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The Hits and Misses of Day Two of Concept, Featuring L'une Collection, Mila Hermanovski, and Jen Awad

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All day Saturday, we kept hearing from people how great the two runway shows at Friday night's Concept show were: we've seen both Chemline and Lavuk up close and personal, it's lovely stuff, but we just couldn't make it. Oh, how we regret that we couldn't have brought you that, rather than Saturday's concept shows.

The evening started off with four different installations. One was the L'une Collection, a bunch of dark evening-y pieces on girls that were styled to look like glam zombies. Mila Hermanovski showed a small collection of the pieces she's been working on: black and white numbers reconstructed from vintage cashmere. The overall effect was both mod and futuristic (as a person, in the year 1957, might imagine 2010), like if Barbarella were an airline stewardess. What caught our eye at Curly-V was the graphic stuff -- mostly because it reminded us way too much of DimePiece. The Melanie Mills installation was two ladies in repose in a swanky little boudoir: they were wearing sparkly body paint, vines and bikinis.

And on to the runways?

First up was an LA line called Science and Numbers. They traumatized us early with a pair of pleather leggings that affected polterwang in the front and droopy drawers in the back. There were a few elements that were repeated throughout the collection: long, buttoned leather cuffs on everything, and lots of criss-crossing straps. Apart from these touches, most of the line aspired to minimalism: lots of boxy, square cuts or sheath-like dresses and tunics, limited range of colors and materials. There were a few nice pieces with dramatic cowl necks, and interesting draping, but overall, the line came off as "unfinished" rather than minimal.

Jen Awad's collection speaks for itself. Which, in this case, is not a good thing. Our main criticism is that there's just too much stuff on it -- lots of grommets, jewels, bows, stripes and studs. In past seasons, she went nuts with fake pearls, which appeared on EVERYTHING. We get that it's supposed to be theatrical. She had a few pieces that had what looked like spiderman embroidered on the bodice. God bless those creative people who stick to their visions after probably being told a few dozen times, "No that doesn't work." But Spiderman? Maybe a lot of people thought the same when Miuccia Prada started putting cats on everything?and look at her now! But overall, we didn't really care for the collection. We seemed to be in the minority: Jen got a thunderous ovation, and the audience buzzed about the collection for a long time after the lights came on.

A third designer, Thai Nguyen, was also supposed to show a collection, but 8:30, the thought of having to stand around for another hour in shoes that stopped being comfortable two hours ago caused us too much distress. We're wearing more sensible shoes for Sunday, which includes a Skingraft installation, as well as runway shows from Fremont and B:Scott, two lines that are starting to get a lot of local love.
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