Natasha Gindin's LAVUK collection proves that there is more to fashion than high-priced garments made for budding fashionistas.
March 10, Thursday, marked the start of Fashion Week 2011 for Los Angeles. A notably smaller venue than its Parisian and New York counterparts, Los Angeles Fashion Week (LAFW) 2011 showcases the talents of promising designers who are trying to make their mark on the fashion world.
With venues scattered all through the city ranging from popular art galleries to nightclubs, LAFW is an amalgamation of fashion, music and art, coming together to create a two-week schedule of amazing events catering to the ever-fashionable people of Los Angeles.
Concept Fashion Week, a sponsor of LAFW, brought art and fashion together at their venue this year. Taking over the ACE Gallery on Wilshire Boulevard, the white-walled interior of the gallery was filled with fashionable types of all ages and styles.
Aspiring designers, actors and musicians mingled in clusters along the various designer installations, featuring live models, video footage and set decorations to create a breathing atmosphere for the garments on display.
The live-action experience of the installments encompassed Concept Fashion Week's goal: to create a place where fashion was more than something to simply look at, but rather a tangible force for attendees to interact with.
Excitement for the LAVUK runway show was palpable as the clock ticked closer to 9 p.m. The show — fittingly — began fashionably late, but guests were not disappointed with the presented collection.
Rows of chairs lined the sides of an unmarked lane in the center of an exhibit room, focusing the attention on the collection instead of the runway's set decorations. As guests filtered into the room and found their seats to the sound of a loud techno track pulsing through the room, photographers found their places at the end of the runway and show assistants, dressed inconspicuously in black, flittered to and fro with last minute details.
And as suddenly as the attendees filled the room, the first model made her way down the 30-foot runway, officially starting the show.
The LAVUK collection was a blend of casual wear and innovative cuts, predominately filled with a cool-neutral color scheme infused with pops of bright corals, reds and purples. No haute couture or red-carpet-only wear was present for this designer. The LAVUK theme was all about everyday wear-ability and environmentally friendly fabrics.
Environmentally friendly designer clothes? No lie in that statement.
Natasha Gindin took it upon herself to create a line of clothing based on sustainable fabrics that could still create edgy, modern pieces fit for the runway. And her clothes have created a steady following since LAVUK's 2008 beginnings. LAVUK was even featured in New York Fashion Week's Green Shows this past September.
Originally, a molecular biology major in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Gindin found herself in the United States, where she decided to pursue a new major and study fashion design. After biding her time in the fashion industry, Gindin decided to create her own fashion line in 2008, but an eco-friendly line wasn't what she first had in mind.
When she discovered sustainable materials could be turned into amazing fabrics, Gindin decided that her line would go in an eco-friendly direction. Not only are her designs environmentally friendly, but they are also made without the use of sweatshops — the LAVUK line is made locally in Los Angeles.
Gindin's clothing line is inspired by her life experiences; and, therefore, her collections are trendy yet sensible. And what's even more spectacular about the LAVUK line is that it's doing its part for the environment and raising awareness that sustainable materials can become something stylish.
LAVUK's runway show for Concept Fashion Week at the ACE Gallery kicked off LAFW 2011 with style. With its laid-back, smart designs and bold, black-striped eye makeup over a minimal face, the show was captivating yet simple. Gindin's career as a designer looks more than promising and many more fashion weeks will undoubtedly be in her future.
LAFW 2011 ends March 23 with a private event held in Hollywood.