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LA's Kind of Nonexistent, Possibly Schizophrenic Fashion Identity

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We love our city. We love fashion. But we don't always love fashion in our city. And it's kind of clear that the rest of the fashion universe feels the same way, which is why LA is constantly denounced and thought of as the capitol of sloppy tees, denim and sweats.

The current edition of the LA Weekly endeavors to find the soul of fashion in LA?and even with all their talent and infusion of perspectives from people like Skingraft's Jonny Cota, Brian Lichtenberg, Wren's Melissa Coker, Katy Kay, and Boxeight founder Peter Gurnz, the Weekly can't seem to nail anything definitive down. (While we're huge fans of both Skingraft and Brian Lichtenberg, we do think it's a little odd labels so distinctly avant garde were given so much emphasis and designers known for producing the basic antithesis of the LA aesthetic were anointed "The People Who Matter in LA Fashion").


We do think that Gendy Alimurung gets is more right than wrong when she writes:

It takes substantial care to look like you don't care. The quintessential L.A. it-girl uniform it the epitome of careful not-caring: skinny jeans, blazer, a little top, statement bag, 5-inch platform Brian Atwood heels.

Lina Lecaro dispenses with the notion that there's simply one fashion paradigm at work here, and breaks LA looks down by very specific neighborhoods.

There is no singular "L.A. look," and Silver Lake isn't all beards and ironic T-shirts, either. Still, there are certain aesthetics -- in the form of everything from accessories to hairstyles -- that seem more concentrated in certain areas. Why do we always see the same aviator shades on guys driving SUVs in Glendale or clusters of cupcake tattoos on pink-haired Culver City art tarts, for example? Is it the tipping-point effect? A subconscious monkey-see, monkey-do thing?

Her analysis is a mix of truisms (skanky H&M-clad co-eds outside the velvet rope on Hollywood Blvd) and things that, frankly, we're glad we've never seen. (The "Downtown Polysexual 'Starving' Artist", in his belly tee, guyliner and fishnets, sounds terrifying).

And sadly, when it comes to East Side fashion, we think a now months-old piece on weirdly enduring style trends at Coachella nailed it, with depictions of horrible neon sunglasses, that ghastly romper/cowboy boots combo, and a general triumph of hipster humor over taste.

So even though many talented designers, stylists, muses and writers are pushing really hard to try to coax a beautiful LA fashion butterfly out of its Ed Hard and Juicy Couture cocoon, it kinda seems like we're failing. When asked if he thinks LA has an undeservedly bad reputation in the fashion world, Peter Gurnz say, "No. We deserve it." Ouch.
· Does L.A. Have a Fashion Identity? [LA Weekly]
· Six L.A. Neighborhoods With the Most Distinctive Fashion Styles [LA Weekly]
· 10 Fashion Combinations?this Year (and Every Year) at Coachella [LA Weekly]

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