With big afro-esque hair and kohl rimmed eyes, sophisticated fabrics and luxe furs, Kevan Hall began the Fall 2006 L.A. Fashion Week by showing a collection of 46 luxurious pieces that highlighted an elegant yet contemporary look. Drawing inspiration from Diana Ross's 1975 movie 'Mahogany,' Ross' uptown yet decidedly retro look was echoed throughout Hall's designs.
With a rainbow of Diana Ross remixes and thumping bass courtesy of DJ August, the temperature rose inside the black clad main tent until the first show finally started. The designs were as far from streetwear as Ross's character Tracey proved streetwise.
Hall's collection was a contemporary take on 'Mahogany' with granite and autumn tweeds dappled with warm toned sequins, jewels and beads. Golden v-neck satin dresses were warmed with fur jackets over shoulder slung, accenting the thick tiger-eye beaded straps encrusted with jewels. Chocolate off shoulder sweaters sparkled with sequins, as did the alabaster beaded tulle cascade gown that glittered with sequins and beads.
Focusing on fur in anticipation of fall's frigid forecast, Finnish raccoon, sable and chinchilla accented daytime looks and completed evening garb. Ribbed chinchilla leather belted vests in rich shades of brown and gold were layered over mottled printed, blouses, textured champagne-colored wool pants accessorized with supple brown leather gloves and pointy-toed heeled boots. Tall collars and coats made of fur were accessorized with buckle details and repeated the use of animal pelt.
The mahogany theme was reflected in Hall's designs through the broad use of rich honeyed shades of chocolate brown and golden topaz hues and even salmon and coral colors. Complimenting this warm palette was Halls' use of jewel tones reflected in the emerald green, topaz, amethyst, ruby, onyx and even bright teals he used for a richly dramatic effect.
Details such as ruffles and ruching could be found on waists, hips, skirt hems and even elbows. A particularly unusual blouse, an emerald diamond taffeta bishop sleeve shirt was paired with a chocolate velvet skirt. The ruching was reflected in the elbows but was pulled together with a gathered torso and tidied up with a cuffed sleeve. This gathered rucheing was utilized on skirts, blouses and dresses alike. A sheer top rimmed with ruffles proved useful decoration for frontal coverage.
Raw silk and lace comprised complete pieces, as exemplified by the Jet Lyon lace fishtail gown; or it accented with detailed edging such as on the amethyst satin and gold bullion inset gown.
Softening the kohl-rimmed eyeliner, were lids and browbones brushed in soft violets, taupes and shimmery tones of wheat and sun. Cheekbones were bronzed with peach and neutral pinky lips shone with soft glosses. Other hairstyles aside from the afro-chic up do's, included long soft curls and a feathered Farah Facet hair, again borrowing from the seventies.
These looks were pulled together through the use of both polished and matte gold accessories that had the effect of pulling the pieces together. Necklaces were simple chains, leather belts usually worn high on the waist and closed with square belt buckles reflected the retro style of the era. Earrings were kept simple were mixed up with hoops, studs or a single, dangly chain.
Overall Kevan Hall once again confirmed to the Los Angeles audience why his modern couture continues to turn heads and attracts fashion forward customers.
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Photographs courtesy of Jack Fleming Photography.