Last night was likely the large diamond at the center of the tiny, tiny, tiny crown that is Los Angeles Fashion Week: Skingraft‘s Fall 2012 Presentation. We’d been getting pumped for the show, so much so that we sat down with head of the brand, Jonny Cota, to get an idea of what to expect. The show was brilliant and on par with what Skingraft is known for creating–and, it was totally unexpected.
The event was held at the Vibiana Cathedral, which is a beautiful venue Downtown for anything. It was old and spacious and beautiful and definitely more interesting than lots of the clotheshorses who were clomping around trying to be noticed. We arrived and the event was a mess, people spilling into the streets and, within the premises, people ready to stampede in order to make it into the cathedral. We weren’t sure if everyone was trying to get in to watch or get in to sit or what but the unkindly security turned us away as we tried to rush in, believing we were late: “This show already passed,” he yelled at us. We waited in the courtyard, miserably soaking in the free water being handed out in addition to a chocolate fountain, handheld phones for your iPhone, and motorcycles nonsensically being pitched to fashion goers. We were about to leave but luckily were told the show hadn’t happened yet, which sent us back into the line to wait. We did see some celebrities in our worlds, ranging from personality and phenomenal drag queen Raja (Sutan Amrull) to our very own photographer Justin Sullivan and contributor Monica Sotto (who we missed but heard Tweets from).
We all clogged into the the church, readying for the show to begin, thinking about our Monday conversation with Jonny. As the show started, we were expecting to see a decidedly more laid back collection, with “sportier” things you’d see from an Olympic opening ceremony taking place in Mordor. Not the case at all. This was hinted at, yes, but–as he even said himself–they still looked like “[they’re] on another planet,” something that everyone loves them for and comes to expect. The collection was still very much in the leather and goth world, dipping only between greys, blacks, browns, and some off-whites. As you can expect, there was in fact a lot of leather, which came by way of thigh high boots (by Fluevog) or a complimentary leather dart or a bag or hat or even a jacket or corset. There were a lot of hooded items in the collection as well–and a lot more than we expected, as a lot of the models came with them draped over their head like capes and one definitely straight out of an Eastern monastic order.
The collection started from the more open “streetwear” looks, which you could easily see making appearances on dancers in music videos or bros who want a relaxed yet sophisticated daytime look. There was a lot of layering happening, dresses over pants, belted with a large chunky sweater or leather jacket on top. The collection at points felt like better versions of when VINCE Fall and Winter, marrying sleek and billowy in a way you wish you could pull off but know you would very much fail at accomplishing.
From the streetwear, things certainly got more tailored and more refined, getting prettier and “softer” as the show went on. Watching the show, you could see the hints of accessibility, which did come by way of editing and simplification: they were accessible because they were blank slates that, when complimented and layered with other clothes, gives the edge that they have.
The clothes pushed all the way to the finale two dresses, which everyone had been waiting for. The first was a python-like creation, covered in sequins that tapered off into the train. The dress is a remarkable creation and incredibly detailed, each sequin added by hand. This was paired with a tight, serpentine, strung together leather jacket at the top. The final piece saw a light taupe floor length pleated dress, whose delicate layers you could see in the train when the model turned around. Like the leather jacked on the previous dress, this was matched with a gorgeous leather and fur trimmed coat, something that was alluded to earlier in the collection with fur accents on some pieces. It was a remarkable finale that made perfect sense give what was presented before it.
There were no details left unnoticed, either. From added black hair on gloves to simple dimpling on jackets, these are clothes that you want to get in close to see in order to admire them fully. There also occasional pointed disc headpieces by Rick Gradone for both the men and women that, when paired with the bright red lipstick they had, definitely recalled Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2009 RTW presentation.
Skingraft’s Fall 2012 Presentation was something was definitely a long time coming and we are certainly glad that we were able to be there to see everything come together for a delightful ten minute presentation. We can’t wait to see them in stores and, you know, catch kids on Robertson trying to go goth in their Skingraft pieces.