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Fashion in Los Angeles 2011 - Part Three

Updated on December 25, 2012

Women's Fashion in Los Angeles

The first of two articles on women's fashion will cover the more ubiquitous styles in Los Angeles. Part Four will cover fashion setters here in Los Angeles in 2011. I break this up this way because the more general styles may be seen almost anywhere. The trends could or could not be what makes the runways later this year or next.

As stated in the Men's Fashion (Fashion in Los Angeles - Part One and Fashion In Los Angeles Part Two) articles there is an overriding subtext in L.A. fashion and that theme is casual. Women achieve this, much like the men, by purposely affecting an air of "I didn't work hard to get this look" even though chances are that they worked overtime to look like they didn't. There's a difference though; women are much freer with color. And L.A. is nothing if not a colorful city.

As I've said elsewhere Los Angeles is not a fashion mecca. In fact we tend to lag behind trends set in New York, Rome or Paris, but that does not mean we don't apply our own little taste of El Lay to that style. We do and you don't have to look that hard to see that touch of The City of Angels in our clothing.

Of course our mild climate has a lot to do with the look. Temperatures never seem to vary more than thirty degree year around. With a high of eighty at the coast and a low of fifty during the "winter" months, it's quite easy to look summer casual almost all year round. Then there's the geography too. We have the ocean in the west and snow covered (think skiing) mountains in the north east both of which are an easy two to three hour drive apart. Geography, then, plays a part in our fashion too. The Beach look and the Snow Bunny look can be seen on the same day.

Of course women prefer to get extremely dressed up or extremely dressed down depending on the occasion. This article will cover the spectrum of those circumstances within the major trends. We'll start with Haute Couture and work down to Athletic Grunge.

Michel Berandi Shoes
Michel Berandi Shoes | Source
Michel Berandi Fashion
Michel Berandi Fashion | Source

Haute Couture

The Michel Berandi Look
As with the "Rocker Vampire" look the overriding color is black.

What makes this Haute Couture is a great deal of it is hand sewn. Designs are "one-off," meaning that the buyer is assured she has the only version of this particular item. The items displayed at right are from a show at BOXeight called Glamor Goth.

From the top down (remember everything is black) the wearer can be clothed in a blouse or dress shirt. Over this may be a form fitting leather jacket tightly tailored to the torso. The jacket may have goat-hair or fur sewn into it. Below the waist skin-tight pants or a just above the knee skirt, also form fitting, also black. Footware is almost exclusively above the angle high heeled boots or shoes.

The line is exclusively highly tailored, form fitting and for a select few; by design.

I would call it Marilyn Manson meets Edward Scissorhands, but that is not to say it's not intriguing and on the right woman stunning.

Having read some interviews with Michel Berandi I'm not terribly impressed with his external view of the world. He has a very dark outlook and seems to be convinced that we are now living in the the best time of our lives, but don't appreciate it. He predicts world-wide famine and total collapse of civilization. What a cheerful guy!

The Los Angeles Movie Premiere
This is also a prime location for Haute Couture. Here on the red carpet stars and "up-and-comers" are approached by fashion houses to show off their latest creations. This puts a great deal of pressure on the star. She must not only choose carefully she must have an immaculate pedicure, manicure and the perfect accessories (handbag and shoes) to go with the outfit.

In a way this is extraordinarily unfair. A bad choice here can get you on the "best dressed" or "worst dressed" list overnight. Your image will be flashed around the world with a derogatory comment by the latest "fashion expert." For this reason and others, the "red carpet" look is widely panned by the masses. Lets face it, looking that good for a thousand cameras takes hours and hours of time. The upside? The star often gets a free dress and accessories.

No, the women here would rather look like they chose the best of the "opening night" fashion without spending the money or time required.

Hollywood Vixen
Hollywood Vixen | Source

Hollywood Vixen

Starting from the top perfectly quaffed hair with a ribbon or tiny skull in it; color can range from platinum blonde to auburn.

The dress is a very tight fitting spaghetti strap (or off the shoulder) above the thigh dress made of synthetic material; it could even be denim. It should be a bright singular color and the nail polish should match the dress. It is so short, in fact, that she needs to pull down hard while sitting. (see Women in Short Skirts are [Insert Opinion Here] by Simone Smith)

Accessories include sunglasses and a boxy purse that matches the color scheme of the dress. Footware consists of platform cork wedgies.

Makeup is lip gloss that matches the dress in tone if not color. Dark eyeliner and false eyelashes are fine and the eye makeup may extend well past the upper lid to form a "pixie crease." There is likely to be a foundation based on "bare minerals" or may even include a Kat von D tattoo concealer.

I personally love this look, but readily admit that it's not for everyone. The upside is it's pretty easy to attain and very attention getting.

Style influences are Jersey Shore and the Kardashians.

The wearer will refuse to wear a jacket, sweater or anything else that might detract from her figure.

Real Housewives of Orange County Cast
Real Housewives of Orange County Cast | Source

Valley Mom

This is a look popularized by The Real Housewives of [Insert Locale here].

From the top casually styled hair with highlights. No ribbons allowed. Large simple earrings adorn the lobes and a simple necklace below.

The top is an empire cinched bare shouldered "baby-doll." The jeans Republic or Pace, formfitting of course, with a tight hem at the ankles. No valley mom would be seen without a namebrand purse or diaper bag. Louis-Vuitton is popular. Wedgie platform shoes complete the look. She may also have a joggers stroller as an additional accessory.

Dresses are brightly color just above the knee accompanied by bracelets, bling-rings, and large ear-rings. Pumps are popular.

I like this look too. Never have moms looked quite so alluring as with this style.

WeHo Vixen
WeHo Vixen | Source

WeHo Wo(man)

This is really a man's fashion, but since the idea is to look like a woman I'm including it here.

You may not be familiar with West Hollywood, but that doesn't mean you haven't seen footage of the area on television. West Hollywood (WeHo) is a city, not a suburb, and it has some of the most liberal laws regarding "alternative lifestyles." In fact the mayor of West Hollywood is gay.

The look may start with a huge platinum blond wig. The wearer is closely shaved and may even use body make-up to hide the five-o'clock shadow.

The dress is very similar to the one worn by the Hollywood Vixen, but in a plus (ten and up) size. The dress is likely custom made. Sequins and bright colors are the norm.

Accessories include large hoop ear-rings (color matches dress), sequined pumps, and bracelets that match the color of the dress.

Make-up is not option; it's a requirement. It will often include a very heavy foundation (for obvious reasons), false eyelashes, and a dark outline around the lips with blood-red lip-gloss.

You won't see this everywhere, but when the wearer stands six plus feet tall and is built like an Amazon you'll know you've seen it.

Other Styles

Scarecrow: Extremely thin women in oversized clothes.

Rockabilly: Betty Page style hair or a bee-hive or pompadour. Tight fitting long sleeved Tee perhaps with a camisole over it. Tight fitting jeans and heals or pumps.

Audigier: Large, loud and brightly printed graphics on jeans, Tee-shirt and hoodie; may be sequined or have rhinestones.

Wrapping Up

All these looks can be seen throughout L.A., except of course the Michel Berandi which is still fairly new. For the "red carpet" look visit any high class club or steak-house. Or just cruise Beverly Hills after seven PM.

Winter attire is just the same, but it may include a sweater, a jacket, and a scarf. I've even seen Angelinos with all of the aforementioned in shorts and flip-flops. That is true dedication to the casual look.

As you may gather all of these fashion statements have a basis in movies or television. Hey, this is the entertainment capitol of the world. Is that really a surprise?


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