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Grunge, Geometry, Nomads: Inspo Runs the Gamut at Concept

LA designer Mike Vensel's latest collection.
LA designer Mike Vensel's latest collection.

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Lest you forget, LA Fashion Week is still in full swing. While the LA Fashion Council went al fresco with its rooftop presentation, Concept LA took over legendary Silver Lake soundstage Mack Sennett Studios for a full day of fall 2014 presentations. We hit up this past Saturday's showcase—one of the many stops on our suggested itinerary—where we caught the latest collections of four standout SoCal designers.


Kicking off the festivities was LA designer Mike Vensel, whose latest "Nothing" collection nodded to his roots as a Southern skater kid in the '80s and '90s. A grunge homage wouldn't be complete sans the sounds of a certain seminal Seattle band, and moody-looking models posed in bright flannels and black body-con dresses as Nirvana's legendary MTV Unplugged performance played overhead.

About those broken TVs and shopping carts: "A lot of the places that we skated in were empty lots and abandoned places [where] there was always trash around," Vensel explained to us after the show. In his early photography days, he began shooting "discarded objects; I found beauty in random boards on the side of the road [...] It's another way to rethink fashion and what's beautiful; I think that '90s grunge was embracing ugliness, in a way."


Next up was Romanian-born, SF-based designer Camelia Skikos's retro-futuristic runway show, which offered looks "inspired by the urban landscapes and the grid map of San Francisco." Featuring halo-like lucite hats, geometric lines and bold-hued dresses, the entire out-of-this-world collection was surely fit for an icy, intergalactic adventure (or a Bay Area visit?) where winter weather warrants luxe leathers and massive monster fur jackets.


Following Skikos' trip to the Jetsons, designer Sam Adegoke of Wayward set up a somewhat post-apocalyptic scene with his totally Waterworld-worthy menswear collection. Aptly titled "Nomad," it was all inspired the Fula tribe in Africa and the designer's love "of adventure mischief and motorcycles"—a point clearly illustrated with dreadlocked models dressed in head-to-toe leathers topped with motorcycle helmets. Maybe not so much an ideal getup for herding sheep in the scorching heat, but perhaps moreso for navigating LA's concrete jungle?


Finally, the always-innovative Jen Awad capped off the event with her informal presentation of her latest collection, "Up in Smoke." Once again going the retro route, the LA designer's '40s- and '50s-inspired looks were "a decadent, dark and sultry take [...] for the Sophia Lorens of our time." With sexy leather pinup dresses, vampy velvet and vintage fur coats, embroidered gowns and more, you'll see exactly what we mean in the gallery above.

· Concept Fashion Week [Official Site]
· All LAFW Fall 2014 Coverage [Racked]
· 10 LA Fashion Week Shows and Parties Worth Hitting Up [Racked]
· Lee+Lani, Kittinhawk and Jen Awad Captivate at Concept LA [Racked]
· LA Fashion Council Goes the Rooftop Route for Fall 2014 Shows [Racked]