated.
Ashton Michael was first on the night's bill, and they were indeed like appetizers for Skingraft. The line was full of gothy-punky staples that are, apparently, all the rage with eco-conscious rockers and musicians. (The Black Eyed Peas are fans.) The presentation was a bit cliched -- there were dudes in skirts, and a few bare breasts. Yawn. We did like a lot of the women's pants, especially the ones that were augmented with strappy concoctions (though we imagine visiting the john in those things would be a bitch.) Even though we were slightly ambivalent about it at first, it really grew on us and we'll give it a thumb's up.
Skingraft could certainly afford to be one-note and keep doing what they've been doing, but this collection showed some maturity and a willingness to try new things. It's still the usual color palette -- a soft gray colorblock scuba-style dress was as close to "colorful" as the line got. The mens' offerings were especially strong: favorite pieces included a drapy vest made from soft, perforated leather; and of course the men's jackets are pretty unimpeachable. The piece de resistance was a dress that combined layer upon layer of ruffles with a cowl neck, aggressively peplumed vest. It made us long for Skingraft to branch out and do wedding dresses.
Last up was Anthony Franco. The press release said his line was inspired by a 1930's boardwalk, which explains the men's knickers and seersucker, yet does not account for the men's sweater briefs with the dingleberry drawstring. We don't want to spend a lot of time slamming this line; there were a few interesting looks and some nicely tailored suits for the men folk, but most of the women's looked like it was aiming for Dolce & Gabbana territory but fell flatly into the realm of Chico's.
· All LAFW Coverage [Racked LA]
· Ashton Michael [Official Site]
· Skingraft [Official Site]
· Anthony Franco [Official Site]