Saturday, September 05, 2009
Emerging LA Designers get judged!The new Michael, Heidi, and Nina? Jeffrey Sebelia, Noni Tochterman and Nick Verreos This week, I was invited to be one of the "esteemed" judges for the Downtown Los Angeles Fashion Week Emerging Designers Launch and Runway Show, a "Search for the Next Great LA Designer" contest which is being organized in conjunction with City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Program. Along with Leanna Lewis and Barbara Graff of the Downtown L.A. Fashion Week Committee, D.C.A. Olga Garay was on hand to welcome us to the "Judging Day". Leanna Lewis of Downtown LA Fashion Week My co-judges included Project Runway Season 3 Winner Jeffrey Sebelia, Nony Tochterman of Petro Zillia (looking UBER fabulous, as always!), Louis Verdad, designer and red carpet host, Randolph Duke (a FIDM Alumn), and event designer and contestant from the new "Launch My Line" reality show, Vanessa Gonzalez. Hundreds of Southern California designers submitted their designs, portfolios and press kits and then they were narrowed down to about ten and then it was our job, as the Final Judges, to select our favorite "Top Three".Vanessa Gonzalez (far left), Randolph Duke and his pr agent, Diana Bianchini, enjoying the ceviche hors d'oeuvres at Provecho Restaurant The Official Judging Day began with a DELICIOUS lunch at Provecho Restaurant in Downtown LA. We began with appetizers from the "Raw Bar" menu with such delights as halibut with black truffle (amazing!), spicy tuna tostadas, and marinated rock shrimp ceviche. In addition to this, we were also served shredded chicken, fish and al pastor beef soft tacos and Fideo con Queso with jalapenos (it's like a mac-and-cheese on Ecstasy!). And if that wasn't enough, we finished with the most incredible Churros! Note to self: Will have to come back to Provecho Restaurant and have dinner--and put in an extra hour on the tread mill! Petro Zillia Harem: Designer and founder of Petro Zillia, Nony Tochterman strikes a pose (love her harem pants--she told me she has them in like ten colorways!) After all that, we all needed a Siesta, but instead we had to get down to "business": We headed to the adjacent Remedy Lounge nightclub to begin our judging. Young "emerging" Ford models modeled the designer's clothes as we surveyed their portfolios and filled out our judges' scorecards. There were definitely some designers that got our attention and we scored them accordingly! Gucci Love: Close up of Nony Tochterman's necklaces, which included a vintage Gucci perfume mini pendant (which I wanted to steal from her!) The Emerging Designer Winners will show their collections during Downtown Los Angeles Fashion Week, which will take place at the Geffen Contemporary MOCA, Oct 13-15TH. I am looking forward to their shows and hope you can join us too. If you love fashion and want to support LA fashion designers, this will be a must-see event. Hope to see you there--and hope you liked who we chose!

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