I knew the night was going to be very special. The Fashion Show premiering Sue Wong's "JAZZ BABIES" SPRING 2014 Collection was to be held in the Cicada Club in downtown Los Angeles. The Cicada Club in located on multi levels of the Oviatt Building on Olive Street.
There was a red carpet event preceding the fashion show, which would allow all the celebs to show off their finery too. Lastly, there would be a private After Party to be held at Sue Wong's home, The Cedars, up in the hills of Los Feliz (the After Party will be covered in a subsequent follow-up article).
Here was one event embracing all of my passions. I was like a kid in a candy store. In the course of my lifetime I have been, and am, an oil painter, a photographer, a builder of FINE CUSTOM HOMES. Mansions, some call them [I dislike the term personally]. I've loved fashion since I was in my early twenties and have always felt that ifashion was very similar to designing and building, buildings. For me, its all ART !
Buildings, and Clothes, have a great deal in common. The best require planning, use of quality products, and attention to detail in execution. And now that I think of it, so does a good painting. For Me, it's all ART.
The night started on the Red Carpet. There for the eyes to caressed were stunning women, and debonair men. Of note were Kelly Hu (CW's Arrow, The Vampire Diaries), Breann Johnson (Red Wing), Sloane Avery (MTV’s Teen Wolf), Sarah Dumont (Don Jon, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Erin Cahill (ABC’s Body of Proof), Lindsay Seim (Insidious Chapter 2 ), Kaili Thorne (CSI Miami), and many others I don't have space to name. The night was warming up indeed. Things were about to get much hotter as we moved inside for the much anticipated Fashion Show.
The Oviatt Building is an Art Deco Building, at 617 Olive Street. Construction began in August 1927, Two years before the Great Depression began. LA architectural firm Walker & Eisen designed the building for partners, James Zera Oviatt and Frank Biard Alexander.
And a better place for the premier of Sue Wong's 2014 Spring Collection could not be found. For inside The Oviatt Building is the Cicada Club and Restaurant. A huge, ornate, Art Deco space on the building's ground floor and upstairs mezzanine. The Restaurant is a 1920s-'30s style nightclub, Maxwell DeMille's Cicada Club. Inside, we were transported back into time
I love these old buildings here in LA. The sense of nostalgia harkens back to a time long ago, when men were men, and Dames, was Dames. The Twenties, Jazz, Fappers, and old Art Deco buildings. I knew I had to do something different, and special, for the photos I would take at the fashion show for Sue Wong's Jazz Babies. This would be the premier of the 2014 Spring Collection, and for me, I wanted to capture something extra in the images. Something to compliment the new creativity of Sue Wong's designs, to harken back to that Noir look. And when I saw the inside of the Cicada Club it hit me. When I first got into photography, Kodak's Tri-X was king of B&W film, and I fell in love with the saturation of Agfa's Ultra, colour print film. And when encountering low light situations back then, especially when I could not slow down the shutter, I had to push the film a couple of stops, creating that famous grain. So in this new digital age and as the 2014 Spring Collection was about to bloom, I would go back in time, and use all those old photography elements to Showcase the Sue Wong Spring 2014 Collection. I wanted to create in my photos, the sense of noir nostalgia I saw in the Oviatt Building and the interior of the Cicada Club, and use that to showcase Sue Wong's Collection.
Inside, a buzz filled the air. Everyone attending anticipated a great show, an were eager to see what Sue Wong would present for Spring of 2014.
Personally, I've long admired Ms Wong's work, and what has always caught my attention is the structure of the garments and the workmanship with which they are constructed. Couple that with incredible attention to detail and lots of gorgeous fabric, this Season's Spring Preview would surely excite all the senses.
And as the show began, jaws began to drop. "Jazz Babies" strutted. Music was in the Air and there were gorgeous models galore. Michael Peer escorted us throughout the show with his gorgeous voice.
"Underscoring the collection’s core theme are intricately embroidered cocktail numbers and exquisitely draped floor length ball gowns that contrast solid skirts with jewelled bodices fit for any special occasion. There are also a range of day-to-evening pieces in beautifully muted shades including pinks and lilacs, classic blacks and beiges, and more paparazzi-bait showstoppers." - Sue Wong Studio
The strong structure in the silhouettes allow the flirty femininity and the serious sensual undertones to ring out. All the dresses designed by Sue Wong were perfectly paired with hats and purses, stockings, and shoes. Enough to make every woman a girl, and every girl a woman. For this Night, all the Ladies were Jazz Babies
Some of the Sponsors for the evening were Prive for Hair, Mud Makeup Designory for Makeup, and Leg Luxury for Hoisery.
Shooting Fashion Shows often evoke ideas of imagery that solely focus on the fashion. And rightly so. I did not want my images to look like a catalog shoot, and I wanted to capture the essence of the night, created by Designer Sue Wong, her amazing Staff, and all the Talent that put of a SMASH HIT.
And for all this, the night was not over. We would adjourn to a private After Party at The Cedars. Sue Wong's private residence in hills of Los Feliz. See my article and photos from the After party, in my next article, in Splash magazine. You can also see this article with additional photos, at my BLOG.
Read my article on the after party at Sue Wongs After Party at The Cedars Review - A Night of Hollywood Glamour Seduces as well as Delights
Photography and Post Production by Greg Autry
A Special Thank You to Lawrence Davis at Splash Magazine, and to Alison and Allie at Sue Wong's studio.