Since Ed Hardy designer Christian Audigier decided to start his own company with the premise of working exclusively with the designs of legendary tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy, the look of the trucker hat, designer t-shirt and tattoo (for that matter) has never been and probably never will be the same. The designer, who was the creative force behind the Von Dutch label for over 3 years, rocked his way onto Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with his Fall 2007 Collection themed 'Love Kills Slowly.'
Drawing the likes of Janice Dickinson and Jenna Jameson, the buzz surrounding the Ed Hardy show was felt in the surrounding tents making those not on the guest list scramble to find a way to get in. My photographer, Garth Young, and I felt privileged to be amongst the 'in crowd' with seats for the show. Before the models sashayed their way down the runway, it became the foundation for all things media. Attendees of the show posed for pictures, conducted interviews, and showed off their own Ed Hardy signature gear.
At the back of the runway, vibrant pink neon served as the backdrop to the trademark skull head, which was softened by a red heart and scribe with 'Love Kills Slowly' engrained across it. So what's the deal behind a brand molded around a painter, printmaker and 'Godfather of the modern tattoo' Don Ed Hardy?
Simply put, the deal between the two gifted artists has been sweeter than most hands dealt to designers in the LA market. Audigier, a native of Avignon, France, started his career in his early teens and hasn't slowed down since. With a love for Rock n'Roll, Audigier stated on his website, 'My favorite group was the Rolling Stones. It was natural for me to design cool clothes.' And cool clothes are what we are getting for Fall 2007.
The underlying theme to 'Love Kills Slowly' was a strange patriotism. If your idea of American culture goes further than 'Mom and Apple Pie' then this was the show for you. Playing on iconic circus side show characters like the bearded lady and connected twins, the show's whimsy even went as far as having models blow bubbles using antique bubble blowers as they made their way down the runway in distressed t-shirts, leather jackets animal print leggings, and, of course, trucker hats.
Muted colors of browns and black, typical to your Biker meets Rocker look, were punched up with vibrant tones of hot pink, red, yellow and animal print. Another interesting element to the collection was the Asian influence on many of the pieces - some of the models carried paper umbrellas scribed with Asian characters. Each piece had an air of complexity in thought, but simplicity in style. 'When wearing this collection on the street, people will think that you put a lot of thought into your outfit when in actuality you just threw on a shirt and pair of jeans' states a fan of the collection.
Yes, Audigier has put all the thought that needs to be put into these pieces, now it's just up to us to put them on. This is exactly the message that Jenna Jameson articulated. 'The one thing that I love about the collection is the ease and comfort' yet you still look hot.' Other celebrities that enjoy the versatility and 'coolness factor' of the Ed Hardy line are Britney Spears, who was his very first celebrity client, Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, Hilary Duff and Justin Timberlake, just to name a few.
With Summer just around the corner, Audigier even showed us how to rock a bikini Ed Hardy style. Although I highly doubt that most of us will be hitting the beach in a bikini, low slung belts, leather jacket and motorcycle boots, I am sure that the bikinis themselves will be flying off the shelves as the days heat up.
At the close of the show, Jenna Jameson came out with the exuberant designer who then pulled show attendee, Janice Dickinson on the stage. Dickinson, who is also a huge fan of the designer and Ed Hardy line, had a few models from her self-named model agency strutting their stuff in the show. So, if you are like me, I bet you are wondering where to snatch up these signature pieces. Cities like Los Angeles, New York and Arizona host Ed Hardy stores, but the pieces can be found at many boutiques around the country.
For more information on shopping, the brand and the people behind the scenes, please visit www.donedhardy.com.
Photos by Marisa Youlden to see more go to www.myspace.com/marisayouldenjewelry
Interview Photos by Garth Young.