As a Personal Stylist I often look to unique international designers for clients who might be a little bored with their current shopping experience - and what better way than to experience the glamour of Hollywood's LA Fashion Week.
Whist no one would argue London's one of the best shopping destinations in the world, it can sometimes feel like our options are limited, and everywhere we look the same brands. If jet-setting to LA to update your wardrobe is not an option though, finding a stylist to be your eyes at the FROW ensures you'll be first to discover upcoming trends.
First stop, Fashion Week Los Angeles (FWLA) at Union Station. The notorious LA traffic had us arrive with only moments to spare before show! Thanks to a friend who drove me from a prior shopping spree at BCBG Max Azria - flashback to getting changed in the car, my new faux stingray clutch now in tow!
Fashion Week LA broadcast live at Union Station: grand historical fashion week location (Image Stylist's own)
Enter Union Station - a grand space of art deco interiors. Guests enjoyed having their photos taken in the garden, with opportunity to catch the LA sun between shows. In spite of press-only access to the show space, the shows were broadcast live on movie screen to commuters passing through, giving a sense of community spirit.
Surfer girl: combining neutrals rather than bright colours lent sophistication to the looks at Cynthia Rowley (Image Stylist's own)
True to LA's active lifestyle, I saw a crossover between fashion and activewear. Cynthia Rowley's sporty, surfer girls brought the glamour of Malibu beach to life.
Spring menswear trend: starfish motif at Moods of Norway (Image Stylist's own)
Over to menswear and it was refreshing to see Moods of Norway's pop of colour in their collection, very much fitting a London aesthetic. They introduced dressy day-to-evening pieces to LA's laid-back casual vibe, having opened their flagship store in Beverley Hills. If anyone was wondering whose pink limousine was parked outside - it was Moods of Norway. Typical of their tongue-in cheek, oddball Scandinavian humour as their pink tractor logo.
Sporty trend: net jacket with feathers by Robin's Jean (Image Jung S. Kim)
Back to LA urban style, I loved the feather effects used in Robin's Jean. The collections have influences from Native American culture and symbolic of freedom. The French designer brings his passion for denim to the brand.
Aside from the shows, an interesting aspect of Fashion Week Los Angeles were the panel discussions, especially on cosmetics. As a Personal Stylist clients often ask me for make-up as well as fashion advice, so I was interested to hear of an App called Think Dirty, Shop Clean from husband and wife duo Plume. This App allows you to scan the barcode of your skincare and make-up brands to see their ratings for carcinogens, and harmful effects to reproductive system. Most telling was that well-known brands I tried in the App were harmful to a high degree. Thankfully the App recommends non-harmful alternatives and links you straight to where they can be bought online.
Coolest on show: Phlemuns FW16 (Image Stylist's own)
Inspired by the styling of early 90s pop group Dee Lite, the Phlemuns show was my favourite, the designer creating flattering proportions. Amongst trends spotted were bandanas, here tied in a simple knot around the neck (what's not to love?). Word at fashion week was Phlemuns has a strong music following too.
Biggest showstopper: George Styler SS16 (Image Stylist's own)
Serbian born, London-based designer George Styler brought an interesting mix of ethnic inspirations and art, showing floral and animal motifs - as featured in Vogue Italia.
Luxurious faux fur at Dena Burton (Image Stylist's own)
Another standout collection was Dena Burton and her luxurious faux furs. The designer spoke of using cruelty-free materials, in keeping with LA's love of animals. Being a supporter of cruelty-free fashion I am always on the lookout for exceptional quality faux fur and was impressed by the range of styles. A collection for the modern jet-setting woman.
Dena Burton FW16: hair by L'Oreal Pro & Artlab salon (Image LA Local Buzz)
Los Angeles Fashion Week 2016 - Designers and Trends, published in Huffington Post UK Style on 31 May 2016.