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Razor Blades, Lacquered Birdcages and Pixie Tangerines: The California Design Biennial is On!

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If you ever doubted the ability of L.A. to become a leading contender in the world of fashion design, then perhaps you need a dose of the California Design Biennial now open at PMCA. Who better to lead the charge and curate the "fashion" installations than L.A.'s own Rose Apodaca?! As the former West Coast Bureau Chief of WWD and owner of the home design store A+R she has had a bird's eye view of the rise of preeminent California designers like Rick Owens, Magda Berliner and Michelle Mason. Today, she is helping forge the road for a new group of designers who are rethinking the standards of fashion design. She collaborated with the 11 chosen designers as they created and cherry picked pieces from their lines to display. She hopes that visitors will gain a new awareness of the kind of work that is coming out of California.

"These 11 are part of a larger wave of designers who are forgoing the fast fashion route for craftsmanship, artistry, technique and innovation. In many instances, they are producing locally, and producing products that withstand time in terms of trends and quality," said Apodaca. "The idea that beauty can be produced by hand, or from recycled materials, or by taking time is a very powerful reaction to the way we have consumed stuff in the modern era."

The insanely creative, jaw dropping pieces include Michael Schmidt's disco ball mannequin wearing Madonna's Swarovski crystal boxing robe (she would!) and Raven Kaufman's "Plume" bag which took a staggering 155 hours of hand stitching to complete.

As for the future of fashion in L.A. Apodaca believes that, "It is a very conducive place for designers because of the lifestyle they can create for themselves here. There is an experimental spirit that can make for some fantastical flights of fashion." And of course if you're still unsure as to why LA is great for designers of all types, we can always play the weather card.

The California Design Biennial: Action/Reaction is at the Pasadena Museum of California Art through October 31, 2010. (Text by Sarah Corsello)
· Pasadena Museum of California Art [Official Site]
· A+R [Official Site]

Pasadena Museum of California Art

490 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA