Now we're not just saying this to blow smoke for our lovely Los Angeles–based Who What Wear crew, but their fair city is undeniably gaining traction as a fashion force to be reckoned with. Could it be that L.A. is shaping up to be the world's fifth fashion capital after (and this is in no particular order) New York, Milan, Paris and London? Not only did Hedi Slimane decamp from France to La La Land following his appointment at Saint Laurent, but now he's putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak, and staging the house's autumn/winter 2016 show there too.
It's been a busy week in terms of Saint Laurent news—with rumours spreading now far and wide that Hedi hasn't reached an agreement for renewal of his contract and that Anthony Vaccarello could be next in line for this golden job—but back to our focus. How, why and when did L.A. become a serious player in this high-fashion market?
"The Los Angeles fashion moment has been bubbling for a few years now, and it’s part of a larger creative renaissance that includes the art and design worlds too. It’s exciting to see the burgeoning movement continue to grow, especially as tastemakers like Natalie Joos make the move west," explains Who What Wear's editorial director, Kat Collings.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images
On Suki Waterhouse: Rosetta Getty dress.
Style Notes: Rosetta Getty is one of the most exciting labels coming out of Los Angeles right now.
There has long been a booming denim scene and constant red carpet dressing, and, of course, we all know athleisure wouldn't exist without the Gigi/Kendall types heading from one new workout to another in their finest exercise kits, but some designers—like Hedi and also Jeremy Scott before him—have been instrumental in cementing a more salubrious reputation for the city. So forget the Juicy Couture pink velour tracksuits of Paris Hilton's past (and the dogs carried around in monogram-emblazoned bags). The new L.A. aesthetic is sophisticated but seriously chilled.
"It has an ease and lightheartedness that sets it apart from other style hubs," says Kat. "There’s a looser interpretation of what goes, what’s appropriate, and even what’s in style, which ultimately feels refreshing. There’s a tradition of bohemian-inspired style, but currently it’s more of an abstract interpretation—it can be as subtle as not wearing a bra, which has a specific '70s-inspired appeal under a thin ribbed knit, or repurposing a faded ribbon as a choker. As a counterpoint to New York’s uniform of head-to-toe black, wearing colour or an all-white ensemble always feels en pointe in Los Angeles."
Style Notes: Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid walking through the streets of L.A. in their usual hybrid of exercise gear and regular clothes.
One of Kat's top examples of this relaxed but pulled-together polish is Rosetta Getty: a designer with ultra-luxe, top-end price points sitting alongside other US labels like The Row and Altuzarra. Only this week did Suki Waterhouse put Rosetta's sumptuous wares to the test, choosing a nude, draped cape gown and blown-out Farah Fawcett waves for a Hollywood event. Kat tells us: "I find a snippet from Rosetta's website compelling. 'We’ve made an edited group of pieces, several void of trims or closures offered in multiple fabrics to let the wearer feel free to interpret.' This is pure Los Angeles: free to interpret. The lightness that comes with the ability to wear it how you want, to experiment."
Scroll through the gallery below to shop our UK-approved edit of L.A. pieces…
Do you have any favourite brands coming out of other cities? Let us know in the comments box below…
Opening Image: Style du Monde