Separated by only 10 miles from your typical Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week engagements at Smashbox Studios or Hotel Mondrian, the P. Ka Bu Fashion Series is an immersion in downtown style, closer to the creative heart of our fashion-conscious city.
The House of P. Ka Bu - For One and All
"I want people to walk into my house, like they're having a good time" says producer Jose Angel. "If they're there to go to work and [they] enjoy it and still work hard and present beautiful stuff," then he believes he has advanced the culture of fashion shows to a more creative realm. Located at the Blu Pinstripe Warehouse in Chinatown-a vacant space remodeled for the event-the P. Ka Bu series showcases designers that Jose Angel trusts to "reflect the climate of independent design. I choose what I believe in as the future of fashion."
The show at the Blu Pinstripe Warehouse featured ten designers' spring collections for the "Urban Lifestyle Set"-defined by Jose Angel as a "myriad of urban sub-cultures" including "DJ culture, artists, designers, skaters, fashionistas"-people he believes are mixing more socially across the city than ever before.
Peggy Lee, Admissions Director at Paul Mitchell Institute--whose students expertly coiffed all the models-said that P. Ka Bu is "very creative you get to see something that's a mix of high fashion and street fashion. So it's really cool, it's very LA." Model Nazra Peterson walked the Mercedes-Benz catwalks for Single and Martin Martin. Ms. Peterson feels that walking for P. Ka Bu designers like Meghan and Hippie Chick Style is a good opportunity as "(the designers) are really just getting noticed right now, so it's really a great opportunity to work with them, on the way up."
The most exciting Spring 2005 collections featured staple items intuitively tailored to the expressive urban Angelina's lifestyle: cocktail dresses, intimate wear, and that tricky beach-to-soiree ensemble that all spring chicks are so keen to find.
Enter Hippie Chick Style, a water sign's dream. This spring collection provides women with sexy and soulful ways to adorn themselves for coastal climates. 19th century Brazilian-inspired floor-length skirts with off-the-shoulder linen tops to risqué wraparound dresses are perfect for walks along the coast. All tuned-in earth mamas will appreciate additional organic touches: abalone, mother-of-pearl, and coral buttons and accents, and generous links of beachwood and strands of pearls draped over evening gowns.
Sheer brocades will highlight spring's glowy skin as illustrated by Deborah Lindquist's bustier gowns, baby dolls, and skirts. Bright satin ribbon lacing along your back-reminiscent of yesteryear's corsets-in soft pinks and canary yellows, is the ultra-feminine way to leave an impression this season. For our femme punk-rock sisters, Ms. Lindquist offers tie-dyed denim in the chocolate, rose, canary and baby blue hues, topped with a ruffled capelet. A contemporary compromise between donning a corseted mini-skirt or dungarees this April is this rhinestone-cinched floral halter matched with cigarette pants in champagne.
Decidedly non-constricting, Uriel Saenz offers sheer blousy tunics and tank dresses for the free-spirited and slightly daring amongst us. Skirts that contrast sequined laces against cotton, or nothing at all, accompany two-toned blouses in canary yellow and apple green. Mr. Saenz's deconstructions of flounce, mini and ruffle skirts lead to unexpected and sometimes broken lines with unhinged skirt panels dropping off of the silhouette.
The crowd pleaser of P. Ka Bu Spring 2005 was the collection Meghan by Meghan Fabulous. Catering to the LA-woman's daring forays into stylish impropriety, Ms. Fabulous' show was highlighted by her spa, or "bordello" robes in leopard, white lace, and the gorgeously vibrant cherry-blossom ensemble in tangerine and fuchsia. Ladies, corresponding sets of lingerie are available! The line also features distinctive eveningwear: bejeweled dashikis, strapless dresses and halter-neck gowns.
Also notable is the swimsuit collection of Purp7e Agua. Wraps inspired by ballet sweaters and evening shrugs accompany string and halter bikinis. Chic coveralls gleaming with seemingly semi-precious stones and sequins lend regal and nearly gothic twists to swimwear's seemingly tropical nature.
Designers in the showcase also included: A Friend of Mine, Anett Schneider, Luis Diaz, Erica Rose and Szulika. P. Ka Bu Spring 2005 was sponsored by Scion.
P. Ka Bu producer Jose Angel likes to keep his audience of fashionistas on the edge of their seats. Upon inquiring about the plans and secret location for P. Ka Bu Winter 2005, he pauses for a moment, and tells me that it will be "spectacular".
And, just how spectacular are we talking?
"Water is involved."